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Made in China Model 3: Build Quality / Hardware Differences

Cardo

Member
Sep 22, 2020
363
248
Surrey, UK
It's all relative, and detailers are obviously very particular (if they're any good)

Before I got my M3P the guy I've used for all my cars warned me that I "wouldn't be happy" and that "they're all bad". Mine did end up being "one of the better ones", according to him, basically damning with faint praise.

I haven't seen anything that suggests that MIC cars have any less of a problem with orange peel, at the very least.

Take comfort in the fact that there is basically no Tesla that is uniquely brillant in that regard, unless it's had a full respray :D
The fact he’d rather keep it for a few extra days to get it right does inspire confidence. I’d rather be without the car for a bit longer if that means I get a better job done on it!
 
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Peteski

Active Member
Oct 2, 2017
3,539
2,286
UK, Milton Keynes
The bonnet alignment is easily fixed if you’re prepared to get stuck in yourself. I tried to get the SC to fix my alignment (I was being very fussy to be fair) and they made it worse and told me it was within spec...

Thanks for this. I did think it would be easy enough to adjust. Mine is just slightly off-centre. I think I'll give the SC a chance to fix it next time. I hadn't noticed it the last time it was in the SC, so to be fair they haven't adjusted the bonnet yet. The other panel issues I have look more complicated. I don't think the tailgate can be fully fixed without messing with the bumper alignment. It's better than it was before the SC had a go, but not great. Going to speak to them again about this and see what is practical. I've looked at others and some are worse than mine, many about the same and a few much better. I looked at a 2020 car in a local carpark the other day and it was perfect. Almost like a normal car! But I much prefer the black window trims on the 2021 models. It's typical of Tesla to be completely inconsistent with quality.

But this is all relative. This is actually my wife's car and she hasn't noticed ANY of these minor issues. She just drives it and loves it, which is probably the best approach to Tesla ownership!
 
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CD_WE

Member
Jan 13, 2021
50
41
Ireland
Having previously linked a video about the MiC paint quality being better than Freemont, I’m wondering where my car actually came from! My little beasty has been at the detailer’s since Saturday for paint correction and ceramic coating. Was meant to take 3/4 days, getting the car back late on Tuesday, however this has now been pushed back to Sunday morning due to “the condition of the paintwork (Usual Tesla standards) it’s taken longer than usual.“

Losing the car for a week so soon after getting it is making me twitch.
Mine was the same, he said the paint was the softest he’s ever come across and he’s done 3 Teslas before.

Looks brilliant now though so worth the wait.
 

mikehj

Member
Jun 26, 2019
30
17
Edinburgh, UK
Mine was the same, he said the paint was the softest he’s ever come across and he’s done 3 Teslas before.

Looks brilliant now though so worth the wait.
Mine also seems to be the same. Made the mistake to take it into Tesla service for them to only make the cloudy swirl marks worse so it seems the paint is a bit soft. Nothing major but just gives parts a bit of a cloudy look so it looks like it's a bit old and dirty. Also taking it for a professional detail and ceramic - first car I've ever done that with but seems the easiest option. Ironically the 2020 Fremont car I had previously was absolutely perfect and stood up to everything I threw at it - probably because it was PDI'd at a different location I guess.
 
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SeanyG

Member
Feb 20, 2021
10
2
Bristol UK
Hi Guys, got a MIC model 3 LR two weeks ago and all seems perfect. Only thing is the expected range next to the battery sign says between 322 to 327 miles and was expecting at least 338 to 350 range... Any ideas what this could be? I think this is supposed to be based on the rated EPA range which I believe is 353 miles and have been doing a lot of research on this but can’t find out why.....
 

SeanyG

Member
Feb 20, 2021
10
2
Bristol UK
Hi Guys, got a MIC model 3 LR two weeks ago and all seems perfect. Only thing is the expected range next to the battery sign says between 322 to 327 miles and was expecting at least 338 to 350 range... Any ideas what this could be? I think this is supposed to be based on the rated EPA range which I believe is 353 miles and have been doing a lot of research on this but can’t find out why.....
Sorry figure above on 100% SOC and not extrapolated. Anyone else
Hi Guys, got a MIC model 3 LR two weeks ago and all seems perfect. Only thing is the expected range next to the battery sign says between 322 to 327 miles and was expecting at least 338 to 350 range... Any ideas what this could be? I think this is supposed to be based on the rated EPA range which I believe is 353 miles and have been doing a lot of research on this but can’t find out why.....
Sorry figures above on 100% SOC and not extrapolated. Anyone else in the same boat?...
 

spdpsba

Member
Feb 24, 2021
65
24
Cambridgeshire
Hi Guys, got a MIC model 3 LR two weeks ago and all seems perfect. Only thing is the expected range next to the battery sign says between 322 to 327 miles and was expecting at least 338 to 350 range... Any ideas what this could be? I think this is supposed to be based on the rated EPA range which I believe is 353 miles and have been doing a lot of research on this but can’t find out why.....
Same here. Got a MiC model 3 SR+ on full battery says 242 miles not the range that was mentioned as 253-263. I remember some videos showing up to 272 with the new LiP batteries in the SR+. Waiting to see whether the range increases.
 

GeorgeSymonds

Member
Mar 16, 2018
978
578
UK
The car shows the US rated figures not the UK rated figures, the US ones being a little more pessimistic. It could be that.

The figures doesn't adapt to the way you drive, but it does adapt to the environment as a cold battery can give up less energy compared to a warm one. The car calculates how much it can provide and coverts it to miles using a simple ratio, that being the figure from the US official range tests.
 

spdpsba

Member
Feb 24, 2021
65
24
Cambridgeshire
Hi Guys, got a MIC model 3 LR two weeks ago and all seems perfect. Only thing is the expected range next to the battery sign says between 322 to 327 miles and was expecting at least 338 to 350 range... Any ideas what this could be? I think this is supposed to be based on the rated EPA range which I believe is 353 miles and have been doing a lot of research on this but can’t find out why.....
Same here. Got a MiC model 3 SR+ on full battery says 242 miles not the range that was mentioned as 253-263. I remember some videos showing up to 272 with the new LiP batteries in the SR+. Waiting to see whether the range increases.
The car shows the US rated figures not the UK rated figures, the US ones being a little more pessimistic. It could be that.

The figures doesn't adapt to the way you drive, but it does adapt to the environment as a cold battery can give up less energy compared to a warm one. The car calculates how much it can provide and coverts it to miles using a simple ratio, that being the figure from the US official range tests.
Agree. Still this is bit unclear for two reasons, 1)15-20 mile difference can make an impact as Tesla said the new battery will provide up to 272 an increase from the initial 250 2)I think one of the youtuber (I think it is Kim who tweeted Elon and he responded with the charging routine or something along those lines) took her Model 3 to tesla SC after consistently noting less than average miles after charging. Tesla SC did something and the charging rate went up. I still could not find the video but remember watching.

So some clarification for the low miles on full charge may help.
 

SeanyG

Member
Feb 20, 2021
10
2
Bristol UK
Same here. Got a MiC model 3 SR+ on full battery says 242 miles not the range that was mentioned as 253-263. I remember some videos showing up to 272 with the new LiP batteries in the SR+. Waiting to see whether the range increases.

Agree. Still this is bit unclear for two reasons, 1)15-20 mile difference can make an impact as Tesla said the new battery will provide up to 272 an increase from the initial 250 2)I think one of the youtuber (I think it is Kim who tweeted Elon and he responded with the charging routine or something along those lines) took her Model 3 to tesla SC after consistently noting less than average miles after charging. Tesla SC did something and the charging rate went up. I still could not find the video but remember watching.

So some clarification for the low miles on full charge may help.
Thanks for this. I phoned Tesla about this a week ago and they said it might help to cycle the battery as sometimes it needs to recalculate things so I am trying this and will update. I am not sure that will work though just because of the expected range has behaved since I got the car so will phone them again and will update you all :)
 

kelvin 660

Member
Aug 21, 2020
180
113
Stonehouse
My SR+ had a starting range of 237 miles (for a 240 EPA range) and is slowly dropping and now at 220 miles. Cold or hot days have no affect on this number. Looking at fleet data some Fremont SR+ had between 230 - 250 miles starting range, so it seems the BMS can measure battery capacity. Unless there is another reason for the difference in range between new cars??
 

Jibjab

Member
Aug 8, 2020
170
87
Doncaster
Hi Guys, got a MIC model 3 LR two weeks ago and all seems perfect. Only thing is the expected range next to the battery sign says between 322 to 327 miles and was expecting at least 338 to 350 range... Any ideas what this could be? I think this is supposed to be based on the rated EPA range which I believe is 353 miles and have been doing a lot of research on this but can’t find out why.....
This is due to either the car having an LG battery (circa 75kwh) or a soft locked Panasonic (77-78kwh but locked to 75kwh to align with the LG) for cars in Europe. Very large thread on Model 3 Battery charging section. Cars in the US display the 353 miles, assuming no degradation and not too cold, as they don’t have the LG battery and are not soft locked.
 
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SeanyG

Member
Feb 20, 2021
10
2
Bristol UK
This is due to either the car having an LG battery (circa 75kwh) or a soft locked Panasonic (77-78kwh but locked to 75kwh to align with the LG) for cars in Europe. Very large thread on Model 3 Battery charging section. Cars in the US display the 353 miles, assuming no degradation and not too cold, as they don’t have the LG battery and are not soft locked.
Thanks for this.... would you know why mine is showing around 325 instead of the 340ish range? Mine is the LG battery E5D variant...
 

SeanyG

Member
Feb 20, 2021
10
2
Bristol UK
Thanks for this.... would you know why mine is showing around 325 instead of the 340ish range? Mine is the LG battery E5D variant...
So I also read about the battery buffer of 4.5 percent which the EPA range tests included and think I understand it how... Please correct me if I’m wrong...

So the EPA test on the M3LR 2021 was conducted using the cars with the larger Panasonic batteries of say 78 kwh leading to a range of 353. The UK MIC LG Chem M3 LRs have a smaller battery of 75 kWh so the EPA range for these cars is 353 x 75 / 78 = 339 miles. But allowing for the 4.5 percent buffer which basically means that at 0 percent battery life the car has 4.5 percent battery power remaining to drive means that the expected range from 0 to 100 percent then falls to 339 x 0.955 = 324 miles... and that’s roughly what I see on my 100percent SOC range...

Sound reasonable?
 

Drew57

Member
Apr 4, 2020
913
1,029
Chester UK
Questions about range appear every Quarter end from new owners & that is understandable given the EPA or WLTP published figures.

Most of us soon realise that these results are based on controlled test conditions which merely serve to give like-for-like comparisons between different manufacturers & models but bear little relation to reality. They are not based on real-life driving conditions which would include all the factors that actually affect range (ie temperature & weather conditions including wind, rain etc, altitude, speed, driving style etc etc).

Batteries do not appreciate the cold and therefore both real and estimated 'range' can reduce significantly as a result, a consequence being that more new owners raise this issue in Q4, Q1 than the rest of the year.

Almost all drivers have come from traditional combustion engined vehicles where the fuel gauge indicates from empty to full & we relate to miles per gallon (UK). Using the battery % display and the trip card kWh & Wh/mi is basically the same thing in EV terms. In my case with a petrol or diesel car, I never attempted to calculate actual range on a full tank as that would have been as meaningless as trying to achieve a consistent EPS or WLTP range rating - it's like comparing a rated mpg figure with what is possible with an ICE vehicle under normal driving conditions; ie unrealistic.

Therefore, changing the car display to % & using a combination of trip card and energy screen alongside navigation trip mileage is more useful - I switched over within a few days of ownership & only use range when checking for a long journey (via energy screen).

However, if someone does feel the need to stress over 'range' then it's possible to drive in such a way that during the warmer months EPA can be exceeded, sometimes by a substantial amount (on one journey last summer & following a police car, estimated range exceeded 400miles). Driving like this is not particularly fun though & rather defeats the object of owning a Tesla in the first place.
 

spdpsba

Member
Feb 24, 2021
65
24
Cambridgeshire
Questions about range appear every Quarter end from new owners & that is understandable given the EPA or WLTP published figures.

Most of us soon realise that these results are based on controlled test conditions which merely serve to give like-for-like comparisons between different manufacturers & models but bear little relation to reality. They are not based on real-life driving conditions which would include all the factors that actually affect range (ie temperature & weather conditions including wind, rain etc, altitude, speed, driving style etc etc).

Batteries do not appreciate the cold and therefore both real and estimated 'range' can reduce significantly as a result, a consequence being that more new owners raise this issue in Q4, Q1 than the rest of the year.

Almost all drivers have come from traditional combustion engined vehicles where the fuel gauge indicates from empty to full & we relate to miles per gallon (UK). Using the battery % display and the trip card kWh & Wh/mi is basically the same thing in EV terms. In my case with a petrol or diesel car, I never attempted to calculate actual range on a full tank as that would have been as meaningless as trying to achieve a consistent EPS or WLTP range rating - it's like comparing a rated mpg figure with what is possible with an ICE vehicle under normal driving conditions; ie unrealistic.

Therefore, changing the car display to % & using a combination of trip card and energy screen alongside navigation trip mileage is more useful - I switched over within a few days of ownership & only use range when checking for a long journey (via energy screen).

However, if someone does feel the need to stress over 'range' then it's possible to drive in such a way that during the warmer months EPA can be exceeded, sometimes by a substantial amount (on one journey last summer & following a police car, estimated range exceeded 400miles). Driving like this is not particularly fun though & rather defeats the object of owning a Tesla in the first place.
Thanks and your point well taken. We understand the realities of electric cars and batteries but I think what we were looking for is some sort of reasonable explanation why the LiP batteries or the figures quoted for LR in UK aren't the same as what we see in our car. We agree that the range may decrease or change according to various factors that you have clearly articulated in your message. But the question is when you fully charge the battery (even before you set up to go anywhere) the numbers you see are different to what Tesla says their model will achieve. That brings in another factor as SeanyG said in his explanation of how the US calculation using panasonic batteries are different to UK calculation of MiC LG battery model versions.

The other thing about changing the display and not to stress about range isn't as simple as you suggest. I have seen lots of people having both % and numbers in their mobile phone batteries - it is just a matter of preference. I've always had miles displayed in my ICE cars and I guess some people prefer displaying speed etc., I think it is more convenient for us to have the miles or range displayed than something as 27% which doesn't mean anything to me when I am in the middle of nowhere!
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,915
1,953
Bath, UK
Tesla, sadly, are a bit cheeky with this stuff. I place about as much weight on the quoted range as I do Elon’s other claims.

I can understand why people new to Teslas and EVs in general might be confused at how the projected range goes up and down, unlike an ICE (for the most part)

You would not want to drive the car in the way that they must do to achieve that quoted range. I imagine it would be a thoroughly miserable experience (low fixed speed, no A/C, etc)
 
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VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,316
4,817
Surrey, UK
Extended periods of fast A roads/motorways omitting, achieving the Wh/mile needed to match 100% efficiency and exceed the range is pretty common this time of year. No pre-heating or compromises on A/C (typically 18/19C fan 2, A/C on) or thoughts of driving economically we still achieve close to of exceed 100% efficiency on many trips. And these are not long trips that help mask departure losses - our current typical drive is round 14 miles. Different story if wanting to cover longer distances quicker though, but not hugely. But thats just the same physics that affect every car, just not having the same scrutiny.
 
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GeorgeSymonds

Member
Mar 16, 2018
978
578
UK
There are two "range" topics which are constantly conflated.

- The range the car says and the range the car can actually do are seldom the same. The car uses a fixed amount per mile in its display and real world driving varies due to a host of factors, weather speed etc,

- The range the car says and the rated range Tesla said it should display. and why they differ The only explanations I've heard of for the differences are a, they use the US tested efficiency rates and not the EU ones which are different and so the range in miles that is displayed will be more like the US one than the EU one, b, a cold battery just can't hold/release the charge a warm battery can and so its capacity is down which will result in the reported range being down slightly, c, the BMS calibration drifts over time and towards the conservative side although this can be fixed by leaving the car at lower states of charge over night to get a number of accurate readings across the spectrum from which it interpulates, and d, there is some genuine degradation. Picking through those 4 reasons to end up getting back to the rated figure is a challenge but its usually wrapped up in one or more of them.

Personally I show miles. I don't stress over it, I know what its telling me and its telling me more than % does. I've come to accept I'll not do it in practice but I still find it useful. It's personal choice, each to their own, but it's not helpful to fob people off telling them to show % and ignore the discrepancy rather than answer the question as if its a superior thing to do.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
2,915
1,953
Bath, UK
It might not be strictly helpful in the "be the good you want to see in the world" sense, but it is the most productive.

if we accept that the advertised range is under absolutely ideal, artificial conditions - then it's probably fair to say that no one is going to get that exact range on a 100% charge. What good is it to know that the car may or may not be able to do 315 miles at 100% charge if you wouldn't (or couldn't) drive the way you'd need to in order to achieve that?

The last EV I had before buying a Tesla, a BMW i3, I put the range as miles because it seemed the obvious thing to do and I didn't know any better. What I found quite quickly is that the range shown was basically a guideline. it went down quicker than 1 mile per 1 mile travelled if I was pushing on or being less than optimal with inputs, etc, and in some cases stayed still or even went up if I drove really conservatively (the i3, unlike the Tesla I think, factors in recent driving in the range displayed).

All this basically meant is that I couldn't rely on the predicted range as an absolute number, and just developed an understanding in my head of how far it would go on a 100% charge. I essentially just ignored the range display except for the purposes of trying to game it on occasion to stay still or go up, like a little mini game while I'm driving.

I guess what I'm saying is that using miles as the range on a Tesla (or any EV) is pretty useless, and potentially dangerous - i.e. you could set off on the basis that the car is telling you that you'll make it to a given charger, but find that 75% of the way there you've used more power than the car had assumed you'd use, and have to make alternative arrangements.

I guess I don't understand on a fundamental level why someone would choose to use an absolute measurement like miles as their guide when that measurement will not necessarily decrease linearly by miles travelled.
 

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