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Tesla Model 3 Winter Performance & Range in Snow

white model 3 winter snow performance

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range, according to Tesla’s website, is rated to have a range of 518 kilometers (321 miles). Keep in mind that these numbers were obtained by testing the Model 3 in California where they have near perfect weather conditions with warm weather. The average winter range would be lower if you purchase the Standard Range Tesla Model 3 which is estimated to get 402 kilometers (249 miles) of range in perfect conditions.

We know that the Tesla Model S and Model X have both been known to have exceptional performance in winter conditions. But how does the newer and smaller Tesla Model 3 perform in winter? Both Tesla Model 3 vehicles used in these tests were AWD (all wheel drive) with Bjorn Nyland using the Tesla Model 3 Performance and Now You Know using the Long Range version.

Tesla Model 3 Winter Range

According to Bjorn Nyland who does numerous tests and experiments with Tesla vehicles in regards to performance, range and capacity, the Tesla Model 3 get considerable performance even in winter. The Model 3 specs of the vehicle he’s testing and road conditions were:

  • Tesla Model 3 Performance
  • 20 inch wheels
  • Nokian Hakkapeliitta R3 stud-less tires
  • 5 degrees Celsius (41 Fahrenheit)
  • Wet roads and sunny skies
Tesla Model 3 Performance Winter Range Tested by Bjorn Nyland

The Tesla Model 3 Performance gets a confirmed range of 433 kilometers (269 miles) at an average speed of 90km per hour (55mph). Even at 120km per hour (74mph) which in cold temperatures is quite fast, the Model 3 gets an estimated 339km (211 miles) of range. There are no electric vehicles currently on the market that compare to the range and performance of the Model 3 at this price point. This speak volumes to the energy density that Tesla batteries have over other electric vehicles and demonstrates the efficiency even in winter temperatures.

The YouTube channel duo ‘Now You Know’ has also tested the Model 3 in North America. The specs of the Model 3 and road conditions were:

  • Long Range 75Kwh Model 3
  • 19 inch sport wheels
  • 0 degrees Celsius (32 Fahrenheit)
  • With heat on
Now You Know testing the Long Range Tesla Model 3

They confirmed a range of 420 kilometers (261 miles) in the Tesla Model 3. Interestingly, they did the same test on the way back but with only the seat heaters on and the heat off this time. By doing so they increased the range by a massive 75 kilometers (47 miles). Keep in mind that differences in terrain elevation may also be a slight factor. This averaged out to 442 kilometers (275 miles) which is comparable to Bjorn Nyland’s test of 433 kilometers (269 miles) using the Performance Tesla Model 3.

Extreme Cold Tesla Model 3 Winter Range & Performance

Tesla Model 3 Winter Range in Extreme Cold

Zac & Jesse from Now You Know also tested the Tesla Model 3 range in extreme cold. This time the weather conditions were:

  • -12 degrees Celsius (10 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • cold battery (not preheated)
  • with heat on

In the second trip it was much colder with slightly different conditions to push it even harder:

  • -14 degrees Celsius (6 degrees Fahrenheit) descending into -16 degrees Celsius (3 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • warm preheated battery
  • traveling a total of 189 kilometers (118 miles)

This time they achieved a range of 325 kilometers (202 miles) even in these colder temperatures at night. Once would think that day/night wouldn’t affect range but at night when it gets colder tires have less grip on the roads which affect range of all electric vehicles. During the day when its slightly warmer, even by a few degrees, this can have a measurable affect on EV range.

If we calculate the average winter range using 3 tests (1 from Europe, 2 from North America) all in a variable ranges of cold winter temperatures, the average winter range of a Tesla Model 3 is 392.5 kilometers (243.5 miles). This is including mild winter conditions and extreme cold winter conditions which provide a broader perspective of what real world mileage would look like.

The Tesla website also has their own Winter Driving Tips for owners with really helpful information. This includes things like:

  • How to Schedule & Precondition your vehicle before driving
  • How to conserve energy while driving
  • How to prevent ice build up when expecting bad winter weather
  • How to defrost your Tesla
  • How to clear important surfaces like mirrors, door handles, sensors, cameras and frozen charge ports

The winter range and performance of the Tesla Model 3 make it an ideal EV for cold winter climates but it has even more features that add to it’s winter capability. The low center of gravity (due to the position of the battery underneath the vehicle) and weight keeps the Model 3 more stable on the roads compared to conventional gas powered vehicles. The AWD system in the Model 3 provides greater traction and extended range, both of which are key features to have in the winter. In addition, the safety features that the Tesla Model 3 comes equipped with all add up to multiple 5 star safety ratings.


Jacob Haust

With a passion for design, electric vehicles, engineering and the environment, Jacob is combining his interests to help make the world a more sustainable place for generations to come. He went to University for Industrial Design where he understood materials, processes and manufacturing. This is a key part as a designer in order to understand what can and can't be done when manufacturing with certain materials and what materials to choose when designing for specific applications. So he has a fairly deep understanding of materials used in everyday products and the processes used to make them. As a kid he also lived in Iceland for years where he toured geothermal power plants and gained an appreciation for the engineering and sustainability of this energy source.

jacob haust


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