Long-Range Tesla Model 3 Battery Capacity Revealed by EPA Filing
So that's the number Tesla was hiding all along.
One of the most confusing aspects of the Model S seems to be how it's marketed based on the battery capacity. Tesla has apparently learned from this and has chosen to market the Model 3 using a "standard" and "long range" battery, neither of which it revealed the battery capacity for. But thanks to a filing by the EPA, we now know just how large that pack is.
The Model S was a confusing sale. You had the 40 kWh (which was really a 60 kWh battery software-limited to 40 kWh), 60 kWh, 70 kWh, 75 kWh, 85 kWh, 90 kWh, and 100 kWh variants. Depending on when you bought the car, your Model S had a different badge which indicated the battery pack capacity. This became confusing to the consumer and resulted in some of the older models feeling more dated just by the battery capacity. When production-ready Model 3s started to roll around, prospective owners and fans immediately needed to know what size battery pack the car had ahead of the official announcement.
But that announcement never came.
Tesla Model S owners learned that the battery capacity was located on a sticker in the wheel well of their car. Model 3 buyers began to sneak onto Tesla's property in Fremont, California, and look under the car. No sticker. Threads exploded on Reddit, users upset because someone saw a Model 3 in person and didn't figure out how big the battery was. Eventually, people were told the sad truth that they wouldn't find a battery sticker. And they were right.
When the big day of the Model 3 delivery event came, owners were provided with a plethora of knowledge regarding the Model 3, including two range options: standard (220 miles) and long range (310 miles), however, the size of the battery pack still remained as an unknown. Thanks to an EPA filing Monday, this number has finally been disclosed.
The EPA rates the battery at 80.5 kWh, though Tesla commented on the filing to notate the actual capacity, 78 kWh. This is right around the expected capacity, as CEO Elon Musk stated that the capacity of the platform would rest right around 75 kWh.
Given that we know the long range capacity, we could estimate the standard version to traverse its 220 miles using a 55 kWh or 60 kWh battery. Though no official figure has been noted at this time, we at least know that Musk's original belief of 75 kWh was almost directly on par. With the release of Tesla's performance dual-motor variant next year, Tesla will need to find a way to stuff more capacity into the Model 3, or consumers will need to accept a hit on battery life for performance. The same goes for the Model Y, which is to be built on the Model 3 platform, albeit likely heavier. It will be interesting to see the way that plays out.