Upgraded Tesla Model 3 wins winter range test in -20°C (-4°F) weather

Credit: Tesla Asia/X

While recent news reports may suggest that Teslas are useless in the cold, the results of a winter range test in Europe reveal that the opposite is true. As per a test conducted by the Finnish newspaper Tekniikan Maailma (TM), Tesla’s electric vehicles are among the best-performing electric cars in frigid weather. 

Electric vehicles tested according to the WLTP standard in Europe are tested in a laboratory at a temperature of about +23°C. Common sense would dictate, however, that electric vehicles would lose range during cold weather, just like their combustion-powered counterparts. The Finnish newspaper’s test was then aimed at determining just how far popular electric cars could really go under freezing conditions. 

The weather during the range test was especially cold, with temperatures at about -20°C (-4°F). The test involved ten electric vehicles, such as the upgraded Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor, Volkswagen ID.7 Pro Elegance, BWM i5 eDrive 40 M Sport, BYD Dolphin Comfort, Hyundai Kona Electric 65 kWh Premium, and the MG4 Luxury, among others.

The Finnish newspaper’s test was simple enough, with each vehicle being driven until they could no longer operate. As per the publication, the Hyundai Kona Electric ended up stopping despite still having 7% of its battery left. Other EVs like the MG4 and the Volkswagen ID.7 initiated power-saving measures as their battery drained, with the vehicles cutting off their interior heating at 15% and 10%, respectively.

The upgraded Tesla Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor AWD continued to be drivable despite its battery showing 0%. The vehicle drove over 300 km despite the frigid weather. And while its overall range during the test represented a notable decrease from its estimated WLTP range of 629 km, it was a standout among its peers nonetheless. Ultimately, the upgraded Tesla Model 3 topped the Finnish newspaper’s winter driving test for its overall performance.

Lauri Ahtiainen, the producer of TM‘s electric car operating distance tests, shared a comment about the winter test’s results. “The severe cold has an effect, but in the challenging weather, some of the cars were still able to assess the battery’s sufficiency really well, and some stopped unexpectedly,” Ahtiainen said. 

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Upgraded Tesla Model 3 wins winter range test in -20°C (-4°F) weather
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