Is the entry-level Tesla any better?
The most recent charging test of the Tesla Model 3 SR+ version raised a lot of interest. Today, we will check out how it compares against the Volkswagen ID.3 with a 62 kWh battery, analyzed previously.
The ID.3 with a 62 kWh is the closest EV competitor for which we already collected fast charging data (more comparisons of various other cars to follow). It’s a modern MEB-based car, with a battery capacity about 13-17% higher than in SR+, depending on the version/estimation (53 kWh or so in 2020 or 55 kWh or so in 2021).
The thing we would like to see is whether Tesla Model 3 SR+ has an edge over a major mainstream EV model in Europe.
Comparison of charging power
Let’s start with the charging curve. In the case of 2021 Model 3 SR+, the curve is different in the beginning (up to about 35% SOC), but later it looks similar to ID.3. Tesla offers higher power (160-170 kW peak) in the lower state-of-charge range, while the ID.3 is capped at 100 kW.
In the case of the 2020 SR+ version, the overall performance is better up to about 75% SOC.
The average in the 20-80% SOC range is similar between the cars. Volkswagen ID.3 gets 70 kW, which is over 9% better than 2021 Model 3 SR+ and 15% below 2020 Model 3 SR+.
Because of the smaller battery capacity, a similar shape and average values indicates that Tesla Model 3 SR+ still has an advantage over Volkswagen ID.3, but it’s not something groundbreaking.
Comparison of C-rate
The lower battery capacity in Tesla Model 3 SR+ means that the pack is under a higher load than in the case of Volkswagen ID.3. Especially in the first part.
Comparison of State-of-charge (SOC) vs time
A higher charging power (on average) and lower battery capacity translated into a much faster charging of the 2020 Tesla Model 3 SR+. The difference is at least several minutes, up to about 10 minutes.
In the case of 2021 SR+ tested by Bjorn Nyland, despite the average charging power being lower, the car also charges quicker because it has a lower battery capacity. The difference is however smaller (at higher SOC, the ID.3 is quicker).
In other words, Tesla Model 3 SR+ still wins.
*The starting points were adjusted to the lowest common SOC. Chart only for illustrative purpose with not very high accuracy.
Comparison of range replenishing speed
Finally, the comparison of range replenishing speed, assuming the WLTP range ratings of 448 km (278 miles) for 2021 Model 3 SR+, 409 km (254 miles) for 2020 Model 3 SR+ and 420 km (261 miles) for ID.3 Pro (62 kWh, RWD).
Because Tesla Model 3 is so efficient, it has a similar or higher range than the ID.3, which directly translates to a higher rate of range replenishing.
In other words, from the consumer perspective, it will charge faster (less time to add range).
The advantage in this regard has decreased in the new 2021 SR+ version, but it’s still 12% in the 20-80% SOC range. The previous SR+ was adding range at over 35% quicker rate on average.
|DC Fast Charging Comparison by InsideEVs|
|2020 Tesla Model 3 SR+|
|170 kW||82 kW||3.2||1.5||11.4 km/min|
|2020 Volkswagen ID.3 (62 kWh RWD)|
|100 kW||70 kW||1.6||1.1||8.4 km/min|
|2021 Tesla Model 3 SR+|
|159 kW||64 kW||2.9||1.2||9.4 km/min|
According to the data that we collected, Tesla Model 3 SR+ has a small edge over Volkswagen ID.3 (62 kWh). It charges at a similar average power level, despite having lower battery capacity.
High efficiency/range translates into a higher rate of range replenishing (less time on a charging station). This difference might be noticeable by customers (especially in 2020 SR+).
* Some values on the charts are estimated from the data source.
** Temperature of the battery cells might highly negatively affect charging capabilities. We don’t have data about temperatures of the battery at the beginning and during the charging process. In cold or hot weather, as well as after driving very dynamically, charging power might be significantly lower than shown on the charts (in extreme cases charging might be impossible until the battery temperature will not return to an acceptable level).
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