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What Kind Of Battery Is Inside A Tesla Model 3 RWD?

This is the kind of battery that is inside a Tesla Model 3 RWD (rear-wheel-drive, single motor). Note, for earlier versions of this vehicle, it's possible to qualify for a replacement battery under warranty to LFP.

What Battery Is Inside a Tesla Model 3 RWD?

Tesla vehicles are some of the most advanced on the road today, and you might be wondering what kind of battery is inside of Tesla's least expensive vehicle, the Tesla Model 3 RWD.

Depending on the year you buy the Tesla Model 3 RWD, and whether the warranty on the battery was used, it can be one of two particular batteries. We'll go over those now and what they are - and how to manage each.

It was around October 2021 that Tesla stated it would switch to using LFP batteries in the standard range Model 3. LFP stands for Lithium-Iron-Phosphate. This battery chemistry offers a little more range and can be charged to 100% with less degradation to the battery.

An LFP battery is also heavier and reduces acceleration slightly due to less performance and increased weight of the battery.

In models before that time, Tesla used NMC batteries - Nickel-Manganese-Cobalt, which are higher performing batteries for speed, but not as performant for longevity or range. These particular batteries also degrade faster when charging to 100% regularly.

The kWh of the battery in a Tesla Model 3 RWD is around 60 kWh, with a usable kWh of about 57.5.

Why is there a usable kWh of 57.5 instead of 60? According to battery science, the usable capacity is the amount of battery (around 95% to 99%) of the total battery that can be used to drive your EV. The remaining battery is a safety buffer - and I think it's there in case the car gets to 0% battery to avoid fully discharging the battery. At that point, the car can still draw upon some battery while the driver gets to a charger and avoids damage to the battery.

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Tesla Offer Retrofit Under Warranty

Tesla even offers a battery retrofit to upgrade from NMC to LFP under the battery warranty condition. Tesla sent out a letter to older Model 3 standard range owners that states the following:

Tesla is offering you the option to replace your HV battery with our most recent battery technology for standard range model 3 vehicles, referred to as LFP (lithium Iron Phosphate battery). It is the HV battery technology we are currently using in our new standard range model 3 we are selling today.

The advantages of our current standard range LFP HV battery are:

  • More range
  • Recommended charging to 100% daily, compared to 80% (with your current battery)
  • Optimized energy capacity retention overtime even when charging to 100% every day

The LFP battery is heavier, which may increase the 0 to 60 mph acceleration time by around 0.5 seconds. The vehicle dynamics will stay optimal as Tesla service will upgrade your suspension springs and dampers along with a 4-wheel alignment.

This is good news for someone who owns an older Model 3 standard range and needs to get a battery replacement.

There you have it - there are two types of batteries in a Model 3 RWD:

  • Before October 2021: NMC batteries
  • After October 2021: LFP batteries

Under the battery warranty, some 2021 or before standard range Model 3 RWD vehicles can be retrofitted to an LFP battery.

If you happen to buy a used Model 3 RWD from 2021 or before, and it had a battery replacement under warranty, it's possible you will have an LFP battery in your car, something older Model 3 RWD vehicles do not have!

Battery costs per kWh are going down over time, so even if you need to replace your battery out of warranty, it should cost less over time!

For Further Reading: Tesla Slashes FSD Price In Half - From $199 to $99 Per Month: Here's Why They Did It

Is there anything else you'd like to know about the Model 3 RWD battery?

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Hi! I'm Jeremy Noel Johnson, and I am a Tesla investor and supporter and own a 2022 Model 3 RWD EV and I don't have range anxiety :). I enjoy bringing you breaking Tesla news as well as anything about Tesla or other EV companies I can find, like Aptera. Other interests of mine are AI, Tesla Energy and the Tesla Bot! You can follow me on X.COM or LinkedIn to stay in touch and follow my Tesla and EV news coverage.

Image Credit: Tesla, Screenshot

Article Reference: Tesla


Paul Smyres (not verified)    April 15, 2024 - 11:52PM

A huge toxic flammable battery that is incredibly expensive and takes hundreds of gallons of oil to produce.

Troy Newell (not verified)    April 15, 2024 - 11:53PM

I am quite happy with my LFP battery in my tesla, 34,000km and less then 0.5% energy storage loss, the car has paid its CO2 debt, it's charged on solar and off peak hydro, and has cost less the A$400 in supercharging.

Show me any ICE car out there that has driving 34,000 km and only cost A$400 in petrol!