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HomeTeslacost of recharging and autonomy over a long journey of 850 km

cost of recharging and autonomy over a long journey of 850 km

The queen of electric sedans, the Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie, will be confronted with our long-distance travel simulation exercise, in order to verify that Tesla’s promises are indeed achievable. Recharging time, total cost, everything goes. Let’s go!

Tesla Model 3 // Source: Frandroid

After having presented the case of the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion to you, it is the turn of its big sister, the Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie, to rub shoulders with the game of long summer and winter vacation journeys. With promises even better than the entry-level sedan from Elon Musk’s firm, we’ll look at the potential time and cost savings crossing France compared to other electric vehicles.

As usual, the rules are as follows: the start is at 100% battery, the finish at 20%, and the vehicle must run at the limit speeds. We will recall the characteristics of the vehicle (autonomy, battery, charging power) and compare them to the reality on the ground. Thus, with the help of future files concerning other vehicles, you will be able to define the one that will allow you to arrive safely at the lowest cost, and as quickly as possible. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how long trips in the Tesla Model 3 Long Range are like.

The characteristics of the Tesla Model 3 Long Autonomy (2022)

The Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie is undoubtedly the most anticipated vehicle at the turn when it comes to long journeys. Indeed, the Tesla sedan is the electric car that promises to be able to travel everywhere while minimizing the constraints linked to electric mobility, thanks to its autonomy and its ability to recharge quickly.

The battery of around 80 kWh makes it possible to offer a range in the WLTP cycle of 626 kilometers when it is fitted with 18-inch rims (602 kilometers in 19 inches), but we will confront this promise with the reality of the terrain on the motorway, less favorable to electric vehicles.

Tesla Model 3 // Source: Unsplash – Stefan Lehner

Regarding the charging power, it peaks at 250 kW on the network of Tesla Superchargers, allowing you to recharge enough to travel 150 kilometers in less than 10 minutes. It will therefore be possible to take advantage of “small” refills during long journeys, in order to reach your destination more quickly.

In addition to Tesla’s Supercharger network, the advantage of the Tesla Model 3 Long Range is that it can take advantage of third-party fast charging networks like Ionity, Fastned, Totalenergies and others. We will therefore not be satisfied with using the Tesla Superchargers but will accept during the journey simulations to recharge ourselves elsewhere.

As usual, A Better Route Planner is used to plan the routes, with the default consumption reference for the car model considered today.

Route planning

To put all vehicles on an equal footing, we start trips at 100% battery, considering that you have to pay for this filling at the average price per kWh in France, currently at 0.17 euros. The 80 kWh then represent €13.60: we take this cost into account when taking stock of each major journey.

The first major route simulates a summer vacation from Orléans to Arcachon (530 kilometers), and the winter route begins in Caen and ends in Chamonix-Mont-Blanc (850 kilometers ).

For the summer route, the parameters indicated in A Better Route Planner are as follows: 25 degrees Celsius outside temperature, no wind, arrival at a charging station with 10% battery remaining, and arrival at destination with 20% . For the winter trip, it’s essentially the same, apart from the weather, where we chose a temperature of 0 degrees Celsius.

The balance sheet of the different routes

An almost too easy summer ride

There are two possibilities for linking Orléans to the Gironde, with in all cases a single charge. Without leaving the motorway, the Ionity Poitou-Charentes station allows you to recharge in 25 minutes, enough to arrive in Arcachon with 20% battery. At the current Ionity rate (0.69 euro per kWh), it takes 31 euros for this charge, which brings the total with home charging to almost 45 euros.

The second option is to go through Angoulême, where you just have to charge for 13 minutes on the Tesla Supercharger to go from 20 to 63% battery, enough to reach Arcachon with 20%. The cost for this recharge would be less than 18 euros at Tesla’s current rate of 0.52 euros per kWh. Thereby, the total price of the trip would be 31 euros including home charging.

With a 13-minute charge for a total journey of 530 kilometers, this great summer trip in a Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie could be considered “too easy”, as the constraints linked to electric mobility are disappearing.

Everyone can choose between Ionity on the highway or a Tesla Supercharger off the highway while driving, but given the similar duration and much cheaper fare, it seems more judicious to choose the Supercharger option. Consumption in this case would be 183 Wh/km, against 197 Wh/km if we stay on the highway.

Even in winter, no load exceeds 20 minutes

A time of year that puts electric vehicles to the test, the winter holidays inevitably consume more electrons than the summer holidays. However, thanks to its heat pump and the optimization of consumption of which Tesla has the secret, the Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie makes short work of the 850 kilometers which separate Normandy from Haute-Savoie.

Four charges are needed to complete this trip, but none need to exceed 20 minutes. So, unless you don’t want to eat during the eight and a half hour journey, you will probably need more breaks than your car. It only takes 1h02 of recharging and 7h24 of road to cover the 850 kilometers of our reference route.

Tesla Model 3 Great Autonomy Route Caen Chamonix
Source: Abetterrouteplanner

The first necessary recharge is done after more than two hours of travel, at the Vélizy Supercharger, for 20 minutes (42 kWh, 21.80 euros), and the second is at Avallon (42 kWh, 21.80 euros ), still on the Tesla network.

The Ionity station in Mâcon Saint-Albain is then preferred to the Mâcon Supercharger (slower, and mandatory detour), where a 17-minute recharge is necessary (40 kWh, 27.60 euros) in order to reach the last Supercharger of the trip, in Saint-Julien-en-Genevois for just 10 minutes (32 kWh, 16.50 euros).

In total, we would have recharged 156 kWh, for a price of 87.70 euros starting at 100% and arriving at 20% at destination. Including the departure home charge, the cost rises to 101.3 euros for the 850 kilometers of our winter journey. The forecast consumption, meanwhile, is 244 Wh / km, an overconsumption of nearly 30% compared to the summer route.

Consumption, cost of recharging and range

We summarize the costs and charging times (including charging at home at 13.60 euros) in the table below: you can view as we go through our examples where the vehicle you are interested in is located by compared to others on a similar journey.

Vehicle Summer ride cost Summer ride charging time Total summer journey time
Tesla Model 3 Drive 36 – 49 € 31 mins 5 h 09 min
Tesla Model 3 Long Autonomy 31 – 45 € 13 – 25 mins 4 hrs 56 mins
Kia EV6 58kWh 52 – 60 € 38 – 43 mins 5 hrs 30 mins
BMW i4 48 – 58 € 22 – 37 mins 5 hrs 11 mins
Hyundai Ioniq 5 72 € 36 mins 5 hrs 16 mins

Vehicle Winter trip cost Winter ride charging time Total winter journey time
Tesla Model 3 Drive 102 € 1 hr 42 mins 9:16 a.m.
Tesla Model 3 Long Autonomy 101.3 € 1 hr 02 mins 8:27 a.m.
Kia EV6 58kWh 120 € 1hr 54mins 9 h 59 min
BMW i4 147 € 1 hr 32 mins 9 h 08 min
Hyundai Ioniq 5 145 € 1 hr 29 mins 9:14 a.m.


The Tesla Model 3 Long Autonomy is necessarily placed at the top of the table of electric vehicles allowing you to get from point A to point B in a minimum of time. Indeed, with only 13 minutes of charging to cover the more than 500 kilometers of our summer route, and just one hour of charging to cover 850 kilometers in winter, it is difficult to beat.

The cost per 100 kilometers on these long trips varies between 6.10 and 11.90 euros, which can make it more economical to use on long journeys than its little sister the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion. Indeed, with a larger battery, it fully benefits from 100% charging at home before departure, and does not necessarily need as much fast charging as the Propulsion model. The total cost of the trip is therefore slightly reduced.

Tesla Model 3 –  Supercharge
A Tesla Model 3 in Supercharge // Source: Bob Jouy for Frandroid

In addition, it saves forty minutes of charging on the 850 kilometer journey in winter, or in other words, the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion needs to charge 65% longer than the Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie in our Caen-Chamonix.

The question that everyone should answer is whether this significant time saving is worth the price difference between the two models, which is currently 11,000 euros. Depending on your profile and your needs, the answer is not trivial. And with the repeated price increases of the Tesla Model 3 Propulsion, the version with the large battery is becoming more and more attractive.

But Teslas may not be the queens of this exercise, as we saw in our ranking of the fastest charging vehicles. We will therefore soon examine what a vehicle from another manufacturer will give in our long-distance simulations: the Kia EV6. Until then, the Tesla Model 3 Grande Autonomie will be able to boast of being the fastest…

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