White Tesla Model Y cruising on highway at sunset. Production started in Jan 2020, deliveries expected Mar 2020 as per Q4' 2019 Earnings Call.

Tesla Model Y Performance vs. Model 3 Performance EPA range and efficiency comparison

Not so long ago it was that Elon Musk announced the Tesla Model Y has now an EPA range of 315 miles instead of the initial Tesla estimates of 280 miles — I thought let us check out the EPA’s fuel economy/EV efficiency numbers for the Model Y and put them against the Model 3 — surprisingly, the Model Y is more efficient than the Model 3.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s fuel economy website currently only lists the ‘Tesla Model Y Performance AWD’ variant for efficiency and range numbers, so I ran a comparison with all the three available Tesl Model 3 Performance variants with 18″, 19″, and 20″ wheels.

The default config for the Model Y Performance is with the 19″ Gemini Wheels but Tesla offers an optional ‘Performance Upgrade’ package at no additional cost that although increases the top-speed from 145 mph to 155 mph reduces the range back to 280 miles (see animated GIF from the Tesla configurator below) — certainly EPA did not include this upgrade package when publishing the range and efficiency figures.

The optional Performance Upgrade kit includes the following goodies:

  • 21’’ Überturbine Wheels
  • Performance Brakes
  • Lowered suspension
  • Aluminum alloy pedals
Animated GIF: Tesla Model Y Performance - range and other metrics with and without the 'Performance Upgrade' package.
Animated GIF: Tesla Model Y Performance - range and other metrics with and without the 'Performance Upgrade' package.
Tesla Model Y Performance vs. Tesla Model 3 Performance EPA range and efficiency numbers.
Tesla Model Y Performance vs. Tesla Model 3 Performance EPA range and efficiency numbers.
Aftermarket Tesla Accessories by EVANNEX

Although the combined city/highway efficiency numbers of 121 MPGe (Miles Per Gallon equivalent) for the Model Y Performance with 19″ wheels and Model 3 Performance with 18″ wheels are the same but still the Model Y beats the 3 in city driving resourcefulness.

With the same sized wheels i.e. 19″, the Model Y compact electric SUV has 10 more miles to deliver than the smaller Model 3 sedan in the city, yes 129 miles vs. 119 miles respectively, for the highway, both cars have the same 112 miles MPGe.

According to the EPA website, the average 2020 vehicle gets a 27 MPG, which means a Model Y Performance give at least +94 miles of driving range with the same amount of energy used by an internal combustion vehicle btw Model Y Performance is actually less efficient than the RWD standard range variant that is due to go in production early 2021.

Tesla Model Y‘s increased efficiency is achieved due to Tesla’s constant refinement of the car’s engineering and design, it can be partly credited to the new 100-meter wiring harness that has reduced hundreds of meters of wiring needed and optimized the loss of electrons in the system — Tesla CEO Elon Musk discussed this in the Q4′ 2019 earnings call when announcing the new Tesla Model Y 315 miles range.

Tesla Model Y is also the most efficient electric SUV produced yet, rivals like the Jaguar I-Pace, Audi e-tron, Ford Mach-E, and Mercedes EQC currently don’t stand a chance vs the Model Y in this department.

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Iqtidar Ali
[email protected]

Iqtidar Ali reports on the latest happenings at Tesla and Electric Vehicle forefront. With over 1 decade of experience in website development, he's our IT resource as well.

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Mavin Swapp
Mavin Swapp

Numbers seem to be off. All M3 and MY Teslas have 75kwhr batteries so the kwhr/100miles for the MY would be 75kwhr/3.15 = 23.8 kwhr/100 miles. And the M3 19″ would be 75/3.22= 23.3 kwhr/100 miles.