Charging. Would you believe me if I told you that fewer topics in the electric vehicle (EV) world were more polarizing? Well, it’s true. We’ve touched on the topic in the past. If you’re so inclined, you can read about maximizing battery life in your electric vehicle by clicking here. A whole lotta digital ink has been spilled on the subject so I won’t go into the science behind why all EV batteries will eventually fail. Tesla’s batteries are the best in the business. That being said, they too will eventually fail. The good news is that most of them will take a looooooong time to do so. If you’re like me and you prefer to keep your cars for decades or more, today we take a peek at Tesla Model 3 charging best practices.
What Percentage Should You Charge Your Tesla Model 3?
The answer to this question as it is to so many others is: it depends. If you own a 2020 Tesla Model 3 Performance sedan and have a daily commute of 310 miles, you will need to charge your car’s battery to 100% every day. That being said, if you have a daily commute of 310 miles, I feel VERY sorry for you. According to this article posted to itstillruns.com, the average American drives about 16 miles one way to and from work. That seems about right to me. My office is approximately 20 miles from my house. Like most Americans, there would be no need for me to charge my Model 3 to 100%.
This is a good thing because as I noted in the linked article above, charging your EV’s battery to 100% on a regular basis is one of the worst things you can do.This is because going from “charging mode” to “driving mode” is what causes the eventual degradation in lithium-ion batteries in the first place. Most EV manufacturers (including Tesla) recommend that you stop charging your battery when it reaches 90% capacity. Manufacturers also recommend that you don’t drive on a battery that is less than 20% charged. This is because lithium-ion batteries function best when they are between 20% and 90% charge. Tough luck for our friends who with the 310 mile daily commute!!
Should I Charge My Tesla Model 3 Every Night?
Again, it depends. If you don’t need to…don’t. Let’s take my daily commute of 40 miles for example. If I were lucky enough to own a brand new Tesla Model 3, I would only need to charge my car about every week or so to keep it in the 20-90% charge range. This is of course, all dependent on what type of charging system I used. A level 1 charger (plugging your car into a standard 120-volt outlet found in most North American homes) will yield about 7 miles of charge per hour. This means that it will take anywhere from 34 to 44 hours to charge your Model 3 depending on whether you own the standard or long range model.
It is recommended that Tesla owners have a level 2 charging system installed in their homes. Model 3 owners will get roughly 40 miles of range per hour with this option. If you’re fortunate enough to live near a Tesla Supercharger station, you will be able to fully charge your vehicle in as little as one hour. This option all but eliminates the need for home charging, but again, you will need to have one close to your home or office.
How Do You Set the Charge Limit on a Tesla Model 3?
The best part about contributing to a blog is that answers to questions like these have most likely been answered by someone else. This video from YouTuber “Tesletter” very nicely and succinctly details the process for setting the charge limit on your Tesla:
As it turns out, the “slider” featured in the video above can be a handy way to fulfill your charging needs AND help save your battery. As forum regular “pdx_m3s” stated on this thread in the Tesla Motors Club Forum:
“Although 90% was recommended by Elon (take with a fine grain of salt), the “daily” range slider has a MAX daily range of 90%, going all the way down to 50% (I believe). I think you should pick somewhere in that range that best suits your average daily miles. A lower average state of charge (staying above 50%) is better for lithium ion batteries (this is settled chemistry), but how much so is up for debate. FWIW, I drive 10-20 miles per day and I charge to 75% every night.”
You see…that’s why I always go crawling back to the forums for info!
When it comes to Tesla Model 3 charging best practices, you don’t have to be a rocket surgeon. If you take the time to set your charging limits correctly, you can avoid battery degradation. If you do notice what you think is battery degradation, there may be external factors that are causing you to get less mileage. Have you checked your car’s tire pressure? Have you checked the weather outside? A nervous Model 3 owner worried about battery degradation recently started this thread on the official Tesla forum. A poster going by the name “sheldon.mike1010″ moved to calm this nervous nellie down:
“Winter temperatures skew results. Do this again in August, please. Things will be better. Tesla warranties the battery and will replace if faulty. There are multiple threads here about it and the wisest conclusion is just drive, don’t worry about it.”
I like the way “sheldon.mike1010” thinks. One of the things I learned in the brief time that I owned an electric car is that it really isn’t that difficult to do so. As long as you are somewhat cognizant of where you are going and how much juice you will need to get there, you will be fine. Unfortunately or all you Kerouac fans out there, you can’t just hit the road and drive back and forth across the country like Sal and Dean did. The day that you can however…will be here before you know it!
What do our readers think about these Tesla Model 3 charging best practices? Anyone care to add to or correct anything mentioned in today’s article? Please drop by the comments section below and let us know.
Source | Images: Wikimedia Commons
Source | Video: Tesletter via YouTube