Saw this article over at Reddit. Makes sense and I think we had been speculating here that the base pack would be less than 60kWh Tesla confirms base Model 3 will have less than 60 kWh battery pack option, cost is below $190/kWh and falling Tesla’s Vice-President of Investor Relations, Jeff Evanson, jumped in on the call between Langan and Bereisa to correct their analysis. Evanson stated that Tesla’s battery pack cost is already below $190/kWh – meaning at least 26% less than Bereisa’s current estimate – and that the base Model 3 will be offered with a battery pack option smaller than 60 kWh, like Bereisa assumed.

I guess this points to a 50 or 55 kWh battery in the base model. Also, I'm sure the 30% Gigafactory price reduction hasn't even take effect yet with the $190/kWh number, so they should be on track for $130/kWh by 2020, if not an even lower price than that.

Interesting read ... I suspect the new battery option will be at least 50kWh for 200m range. Tesla confirms base Model 3 will have less than 60 kWh battery pack option, cost is below $190/kWh and falling (mod edit -- removed copy/paste of entire article content due to potential copyright issue)

A 55kwh pack with 215 mile range breaks down to about 3.91 mi/kWh. If tesla decides to reach 300 miles of range with the upgraded pack, they would need a 75-80 kWh pack depending on how much the extra weight reduces some range. If the total pack (with cooling and all) is $190 per kWh then the 75 and 80 kWh pack will be $14,250 and $15,200 respectively (possibly lower depending on fixed costs). $7,500 for the upgraded pack sounds doable. Especially considering pack prices will continue to drop as we approach Model 3 production.

How will the M3 get +215m range on <60kWh but the Leaf gets ~100m with 30kWh? Are either the Drag Coeff or weight of the Leaf that bad?

My money is on 55KWh. I never bought the theory that Tesla would make a 60kWh pack for sure, simply because GM chose to. Tesla likely designed this pack way ahead of GM announcing 60kWh in January, and they aren't going to change it simply to match GM. Side point: it is very bad form to copy and paste the entire article into a post. A snip of the most important part is sufficient.

To me this is no surprise. My eGolf gets > 4 miles per kWh. Why wouldn't the 3, which should be much more aerodynamic and benefit from being designed as EV vs golf which is reuse of ICE design?

Nissan claims 0.28, but the wind tunnel test by C&D says 0.32. Either way it's not good, esp. given the car also has a large frontal area (which also doesn't help drag). Drag Queens: Aerodynamics Compared - Feature Tesla is aiming at 0.21 for the Model 3. Model S is 0.24.

If the price by the time the Model 3 is rolling off the assembly line is $150 per kWh then it will be hard for Tesla to justify a $10K bump in price to buy an extra 20 kWh of capacity and bring the range of the car to what most Americans would expect.

Let's not forget the usable battery capacity might be 10-15% less than 55 kWh. Also, they probably wouldn't say 215 miles unless they had at least 5-10 miles of margin above that. So the calculation could be 48 kWh for 225 miles, which is 4.7 mi/kWh, which seems unrealistic. I'm not sure how they would get there with a 3500+ lb car, even with a very low Cd. The i3 gets 4.3 mi/kWh using a similar calculation (EPA range/usable capacity -> 81 mi / 18.8 kWh). It is less than 2900 lbs and has a 0.29 Cd.

Considering Tesla was using a 56kWh battery for the Roadster and it got over 240 miles of range, I think we can expect a 50kWh or less sized battery. Even though the roadster is smaller, it also had a much higher drag coefficient and was using older battery technology.

I don't think we can safely say that. The Roadster is also much lighter than the S. The Model 3 by my back of the envelope calculations will be in between the Roadster and the S in mass.

IIRC, the S60 gets 208 miles on a full charge. Given that the Model 3 is 25% smaller and lighter I definitely see them getting 215 miles with a smaller pack.

kWh is kWh. Better technology may give you more kWh per volume and/or longer re-charge longevity or something, but 50kWh is still 50kWh. The rest of your analysis I agree with more or less, though I lean toward 50kWh pack as the base configuration myself.

Your usable estimate is way off for Tesla (which allows much larger usable). In the Model S, the 85kWh pack buffer is 4kWh (4.7%) and for 60kWh pack it is 2.8kWh (4.67%). Let the hacking begin... (Model S parts on the bench) A "55kWh" pack would have 52.4kWh usable using the same percentage. At 4.3mi/kWh like the i3, that gives me 225 miles of range.

The Roadster used an old 2-cycle EPA test and the numbers are not comparable to today's modern 5-cycle EPA test. The Model S got 320 miles of range on the same cycle as the Roadster, but only 265 miles on the 5-cycle test. If you just do a linear scaling, the Roadster would have got 203 miles of range on the 5-cycle test (vs 245 on 2-cycle). See blog entry from 2012: "We are very pleased to report that Model S has exceeded our initial range expectations by about 20 miles and has achieved a Roadster equivalent 2-cycle range of 320 miles and a 5-cycle range of 265 miles." Model S Efficiency and Range

Thanks for the correction. I had thought the packs only used 85% but 95% makes more sense based on my experience. So ~4.3mi/kWh is still aggressive for a 3500+ lb car. Weight has a larger effect on the EPA tests than drag coefficient.

The base Model 3 could even be a 50kW battery and possibly meet Elon's announced range of 215 (though he did say he hoped the base range would be higher). If so, the larger capacity battery option could be 70kW and the range could be around 275.

~*sigh*~ The 2014 Toyota RAV4 EV had a 50 kWh battery pack with 41.8 kWh available for use. It achieved a 103 mile EPA rated range. This car used a Tesla Motors drivetrain and battery pack, though the motor was rated at only 154 HP. It weighed roughly 400 lbs less than the Model S 60. Something here does not compute.