Tesla Model 3: Incredible Efficiency
In a Tweet thread, a Tesla Model 3 is being shown driving a mile with the Energy it takes to boil a pot of water for pasta. The comparison is made to a Toyota Corolla and the statement Tesla is making is that a Tesla Model 3 is 4x as efficient oil well to wheel.
I have to assume this is the Model 3 RWD because Tesla isn't calling out specifically which model this is. It could be the long range, but I believe Tesla would have called that out if it was.
What does the statement 4x as efficient oil well to wheel mean? It is a method which evaluates the efficiency and emissions of an Energy source by considering its entire life cycle. The method provides the most complete/accurate way to measure Energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.
To put it another way, this accounts for all the energy and emissions that are necessary to produce the fuel used in the car (the well to pump) and the operation energy and emissions that are associated with the vehicle technology, which can include tail pipe emissions, or other emissions and energy efficiency of the vehicle itself.
I've written in the past about the incredible efficiency of the Tesla Model 3 RWD, and there are times when my average Wh/mile has been below 200, which is pretty incredible. That's 5 miles per kWh. At a 60 kWh pack, that's 300 miles. At a 50 kWh pack, that's 250 miles.
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Will There Be More Efficient Vehicles?
Will there be more efficient vehicles that come that beat the Tesla Model 3 RWD? Of course there will be! Tesla will be making a compact car eventually, and that car will beat the Model 3 RWD. I believe the Tesla compact car will get around 6 miles per kWh average and possibly 8 when driven in warm weather and efficiently.
If you have a 40 kWh pack on a compact car from Tesla, that's anywhere from 240 to 320 miles of range. I can see the compact car getting about 150 Wh/mi on average.
There is also the upcoming Aptera vehicle, and the version of it with the smallest battery pack will be a 250 range model. With solar panels, you are looking at an efficient vehicle that will blow even the Tesla compact car out of the water. That vehicle will get well north of 10 Wh/mi and with the solar panels, it could be as high as 15 Wh/mi.
I'm sure other companies are realizing that efficiency matters in an EV because that is how you get the cost down. If you can have fewer batteries in the vehicle, it weighs less and costs less.
In the future, battery costs won't matter as much, but their weight and energy density will still matter. There will also be improvements in drive train and electric motor technology, which increases the efficiency of vehicles.
What do you think of the Tesla Model 3 and how it drives a mile on the energy it takes to boil a pot of water for pasta? Will more efficient vehicles be made in the future?
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Jeremy Johnson is a Tesla investor and supporter. He first invested in Tesla in 2017 after years of following Elon Musk and admiring his work ethic and intelligence. Since then, he's become a Tesla bull, covering anything about Tesla he can find, while also dabbling in other electric vehicle companies. Jeremy covers Tesla developments at Torque News. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow his Tesla news coverage on Torque News.