Technology

Tesla Model 3: 1,000 Km Challenge In 10 Hours In Blistering Cold

Bjørn Nayland, an EV enthusiast from Norway, recently completed the Tesla Model 3 1,000 km challenge in around 10 hours. Not to mention the entire ride took place in the blistering cold, which, as we’ll see, impacted the final timing of this challenge.

Bjørn runs his own YouTube channel and has a history of performing long-range and efficiency tests on electric cars. Prior to the Tesla Model 3 1,000 km challenge, Bjørn tested Hyundai Kona and MG ZS EV on a hypermiling challenge, which is a form of slow driving meant to maximize the battery range.

However, the 1,000 km challenge was performed at lightning speed, as Bjørn maintained an average speed of 120 km/h throughout the run.

Here’s the video of the test.

Tesla Model 3 1,000 km Challenge

Bjørn loves naming his cars. He had named his MG ZS EV as Doraemon and he calls his Tesla Model 3 MC Hammer. At the start of the video, he mentions that earlier he had completed 700 km in 17 hours in Thailand because the region has no performance EVs like Tesla Model 3 and no fast-charging infrastructure.

Bjørn wanted to show that with the right electric car and fast-charging stations, traveling 1,000 km is as easy as it’d be in a fossil fuel car. He began his journey with around 95% state of charge and has a range of more than 430 km. The battery cell temperature of his Tesla Model 3 was 32.8-degree Celsius while the outside temperature was 7 degrees Celsius.

He began his journey by heading towards jörlanda/Stora höga. The average consumption of his Tesla Model 3 remained between 200-270 Wh/km, which is great in terms of efficiency.

During the first leg of his journey, the Tesla Autopilot on his Model 3 wasn’t functioning because something was blocking his camera. However, Autopilot didn’t matter much because this test was simply about completing 1,000 km in a short time as possible.

Speaking of time, Bjørn tried to save every minute by planning his charging route on the basis of Tesla Supercharger and Ionity charger availability. But here’s where he hit a minor unexpected halt.

On almost all chargers, Bjørn’s Tesla Model 3 was only available to charge at a rate slower than usual. He blamed the blistering cold for the slow charging rate using fast-chargers as his Model 3 consumed extra power only to power afterburners in order to maintain battery cell temperature.

What remained really interesting was the average consumption. Even when Bjørn was hammering his Tesla Model 3 at barely legal highway speeds, his electric car averaged 260 Wh/km of consumption. For reference, the MG ZS EV averaged 145 Wh/km even while traveling at 37 km/h, whereas the Model 3 is way bigger and was doing triple-digit speed throughout the first stretch.

At one of the Level 2 Tesla Superchargers, Bjørn’s Tesla Model 3 was charging at the rate of 120 kW. He explained that the afterburners were taking an extra 7.5 kW from the charging station to warm the battery.

Bjørn also informed his audience of a trick to get a faster charging rate. He said that its best to arrive at a fast-charging station with 10% of charge. In this way, the car will get a good charging speed and during the charging session the battery will heat up simultaneously.

If you arrive with a higher state of charge, let’s say 25%, then the battery will get too heated up and the charging speed will start to thermal throttle.

In the end, Bjørn completed his 1,000 km challenge precisely in 10 and a half hours. He reckoned that if the conditions were a bit warm, he’d have finished the Tesla Model 3 1,000 km challenge, well below the 10-hour mark.

Recommendations For Next Tesla Software Update

Bjørn put forward his request that Tesla should offer a way to pre-heat the battery manually, before charging it up. This would avoid the extra consumption taken up by the electric motor and would provide faster charging.

Bjørn once left his Tesla Model 3 in a snowstorm for 22 days, only to see that the car lost just about 10% of the charge. However, due to the battery cell temperature being really low, some of the available range in his battery was locked.

This shows that Tesla makes amazing batteries with great optimization. Therefore, a manual option to heat up the battery would be really appreciated.

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