Tesla Model 3 Overview Updated November 9, 2021

Tesla Model 3 guide: the cheapest Tesla to date

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December 2014 - September 2022

Tesla Model 3

As the most affordable EV in the Tesla’s current lineup, the Model 3 has become the best-selling electric vehicle in the world to date, and has helped pushed its creator over the top as the name to beat to the EV market. Below is a guide outlining everything you need to know about the Tesla Model 3 including its history, how much it costs to buy, and even what it’ll (roughly) cost to charge.

The Model 3 – the most affordable Tesla

Even during the early success of Tesla’s Model S and Model X, CEO Elon Musk was publicly focused on the automaker’s goal of delivering an EV for $35,000 that more consumers could afford to drive.

That goal came to fruition in 2016, when Tesla officially announced its new Model 3 sedan, which debuted on the automaker’s third-generation platform now present on both the Model 3 and Model Y.

Some of the early speculation surrounding the Model 3 is quite funny to look back on. There’s a step into the time portal before the world set its eyes on Tesla’s cheapest model:

After receiving over 130,000 reservations in the first 24 hours,Tesla’s most affordable model began delivering to consumers in July 2017.

Since then, it has zoomed past the rest of the market in terms of sales, alongside a refresh in 2021.You can learn more about the 2021 refresh from the Electrek team here:

The Model 3 currently sits as the best-selling BEV on the planet, and continues its reign as Tesla’s top seller year after year.

So what does the current Tesla Model 3 offer, and at what cost? Everything you need to know to get up to speed has been compiled for you below.

Specs

The Model 3 currently comes in three separate trims: a single-motor RWD powertrain in the Standard Range Plus, and two dual motor, AWD trims in the Long Range and Performance versions.

These three variations increase in price respectively and can vary based on a number of add-ons, but more on that later. To begin, let’s focus on what each of these trims can get you in terms of performance and range.

The cheapest and most bare bones of Teslas is the Standard Range Plus Model 3 sedan. This single-motor, RWD trim comes with a 50 kWh battery and offers an estimated 263 miles of range, and a top speed of 140 mph. It can also travel 0-60 mph in 5.3 seconds.

The dual motor AWD Long Range Model 3 offers an estimated range of 353 miles, a top speed of 145 mph, and a 0-60 travel time of 4.2 seconds. This trim along with the Performance version comes with a larger 82 kWh battery.

Speaking of which, the dual motor Performance trim loses some mileage compared to the Long Range Model 3, offering an estimated range of 315 miles. However, where it lacks in range, it makes up for in speed, topping out at 162 mph and traveling 0-60 mph in 3.1 seconds (without rollout subtracted).

No matter what trim you choose, the Model 3 comes with seating for up to five, and offers 23 cubic feet of cargo space.

Top speed of the Tesla Model 3

The Model 3 is by no means the fastest of Tesla’s current fleet (although it remains the cheapest option). That being said, this EV still offers sufficient speed for an electric sedan. Here are the top speeds for all three current trims of the Model 3:

  • Standard Range Plus – 140 mph
  • Long Range – 145 mph
  • Performance – 162 mph

How much does a Tesla Model 3 weigh?

This may seem like an odd question, but it’s one we come across a lot. The Standard Range Plus Model 3 weighs 3,582 lbs., while both the Long Range and Performance trims come in at 4,065 lbs.

Tesla Model 3

How much does a Tesla Model 3 cost?

The next question to arise is almost always, How much does this Tesla cost?

Prices vary depending on the trim, cosmetic customizations, and a number of add-ons. To give you the full perspective of what you might pay for a Tesla, we’re going to give you both the high and low end of each variation.

Note: All prices are accurate at the time of this posting and do no include any destination fees, taxes, or federal tax rebates. Let’s begin with the most affordable Model 3, the Standard Range Plus.

This trim starts at a purchase price of $44,990 with zero upgrades, and can go as high as $59,490. The latter price includes every top feature available such as red paint, white interior, 19-inch sport wheels, and full self- driving capabilities.

If you’re looking to drive the cheapest version of the cheapest Tesla, you may have to wait a bit. Tesla recently announced a six month delay on the Standard Range Model 3, now arriving in January of 2022.

The Long Range Model 3 starts at $50,990 and can reach a top end price of $65,490 with all the aforementioned add-ons.

Lastly, the Performance version of the Model 3 starts at $58,990 and reach a top end price of $71,990 including 20″ Überturbine wheels.

Prices vary in the Chinese market, but Tesla has recently lowered the Model 3 price in Asia. Conversely, prices in the US continue to rise alongside the Model Y for the 2022 model year.

Earlier this year, Electrek‘s own Michelle Lewis purchased her very first Tesla, and has documented the entire purchasing process, updating us every couple months following her Model 3 delivery.

Why have Model 3 prices gone up?

Remember that goal mentioned above about delivering a $35,000 EV to the masses? Well, Tesla actually pulled it off, but only for a fleeting moment, likely to give Tesla the credit to say it had in fact hit the price point originally promised by Elon Musk.

In November 2020, Tesla quietly removed this $35,000 option to make room for its 2021 refresh. Prices have continued to fluctuate since then, but have trended upward.

With the 2022 model year versions now for sale, the cheapest Tesla you can buy is the Model 3 for $44,990 before taxes, fees, or rebates. Quite a ways off from the original $35k target.

Fear not, Tesla is still working on a $25k model to debut in the next couple years.

Refreshed interior on the Model 3 / Source: Tesla

How long does it take to charge a Model 3?

Another common question among new or prospective Tesla owners is How long does it take to charge a Tesla? Much like the Model 3 pricing, a number of factors contribute to how quickly you can get your Tesla recharged and back on the road.

First, it’s important to have a clear understanding of EV charging standards and how they vary. From here, you’ll be able to better understand the three levels of charging, and what sort of times you can expect to encounter with your Tesla.

Again, charge times may vary based on these factors, but here’s a broad breakdown of Tesla charge speeds.

  • Level 1 AC (110-120V outlet at home): 20-40 hours
  • AC Level 2 (220-240V – Third party chargers/Tesla chargers/Tesla home charger): 8-12 hours
  • Level 3 DC fast charger (480+ volts – Third party chargers/Tesla Supercharger): 15-25 minutes

When you’re in a pinch or on a road trip, the Tesla Supercharger network is by all means the best choice. However, due to their massive direct current (DC), Superchargers are not recommended for daily charging.

Tesla recommends Level 2 charging at home if possible.

For more information on Tesla’s Supercharger network, check out our detailed guide.

What is the max Supercharging power available on the Model 3?

Tesla’s Superchargers can draw some massive power directly from the grid to help charge your Tesla quickly.

With that said, you’ll want to be aware of what the maximum level of power your Model 3 can handle while charging.

For example, the Standard Range Plus Model 3 has a maximum power of 170 kW, while the other two dual motor trims can handle a max power of 250 kW.

This might call for an over-the-air update to the Model 3 if possible, because Elon Musk has mentioned future Superchargers capable of delivering 300 kW of power.

How much does it cost to charge a Model 3?

Another common question that is not so easily answered is, How much does it cost to charge a Tesla? Again, there are a number of factors that contribute to this approximate number. Everything from what state you live in, to the level of charging, all the way to what time of day it is.

By gathering average residential energy costs in the US from the Energy Information Administration, we are able to share an estimated cost to charge at home on either Level 1 or Level 2 AC charging.

Cost to charge at home

The 50 kWh battery on the Standard Range Plus Model 3 will cost approximately $8.24 to charge from 0 to 100%.

The 82 kWh battery in the other two trims will cost $13.51 on average in the US, while accounting for an 85% charging efficiency (AC charging loses energy in the form of heat by converting it to DC for the EV battery).

In terms of mileage, the Long Range Model 3 equates to about $0.038 per mile and $3.83 for 100 miles of range. The Performance trim costs about $0.043 per mile or $4.39 per 100 miles.

Lastly, the Standard Range Plus Model 3 will cost approximately $0.031 per mile and only $3.13 for 100 miles of range.

Cost to charge on a Supercharger

Since Superchargers pull DC power directly from the grid, they are much more efficient and can lead to lower charging costs alongside much faster speeds.

The 50 kWh battery on the Standard Range Plus Model 3 costs roughly $5.79 to fully charge, while the 82 kWh battery on either of the other two trims totals around $9.49 each.

In terms of mileage, the Standard Range Plus Model 3 costs about $0.022 per mile and $2.20 for 100 miles of range.

The Performance trim costs around $0.030 per mile or $3.01 per 100 miles.

Finally, the Long Range Model 3 is approximately $0.027 per mile on a DCFC, equaling around $2.69 per 100 miles.

Model 3 FAQ

What’s the cheapest Tesla you can buy?

Easy. That would be the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, starting at $44,990 before taxes, fees, or tax rebates.

Can you lease a Tesla Model 3?

Definitely. Check out our Tesla lease guide for the latest terms and prices:
How much is a Tesla lease? Everything you need to know

What’s the closest Tesla to the Model 3?

The Model 3 resembles the Model S because they are both sedans, but it shares a majority of the same DNA with the Model Y, as both sit upon the same platform.

Does the Model 3 come with free unlimited supercharging?

If you’re buying a brand new Model 3, you do not qualify for free unlimited supercharging from Tesla.
Some Performance versions of the Model 3 did come with free unlimited Supercharging for the life of the EV in 2018-2019. With that said, that deal only applied to the original owner of the EV and is non-transferrable.
You can check for yourself here.

Read more:

Tesla Model 3 Stories September 14

Electrek is brought to you by Autonomy.com, the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to get the best prices on a Tesla Model 3 in 2022. If you have a credit card, you can reserve a Tesla now. Learn more and get $500 off for a limited time (See Terms).  

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Tesla Model 3 Stories August 12

Tesla has decided to stop taking new orders for its Model 3 Long Range, one of its most popular models, in the United States and Canada. The automaker has adopted this new business model to avoid creating delivery timelines that are super long for customers.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories August 9

Tesla Model 3 and Model Y have become the second-best and best-selling vehicles in California, helping electric vehicle sales reach a new record in the state.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories July 11

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2022 Tesla prices
A Tesla Model 3 / Source: Tesla
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Tesla has topped the list of most satisfied customers in the entire auto industry, with Model 3 taking the top spot for for all cars globally.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories June 13

Electrek is sponsored by Autonomy.com, the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to get a Tesla Model 3. If you have a credit card, you can reserve a Tesla now. Learn more and get $500 off for a limited time. (See Terms.)

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Tesla Model 3 Stories May 23

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Tesla Model 3 Stories May 12

A bunch of maniacs decided to turn a Tesla Model 3 into a tank with some giant chain tracks – resulting in a 6-ton electric off-roading machine.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories May 3

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Tesla Model 3 Stories April 27

Dallas County has authorized the purchase of three Tesla Model 3 vehicles to be used by the local police. It’s the latest example of electric vehicles gaining popularity with law enforcement.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories April 21

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Tesla Model 3 Stories April 7

Tesla has implemented another price increase (its third in about a month), but this time it only affects Model 3 vehicles with nickel-based battery packs.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories March 31

A recent 2022 report by Zutobi has ranked the top 20 most affordable EVs to operate around the world based on a number of factors. This includes considerations such as battery size, cost to charge, and miles driven per given dollar amounts. Tesla takes the top spot this year, but there are plenty of other viable options currently available to consumers.

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Kyte, an on-demand rental company, announced that it is acquiring a fleet of Tesla Model 3 vehicles to offer a new monthly subscription service across the US starting at $995.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories March 29

London announced that it is providing funding to deploy a fleet of Tesla Model 3 vehicles through a vehicle subscription service to be available for private hire drivers such as Uber.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories March 10

A recent update to Tesla’s website configurator reveals that it is prioritizing reservations that include the $12,000 full self-driving (FSD) option, at least for the Model Y and Model 3. For reservations of the Tesla Model Y in particular, delivery estimates change from six months from today (September), to two months (May), simply by choosing the FSD add-on.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories February 18

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Tesla Model 3 Stories February 17

Tesla has launched a new automatic electric trunk for Model 3 as an aftermarket offered directly at service centers. The product is currently only available in China, but like most things Tesla these days, it starts in China and then it is expected to expand to other markets.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories February 7

A new study out of the UK has detailed the countries around the world where EVs are the cheapest and most expensive to purchase – in this particular case, a Tesla Model 3. While this particular data set pertains to one specific EV, it can offer a broader perspective on how the costs of EVs vary depending on which country you live in.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories January 17

Elon Musk announced that Tesla is starting to roll out a new over-the-air software update that includes a ‘fix’ to a heat pump issue that has been plaguing Tesla vehicles in cold-weather regions.

However, some are worried that it might need more than a software fix, as Tesla service centers have indicated to owners that it might be more of a hardware problem.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories January 12

Tesla owners are again losing heat in extremely cold weather as some heat pumps are failing badly.

The problem was thought to be fixed last year, but it is resurging in a big way this year.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories January 6

Tesla had record sales in the United Kingdom in 2021, and the new car registration data show that it helped the country reach a new electric market share milestone: over 10% of the auto market for the first time.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 30, 2021

Tesla (TSLA) has issued two recalls on almost half a million Model 3 and Model S vehicles.

The fixes are small, but it will still put a strain on its service team.

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New York City is closing out the year with a big electrification move as it adds 184 Ford Mustang Mach-E electric SUVs to its fleet, and it approves the option to buy 250 Tesla Model 3 electric sedans.

Most of the vehicles are going to the NYPD and other emergency service departments.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 28, 2021

Tesla has introduced the new AMD Ryzen chip and 12v Li-ion battery in 2022 Model 3 Model Y vehicles.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 20, 2021

Tesla has been adding a strange new warning about putting battery packs as old as 2017 in brand new 2021 Model 3 vehicles for sale.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 14, 2021

G7, a Paris-based taxi company that operates one of the largest Tesla taxi fleets in the world, announced that it suspended all its Model 3 taxis after a severe fatal crash that occurred last weekend.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 9, 2021

The city of New York is currently proposing a contract to buy a fleet of Model 3 vehicles from Tesla.

It would create a fleet of hundreds of electric cars for the city.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 8, 2021

A bunch of new features and changes coming to the Tesla Model 3 and Model Y have leaked through a test program in Europe.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories December 7, 2021

Tesla has released findings from its test program of a Model 3 that the automaker custom-built as a police patrol car in the UK.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 30, 2021

I recently drove from St. Petersburg, Florida, to Tallahassee, Florida, and back in my Tesla Model 3. It’s a five-hour drive each way, and it was my first real road trip longer in my EV. Here are three things I learned.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 24, 2021

Tesla has increased Model 3 and Model Y prices in several more international markets, including some critical ones like China and Canada.

Pressure from supply chain problems is assumed to be responsible.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 12, 2021

A number of new Tesla Model 3 and Model Y vehicles have been delivered in the last few days with missing USB ports, often without any warning before the owners get their new cars home and notice that the car’s phone charger isn’t working.

The automaker blames the missing parts on the global chip shortage.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 4, 2021

Today, Tesla has updated its pricing for Model 3 and Model Y vehicles to increase prices across the board once more.

The automaker’s cheapest vehicle has now increased in price by over 20% this year alone.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories November 1, 2021

Tesla has updated Model 3 and Model Y line with the 2022 model year specs, and most of the configurations got higher range – though it depends on the wheels.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 29, 2021

Tesla confirmed to the NHTSA that it is recalling 2,791 2020-2021 Model Y and 2019-2021 Model 3 vehicles over a suspension issue.

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Tesla is rumored to have secured a giant order of 45 GWh of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells from CATL.

It comes as Tesla announced its global move to LFP for standard range cars.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 28, 2021

Tesla just started to sell Model 3s in Singapore this year, and the number of new Teslas on the road there has risen from 30 in the first half of 2021 to 487 in the third quarter, according to Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA). Tesla became the country’s sixth-most popular car brand in September.

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Hertz CEO Mark Fields revealed that its deal to supply Tesla vehicles to Uber includes an option for 100,000 more Tesla Model 3s, which would double its total order to 200,000 vehicles.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 25, 2021

The Tesla Model 3 has become the first all-electric car to become the best-selling vehicle in Europe.

However, that’s on a monthly basis and Tesla’s deliveries vary widely on a monthly basis.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 22, 2021

Tesla is increasing prices for the base versions of the Model 3 and Model Y base prices, the second time this month alone.

Delivery timelines slip a few months again.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 21, 2021

Tesla confirmed that it is moving Model 3 Standard Range production to Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery cells at Fremont factory.

The company also wants the production of the cell, which has been only produced in China, to be closer.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 15, 2021

Tesla has slashed its included premium connectivity period to 30 days for all Model 3 and Model Y vehicles. People are now going to have to pay sooner if they want to retain access to some of Tesla’s connectivity features.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 13, 2021

Electrek is brought to you by Autonomy, the cheapest, fastest, easiest way to get a Tesla Model 3. If you have a credit card, you can reserve a Tesla now. Learn more and get $500 off for a limited time (See Terms).  

So you’re thinking of getting a Tesla and wonder, “how much is a lease?” Smart choice. Have you considered the Tesla’s cheapest EV, the Model 3? Or perhaps you have the money to splurge on the Model S Plaid? What color? What added features? Should you buy instead of lease? These are all questions you’ll need to consider before your first zero-emission joy ride.

Fear not prospective leasee, below is a comprehensive guide outlining what a new Tesla lease entails, and what options to consider before you put the pedal to the floor.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 12, 2021

There are several game-changing elements the EV world has patiently but attentively kept tabs on in recent years – solid state batteries, fully-autonomous driving, whether some of these SPAC mergers will actually produce a series production vehicle. As one of the largest names in electric vehicles, Tesla has promised several products over the years. – some of which it has delivered, but many it has yet to (ahem, Cybertruck and 2nd Gen. Roadster). Another fabled prospect promised by Tesla is a $25,000 model. While the automaker has only caught a quick whiff of EV pricing within $10K of that figure, it’s apparently still imminent. Here’s everything we know to date.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories October 6, 2021

Tesla has implemented a price increase across its entire Model 3 and Model Y lineup in an overnight update to its online configurator in the US.

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Tesla Model 3 Stories September 20, 2021

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