In September 2021, Tesla started shipping Model 3 RWD EVs in the United States with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells and owners have to know they require a specific charging behavior.
Whereas in the case of Model 3s equipped with the more common NCA battery pack, Tesla recommends charging to 80% or 90% most of the time and saving the full 100% charge for road trips, for cars equipped with the LFP pack things are slightly different.
Recently, Tesla updated its Model 3 owner’s manual for the US with charging recommendations for cars equipped with LFP batteries. The most important include fully charging to 100% at least once a week and keeping the charge limit set to 100%.
Tesla also says that if a Model 3 RWD with the LFP pack is left parked for more than a week, owners should drive it as they normally would and charge to 100% at their earliest convenience.
Obviously, people are curious how this works in real life, so videos started popping up where owners talk about battery degradation and charging behavior. In one such video from the ChargeGo YouTube channel, the owner explains that initially he charged the battery to 100% whenever he could.
However, not having a home charger made it difficult for him to charge to 100% every single day, but ever since a charger was installed at his workplace, he says he has been charging to 100% three to five times a week. That is super convenient and falls within Tesla’s recommendations.
What about battery degradation, then? Well, having driven the car for about 5,800 miles (9,300 kilometers), the user noticed no degradation whatsoever.
The range on a full charge dropped from 253 miles (407 km) when new in summer 2021 to about 248 miles (399 km) the following winter. The range loss is insignificant and he largely attributes it to the fact that he removed the aero caps from the wheels at one point (with the range dropping to 250 miles after that) and the cold weather.
Overall, this owner says he’s very happy with the LFP battery and recommends other owners to charge to 100% as often as they can and not let the car at a very low state of charge for a long period of time.
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