I'm looking for opinions as to why the range on the base model is (at least) 215 miles. 215 is a rather specific number. Do you think this was a result of testing? Do you think it was set as a design goal instead of 200? Or do you think it's a complete misdirection and the true range of the base model is much higher? If it's a result of testing then they already know exactly what capacity battery they'll be using on the base model. It's surprising how few leaks there have been regarding the model 3.

They already have fully working prototypes and probably have a very good idea of what the final battery and powertrain will be possible of. There is also a safety margin built into all of their vehicles to make sure owners can't "brick" the battery pack. So I'd say when EM says that the base model will have "at least" 215 mile range their confidence is very high for that number and at release it could even be slightly higher. There is no way that the true range of the base model is "much higher" since we now know the base model will have a <60kw battery. If you want more range you will need to pony up for a bigger battery just like on all of their other EVs.

Since you invited opinions: 1. It is likely that Tesla knows the weight of the vehicle and the size of the base model battery. They can do the math and have software that emulates the 5 cycle test that sets that range figure. 2. They are likely to have performed SOME practical testing, but unlikely that it's based on extensive real-world testing. 3. No misdirection. The Model S60 had a range of 208 until it was discontinued. I think they wanted to make it bigger than that. I also think that there will be at least one larger battery size that will extend the range of the Model 3 at least as far as the S90D.

They have to have a certain amount of range in order for people to use the Supercharger network, which is spaced about 120-140 miles apart. Too low of a range and people can't use the Supercharger network, even when driving carefully when it is winter and with some battery degradation.

My guess is the actual range will end up being 220 miles, which when charged at the recommended daily (90%) rate, conveniently gives 200mi normal daily range - nice round number for advertising purposes.

200 is a nice and round number, but especially with Chevy coming up with a 200 mile EV, they probably wanted to edge that out, and knew it was possible based on their own testing and/or calculations. At worst, they can up the battery capacity by 1-2 kwh and make it happen if the efficiency targets are missed at all. The real excitement, IMO, will be when 300+ miles is achievable with a bigger battery and additional motors to increase regenerative braking.

I think Tesla is aiming for "highway speed" 215 miles with Model 3 base configuration. That way they can be confident of at least that and (possibly) more for real world mixed driving.

Whatever Tesla decides the M3 range will be, the driver will get far less. If Tesla says 215 I figure in real world situations I will be getting closer to 185mi. Like an ICE that's advertised at 22 hwy and 16 city. In the end I will probably get 14 MPG. Maybe i'm just being a pessimist. My M3 range figures are just knee-jerk top of the head numbers. Not to be taken too seriously

Why 215 miles? Probably a good balance of pack weight, cost, charging time, and how much range a typical driver really needs most.

Here is a good article on a 60 kWh battery in a Tesla Model S. With the Model 3 being smaller and lighter than the Model S, but with the same battery, then it should be able to go farther than the Model S rated 208 Miles. 215 rated miles, is not that far off considering some of the advancements in battery technology between 2012 and 2018 that will happen. Life With Tesla Model S: Pushing the Range Limits In 60-kWh Car

The 215 miles is the minimum projected EPA rating. They bumped this from the "200 real world" previously. I suspect it is because they have a decent model of the car already and that range is easily achievable under their model.

If I had to guess, the 215 mile range is a conservative estimate. Since Elon said at least 215 miles at the reveal and they've still got time to make improvements, I would expect they will be able to surpass this number. I think it's entirely possible that the base battery will have closer to a 220 or 225 mile range thanks to the additional adjustments they make before the production version. Another interpretation is that the 215 miles is what they're aiming for at 70mph+ and they're expecting to surpass that with the EPA ratings test.

My guess would be a distance figured out based on targets for their Supercharger model. But it's also possible that Elon Musk plucked it out of the air.

I think EM means EPA rated range. It's a good number for consumption (economy/pollution) purposes, but what is really required is range at highway speeds (75 mph). At those speeds range decreases dramatically, when it is most required for medium/long distance trips (for instance to skip a supercharger in a 200-220 miles trip without having to speed down to 55 mph).

I think you've got it here. Elon was always quoted as saying "200 real world miles". The EPA range typically isn't what you'll be getting, you'll usually get a bit lower than that, so the a 215 EPA rating would give you around "200 real world miles". I think your 185 estimate is on the low side for realistic miles.

Depends on usage and conditions though. In the Midwest, where it can drop below 0F, we won't always get 200. Or after 10 years in this weather and with 120,000 miles, it'll have reduced capacity. I'm sure Tesla batteries will hold up well but I'm buying with a worse estimate based on my own conditions. (And almost certainly going for a range upgrade so I have even more flexibility)

Elon said the Model 3 will be at least EPA rated 215 miles and clearly stated they it might be higher. From the unveiling Elon said "These are minimum numbers, we hope to exceed them" so my guess when all is said and done is range will be closer to 225. They are using 215 miles just to be safe.

As soon as temperatures hit above 60, I get higher than EPA in my Leaf. Sometimes those records are as high as near 30% above EPA on city/suburban streets (<50mph). I also had over 20% above EPA on my last gas car, a smart car in both city and highway driving conditions.