In-depth reviews

Tesla Model 3 review – MPG and running costs

The cost of running an EV is almost entirely dependant on circumstances, but remains a boon with electric cars

Electric car efficiency numbers might often promote overall range rather than MPG as a defining factor, but like their petrol compatriots, electric cars also use energy at different rates from each other based on a Wh/mile (Watt-per-mile) rating. Like with MPG ratings, these numbers are greatly affected by the conditions, (weather particularly in electric cars) but are useful as a standardised comparison. At its most efficient, the Model 3 Standard Range Plus uses electricity at a rate of 251Wh/m, while both dual-motor cars use electricity at more like 291Wh/m. For comparison, the BMW i3 and i3S use only slightly more electricity per mile at 298Wh/m, but then they are both rear-wheel drive and only feature the one electric motor.

> ‘2020’ Tesla Roadster delayed by Covid-19

More stark is the advantage the Model 3 has over smaller rivals, such as the Nissan Leaf (324Wh/M) and Kia e-Niro (301Wh/m). It’s the sheer inefficiency of the big European SUVs that shocks most though, with the Jaguar I-Pace using 443Wh/m and the Audi E-tron a whopping 455Wh/m. The 3-ton-plus Tesla Model X Performance uses 396Wh/m for context. Charging a Model 3 is also less of a cost-free experience than its bigger siblings, with Tesla’s Supercharger network on a cost-per-use basis for all Model 3s, while charging at home can vary widely based on a whole variety of factors.

Actual running costs will still be remarkably low considering the performance though, and maintenance will also be low thanks to the electric motor’s lack of moving parts. Peel apart the innards of an AMG hot-V V8 and you’ll realise how simple an electric motor is in comparison – something that’s surely in the Tesla’s favour in the long run, regardless of actual build quality.

Recommended

Mercedes-AMG EQS coming to rebooted Munich motor show as first all-electric AMG
Mercedes EQE teaser
Mercedes EQ

Mercedes-AMG EQS coming to rebooted Munich motor show as first all-electric AMG

This will be joined by the new EQE, GT 4-Door E Performance and more as Mercedes go on a new offensive
29 Jul 2021
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition makes UK debut
Ford Mustang Mach-E GT
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E GT Performance Edition makes UK debut

Flagship 480bhp Ford Mustang Mach-E GT priced from nearly £70k to rival Kia EV6 GT
10 Jul 2021
Vauxhall to go full electric by 2028
Opel Manta GSe restomod
Vauxhall

Vauxhall to go full electric by 2028

EV push to be headlined by new all-electric take on the iconic Opel Manta
9 Jul 2021
Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback – UK pricing announced
Audi Q4 e-tron Sportback – front tracking
Audi

Audi Q4 e-tron and Q4 e-tron Sportback – UK pricing announced

The Q4 e-tron is Audi’s adaption of the Group’s MEB platform, and it starts from £40,750
5 Jul 2021

Most Popular

Litchfield Toyota GR Yaris 2021 review – superstar hatchback picks up expert UK-tuning
Litchfield Toyota GR Yaris – front cornering
Toyota GR Yaris

Litchfield Toyota GR Yaris 2021 review – superstar hatchback picks up expert UK-tuning

Litchfield’s been fiddling with Toyota’s brilliant GR Yaris with predictably fantastic results
31 Jul 2021
Range-topping Honda NSX Type S coming to Pebble Beach
Honda NSX Type S – burnout
Honda NSX

Range-topping Honda NSX Type S coming to Pebble Beach

It’s the end of the line for Honda’s pioneering NSX, but it’s going out with a bang
3 Aug 2021
New Audi RS3 laps Nürburgring in 7:40.74
Audi RS3 Nurburgring
Audi RS3

New Audi RS3 laps Nürburgring in 7:40.74

The all-new Audi RS3 has hit the Nürburgring, achieving the fastest time in the compact class
3 Aug 2021