January 19, 2021
Tesla is no longer the EV sales top dog in Western Europe, report says

Tesla Model 3 gains 13 MPGe boost in latest EPA estimates


Tesla Model 3

Efficient? You bet.


Tesla

Tesla may not operate like a traditional automaker, but it’s clearly doing something right because the Model 3 is even more efficient than before. The Environmental Protection Agency’s latest miles per gallon equivalent ratings for the Model 3 Long Range show the sedan now returns 134 MPGe. That’s up from 121 MPGe previously.

Although Tesla doesn’t use standard model years, the EPA still sorts its cars that way, so for our purposes, we’ll use the same method. The 2021 Model 3 now in production grows more efficient, while at the same time extending its estimated range rating. Earlier this month, the automaker announced the Model 3 Long Range electric sedan will now go a whopping 353 miles, thanks to a new heat pump and other upgrades. The Model 3 Standard Range does 263 miles these days, while the Model 3 Performance goes an estimated 315 miles.

Range is one thing, but how efficiently the car consumes the battery pack’s energy is another. Miles per gallon equivalent estimates the efficiency of EVs just as it describes. While we look at how many miles a car powered by an internal-combustion engine goes on a single gallon of gas, MPGe goes by how many miles the car can travel on kilowatt hours. There are more numbers and formulas involved, but that’s all you really need to know. The better an automaker deploys the precious kWh its battery supplies, the more efficient it is; this returns a better MPGe rating.

Tesla today is well ahead of the EV pack. Two prominent rivals, the Polestar 2 and Volvo XC40 Recharge, for example, only return 92 and 79 MPGe estimates on average. Clearly Tesla remains hard at work because even the Model Y sees a slight MPGe improvement despite production just starting this year. The first Model Y SUVs return an estimated 121 MPGe, while the EPA rates the latest vehicles at 125 MPGe.

In everyday use, the range you get depends on your driving style too. We have a saying for that: “Your mileage may vary.” Stomp on the accelerator over and over and you’re not being very efficient, whether you’re burning gasoline or sucking up electrons from a battery pack. Nevertheless, there’s no denying Tesla still sits atop rivals when it comes to EV efficiency.


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