Now in its fifth year, the Tesla Model 3 has sold over a million units, making it the world’s bestselling electric vehicle (EV) of all time. This tesla car model is the company's third release overall and first attempt at a mass-market sedan. It is being reinvented for 2023 with an eye towards reducing production cost and MSRP. While in 2022 Tesla sold more Model Ys (its crossover SUV model) than Model 3s, the sedan continues to be one of the 10 bestselling vehicle models globally.
In 2022, Tesla once again improved the mile range on each Model 3 trim level: 272 miles for the rear-wheel drive (RWD) model, 315 for all-wheel (AWD) drive, 358 for the long range. More importantly, the Model 3 outperformed all the other best-selling electric vehicles in the US in fuel economy, going 100 miles on 25kWh of charge. With all of these perks, you may ask, "How much to charge a Tesla Model 3 to maximize the mile range?" Read on to find out.
The amount of charge you give your Tesla Model 3 depends on charger speed and battery capacity. This table gives you a sense of how long you will need to charge your Tesla Model 3, and below it we explain what goes into those numbers.
If you already own an electric car, you likely know that not all EV charging options are created equal. The EV charger that comes with every Tesla Model 3 plugs into your standard 120V household outlet. Called a Level 1—or “trickle”—charger, these chargers add relatively little range to the car’s batteries per hour of charge. The Model 3 come standard with a NEMA (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) 5-15 adapter, but you can buy a NEMA 5-20 adapter if you have any 5-20 outlets. Even with the NEMA 5-20 adapter, recharging from empty to 80% is going to take at least 24 hours. That’s why most Tesla drivers opt for a Level 2 charger.
Level 2 chargers use 240V outlets and a wall connector to charge the Tesla Model 3 close to seven times faster than Level 1 chargers. This fast charging is especially effective if you have a 48A Level 2 charger like Enel X Way’s JuiceBox 48. These home chargers are as fast as the first generation of Tesla Superchargers, allowing you to fully charge the RWD and Performance AWD Model 3s in seven hours and change. That guarantees a full charge every morning if you plug your Tesla in at night.
Level 2 chargers use 240V outlets to charge the Tesla Model 3 close to seven times faster than Level 1 chargers. That’s especially true if you have a 48A Level 2 charger like Enel X Way’s JuiceBox 48. These home chargers are as fast as the first generation of Tesla Superchargers, allowing you to fully charge the RWD and Performance AWD Model 3s in seven hours and change. That guarantees a full charge every morning if you plug your Tesla in at night.
Beyond Level 2 chargers are Level 3 Chargers like the Enel X Way’s JuicePump 175kW (a.k.a.“DC fast chargers” or “Superchargers”), which use direct current (DC) as opposed to alternating current (AC) to charge anywhere from 8-16 times faster than Level 2 chargers. Unlike Level 2 chargers, which you’ll find at home and in public (e.g., offices, supermarkets, gyms, malls, municipal buildings), because Level 3 chargers operate at anywhere from 50 to 250 kW, they are exclusively available commercially in public. They can refill a Tesla’s car battery in a matter of minutes—not hours—especially the 250 kW Superchargers.
Unlike the gas tank in an internal-combustion engine vehicle (ICEV), your Tesla Model 3’s battery pack doesn’t refill at the same rate from beginning to end. Indeed, it can take about twice as long to charge from 80% to 100% as it does to charge from 60% to 80%.
Your Model 3 battery charges by using electricity to draw lithium ions from a positively charged lithium plate into a negatively charged graphite plate, where they’re stored until your car needs power. The more lithium ions the batteries store in the negatively charged graphite plates, the more electricity the batteries need to find the remaining ions, thus reducing charging speed.
Tesla’s 2023 sales forecasts for the Model 3 are bullish, in line with aggregated reports that 1.5 million new EVs will be sold in 2022 globally, and projections of 1.7 million new electric vehicle sales in 2023. This will put hundreds of thousands of new electric vehicle drivers on the road in North America within the next year alone. The outlook for 2030 is equally impressive: 60% of vehicles sold globally will be EVs.
As the electric car industry rapidly replaces gas-powered vehicles, fast and cost-efficient charging will become a daily consideration for the average EV driver. Supercharging is fast—although not yet as fast as filling a gas tank—but it will never surpass the ease of plugging in the car when you get home and getting back in to a fully-fueled vehicle the next morning.
For individual homeowners, getting a Level 2 smart charger like the JuiceBox 48 is the best way to optimize convenience, charging costs and control. Only smart chargers enable you to schedule charging for times when power costs less per kWh and participate in cost-saving programs like demand response with your utility.
The value of investing in Level 2 smart charging is the same for organizations interested in installing Level 2 or Level 3 chargers at their business: electric vehicle drivers want access to a charging station where they’re already going to be. Whether you run a hotel looking to attract more guests, a commercial real estate firm with multifamily properties aiming to charge a rent premium or retain high quality tenants, or a business hoping to draw employees or customers, Level 2 or Level 3 smart chargers futureproof your business and help you stand out.
Utilities can also benefit tremendously from investing in the Level 2 smart charger network. As power demand patterns change with increasing electrification and renewables coming onto the grid, utilities need nuanced, quickly deployable, flexible demand management tools. Electric vehicles' substantial battery packs can quickly pull power off the grid (by suspending charging) or put it on the grid through bidirectional charging.
In aggregate, these effects can be enormous: just over 600,000 JuiceBox 48 smart chargers (which would service 2% of California’s registered passenger cars) could provide the same power to the grid as all of California’s peaker plant capacity—the power plants California utilities rely on to prevent blackout amidst severe grid strain.