cost of recharging and autonomy over a long journey of 850 km

If for everyday life, electric vehicles pose no problem, during long journeys, the fear of too little autonomy sometimes slows down the purchase of an electric car. We will see what it can do with one of the references on the market: the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion.

Source: Anthony Wonner – Frandroid

In this new series, we show you how long journeys take place with an electric car in particular. Today, it is the queen of electric sedans that sticks to it: the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion.

We are going to use this Tesla Model 3 Propulsion as a standard meter for our comparison for long trips, where we will always use the same rules of the game: the start will be at 100% battery, the finish at 20%, and the vehicle will have to drive at the limit speeds.

We will first recall the characteristics of the vehicle, so that we have in mind the promises of the manufacturer, before taking care of the planning of the journey itself.

We will of course examine the costs, but also the duration of recharging and possible detours, to draw up an assessment of the long journeys with the chosen electric car. Without further ado, let’s see together how the long journeys go in Tesla Model 3 Propulsion.

The characteristics of the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion (2022)

The Tesla Model 3 was the queen of electrics in 2021 in France, and it is the entry-level that interests us today, namely the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion. We tested it when it arrived in France, and it must be recognized that it has everything necessary to be able to hit the road without the slightest problem.

Equipped with a 60 kWh battery, the WLTP autonomy announced by Tesla varies according to the rims between 491 and 510 kilometers on the WLTP cycle. Of course, in real conditions, and a fortiori on the highway at 130 km/h, the autonomy will be much lower.

Tesla Model 3 RWD 2022 –  9
The Tesla Model 3 Propulsion charging on an Ionity terminal // Source: Bob JOUY for Frandroid

The maximum charging speed is around 175 kW for this Tesla Model 3 Propulsion, but keep in mind that this power will only be reached briefly.and will drop as the battery fills.

Tesla’s big advantage lies in its network of Superchargers, which allow you to travel the roads of Europe in complete peace of mind, and the CCS Combo 2 port of the Model 3 Propulsion ensures that it can recharge wherever fast charging is available. For our long journeys, we will then accept to recharge ourselves with different charging operators: Tesla, Ionity, Fastned or TotalEnergies when relevant.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at the different routes that we are going to simulate with the famous application A Better Route Planner which takes into account the characteristics of each car and the route to know the energy consumption and the charging needs as well as the travel time. .

Route planning

Before starting our long journeys, we will fully fill the 60 kWh battery of the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion at home (with a price per kilowatt hour in France of 0.17 euro), which will cost us 10.20 euros. This cost will be taken into account when we take stock of the routes below.

We will focus on two typical journeys, with the first of about 530 kilometers which will correspond to a summer vacation : departure from Orléans in Loiret, and arrival at Arcachon in Gironde.

The second will simulate a winter vacationwhich is generally more difficult for electric vehicles due to weather conditions and the elevation gain: departure from Caen in Normandy, and arrival in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc in Haute-Savoie, for a total of 850 kilometers.

For the summer route, the parameters indicated in A Better Route Planner are as follows: 25 degrees Celsius outside temperature, no wind, arrival at a charging station with 10% battery remaining, and arrival at destination at 20% . For the winter trip, it’s essentially the same, apart from the weather, where we chose a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius.

The balance sheet of the different routes

Hassle-free summer vacation

Fast chargers are not lacking on the Paris-Bordeaux axis, and A Better Route Planner offers us two different choices, always with about thirty minutes of charging in total. The first possibility takes advantage of Ionity and the network of Tesla Superchargers, with a 5-minute charge in Poitiers (Ionity, 10 kWh) and a 25-minute charge in Angoulême (Tesla, 36 kWh) via the national A10, without adding any additional travel time.

A second possibility consisting of traveling the A10 motorway will require adding a charge, but while maintaining the same total charging time, with 5 minutes still in Poitiers (Ionity or Tesla, 10 kWh), then 12 minutes near Niort (Ionity, 21 kWh), and finally 13 minutes in Saugon (Ionity, 25 kWh) using a total of 10 kWh more, due to the higher speed on the motorway than via the main road.

ABRP Orleans Arcachon Tesla Model 3 Propulsion
Source: Abetterrouteplanner

In either case, if the recharge time does not change, the amount of energy to pay will be different. 46 kWh in the first case, against 56 kWh in the second, and from July 2022, Ionity like Tesla will charge for the amount of energy used and not for the time spent. There will therefore be a financial interest in favoring the first option, especially since there will be fewer tolls.

Considering the price of Superchargers (0.50 euro per kilowatt hour) at the time of writing these lines, and of Ionity (0.69 euro per kilowatt hour from July 2022), the costs will be between 26 and 39 euros depending on the choice of route. The expected average consumption is displayed at 188 Wh/km, or 18.80 kilowatt hours per 100 kilometers in the case of the motorway journey.

As we can see, on a 4h40 journey, it will take a total of 30 minutes to stop to recharge.

An equally easy winter

You are probably aware that winter is a more difficult period for all electric cars, and consumption will tend to soar. This does not seem to pose any particular problem for the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion, which surfs the Ionity network and the Tesla Superchargers on our Caen-Chamonix route.

Not less than 5 recharges will be necessary to arrive safely, but none will exceed 30 minutes. The total charging time to travel the approximately 850 kilometers in winter conditions is displayed on 1h42 for 7h33 of road.

ABRP Caen Chamonix Tesla Model 3 Propulsion
Source: Abetterrouteplanner

The first recharge is at the Buchelay Supercharger (14 minutes, 22 kWh), the second on the Ionity network in Nemours (22 minutes, 34 kWh), then the Avallon Supercharger (28 minutes, 39 kWh), Ionity in Mâcon ( 25 minutes, 36 kWh) and finally the Archamps Supercharger (14 minutes, 26 kWh).

In total, it will therefore have been necessary to recharge 157 kilowatt hours, and at the rates of Superchargers and Ionity (respectively 0.50 and 0.69 euro per kilowatt hour), this therefore amounts to 92 euros to pay for these 850 kilometers, starting at 100% and ending at 20%. Finally, note that for this trip, the estimated consumption is displayed at 235 Wh / km or 23.50 kWh per 100 kilometers, or 25% more than during the summer trip.

Consumption, cost of recharging and range

We summarize the costs and charging times (including charging at home at 10.20 euros) in the table below, and you will be able to visualize as we go along with our examples where the vehicle you are interested in is located. compared to others on a similar route.


You will notice that when counting fast charges and home charging, the cost per 100 kilometers for long journeys in a Tesla Model 3 Propulsion varies between 7.5 and 12 euros between summer and winter and depending on the journey. This corresponds to the cost of a thermal car which would consume between 4 and 6 liters per 100 kilometers, if we consider the price of a liter of gasoline at two euros.

This cost can be reduced if you opt for theIonity Passport offer, which lowers the cost per kWh at Ionity to 0.35 euro. But in exchange, you will have to pay 17.99 euros per month, with a 12-month commitment, or 215.88 euros to be paid annually. It will then be appropriate to use this offer if you plan to charge more than 635 kWh per year at Ionity, which corresponds to approximately two round trips of 1,000 kilometers.

The charging time is to be taken into account during these long journeys, but it is possible to limit breaks to less than 30 minutes, even in the middle of winter and when conditions are difficult. However, it is possible to extend a load to allow you to have enough energy to stop further than planned, if for example you want to make a long load coincide with a meal break.

Tesla model 3 Propulsion-7
Source: Anthony Wonner – Frandroid

On the contrary, to save a few minutes, it is possible to aim for an arrival at each loader of less than 10%, but that will depend on your acceptance of the risk of riding with very little battery left. In fact, if you only have a few kWh left in your battery, there must be no last-minute unforeseen events, otherwise the probability of running out of fuel could become very high. However, some cars have a “reserve” beyond the reserve, which means that there is still some power left at 0% battery.

Anyway, the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion, which is the entry-level of the American manufacturer, shows that it has major advantages over competitors, and this is found in long journeys. It does not consume a lot, charges relatively quickly, and benefits from the network of Tesla Superchargers in addition to the other networks open to all. It will undoubtedly be a benchmark to beat on these long journeys.

If you find the breaks too long in Model 3 Propulsion, the Long Range version should please you more, with its 80 kWh battery and its 250 kW charging power. See you in a next episode!

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