How much weight should you put on range when shopping for an EV?
Our friend Andy Slye doesn't have to remind us how important range is to prospective electric car buyers. In fact, many folks who cover EVs obsess over it. This makes sense since range anxiety was a huge concern early on. However, most of today's EVs have more than enough range for most people, and this is especially true of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y.
Most electric car owners charge at home, and most aren't likely to have a daily commute that covers hundreds of miles, though there are exceptions. For this reason, the only time range is really an issue is on long road trips, where extra stops mean a longer trip. Charging takes time, even at a Tesla Supercharger.
With that said, Tesla's vehicles are arguably better road trip cars than many other EVs simply due to their long range and Tesla's quick and reliable charging network. To give us an idea of how much range the Model 3 and Model Y really have, and what it's like heading out on an EV road trip, Slye put together a video comparison. He also offers his own insight for prospective owners. Slye writes:
"Since owning my Model 3 I’ve always told people who are considering a Tesla or any EV that they should get the vehicle with the most range that fits within their budget."
"I’ve also recommended that people buy the Long Range non-performance versions of the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y because if you buy the Performance versions you’re paying more money for less range which is counter-intuitive even though you are getting the quicker performance and a few other upgrades."
To see how Tesla's vehicles stack up, Slye pits his 2018 Model 3 Long Range against a 2020 Model Y Performance. The two cars travel the same road from Louisville, KY to Asheville, NC, and back. How much different is the range of these two Teslas? Does it even really matter in the grand scheme of things?
Slye breaks down the range, charging time, and charging cost to help answer these questions. His test reveals that the Model Y uses 5 more kWh every 100 miles compared to the Model 3. This is about a 15 kWh difference per full battery charge or about 20% of the battery pack.
While this is billed as a Model 3 versus Model Y range test, it really helps to answer the EV range question as a whole. What difference does a handful of miles (on paper) really make? Check out Andy's video for the answers.