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Tesla 3D

Tesla 3 Energy Management Experience

by Carl Morrison, July 26, 2020
Comments welcomed at:

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This fifth report on our 2020 Tesla 3 Standard Range Plus includes: 1. Miles Per Gallon Gasoline Equivalent (MPGe); 2. Minute-by-minute energy usage at home; 3. Tesla Depreciation; 4. Rear view cameras; 5. Tesla 3 Crumple Zone; 6. Mileage comparison of dual motor to single motor Tesla 3. 7. "We drove these electric cars until they died." 8. Over The Air (OTA) Software upgrades for our Tesla 3. 9. Safer than a human. 10. iWatch for Tesla App.

Of course, every car owner wants to know what kind of mileage they are getting whether it is Miles Per Gallon (MPG) or Miles Per Gallon Gasoline Equivalent (MPGe).

Notice in the illustration above, that the car like ours, 2020 Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus, is rated as 141 MPGe with 250 miles of range. Of further interest is that the City MPGe is better, 148, than highway, 132. At my retired age, most of my driving will be suburban, so more than 141 MPGe. YouTubers report that on long trips, when they get into a traffic jam on an Interstate, they get better mileage. The base price in 2020 ($35,000) is less than in 2019 as well. (Interesting that the newer Tesla Model 3 gets better MPGe and range than last year's model with the same battery.)

We have had 16 solar panels for 10 years and our electricity bill looks as above. The minus numbers are the times when we produce more electricity than we are using. I wondered how we could produce more energy than we use in Super off peak, but I realized it must be after sunrise and before we rise. You can see above, under "Net Generation," that we do produce more than we use in On-, Off-, and Super-off peak. However, having a new EV, I wondered how much it was costing to charge it. My monthly electric bill only told total charge.

Minute-by-minute energy usage at home.

My solution was minute-by-minute results, through the Emporia Vue Smart Home Energy Monitor at Amazon for $39.99, and related free app that reads my electric meter through wifi. SCE will give me a $25 rebate.

The app gives not only total energy usage, but minute by minute, so you can turn on a dishwasher and note the energy use over the regular use at the time. Or turn on the A/C, etc. I always charge the car, starting at 12:30 a.m. so it is easy to check the next day how much it costs to charge.

Above, charging the EV starting at 12:30 a.m. at an average of only $.82 per hour,
and I could see how long it charged and how many miles it charged for cents per mile of charge.

As it turned out, it costs 3 cents per mile to charge.

Above, A time when we are producing more than we are using.

Above, During the day when we are producing electricity beyond usage (green), and the air conditioner comes on (blue).

Tesla Depreciation

Since I had a classic car that appreciated over $500 a year for 22 years (above), I found this article on how little a Tesla 3 depreciated after 3 years if it had been in a lease program:

Model 3 is No. 7 above and our Model 3 below.

* wrote about Model 3:

"The Tesla Model 3 is the vehicle with the lowest depreciation overall, depreciating more than 5 times less than the average for the segment. "The Tesla Model 3 is still very much in high demand since it started production in 2017. Even though it doesn't present a bargain compared to its new car price, it offers consumers a more affordable option for owning a Tesla."


Rear Camera in Tesla

Tesla 3's rear view camera from being parked in our garage - so wide you can see the white, temporary license place edges.

Taken inside our garage, showing the guide lines for backing up, the Tesla 3's rear view camera is full-screen. Realize that I am seated in the driver's seat so the red car is on my left behind me. When you back out and put it in Drive, the camera goes off. However, you can turn it on all the time as a rear-view mirror. Since it is such a wide angle, while driving, it eliminates the blind spot you get in traditional side mirrors.

Over-the-Air Software Updates (OTA) via WiFi.

I had already heard from YouTubers about 2 software versions being out that were higher than my 2020.20....Version. Today, I received notice that version 2020.24.... was available and did I want it installed now or later. I chose now and 25 minutes later, I had several new features. Wondering why I had already heard about version 2020.24 and even 2020.28, I ran across this paragraph in the Owner's Manual which I will adjust now to get them quicker.

You can adjust your software update preferences by tapping 'Controls' > 'Software' > 'Software Update Preference'. You can select between 'ADVANCED' or 'STANDARD.' Select 'ADVANCED' to receive software updates as soon as they become available for your car configuration and region. This feature is only available with software update 2019.16 or later.

This would be our second update in the 44 days we have owned the Tesla.

I first heard about the OTA software upgrade with this notice on my phone.

Being a newbie to Tesla ownership, I knew the car was not plugged in, so I went to the car, plugged it in and agreed to the update in the car, on the screen. Since it is over the air, I would not have had to plug it in, it is over my WiFi at home.

After the update, two screens of "What's new in this update" are available on the car's screen.

View of the rear camera (above the rear license plate) with both side camera's showing a side view as I back out of the garage

The upgrade that I was most excited about was the view from both side cameras with the guided backup view from the back camera. I wanted this upgrade because it is quite narrow backing out of our garage. As you can see in the two side camera views above, the distance between the garage door frame and the mirrors. Important since that is the part of the car that would hit first.

Above, between the front tire well and the rear-view mirror is the rear-view camera in the chrome side trim.

Finally, I was asked if they could use data from the interior camera (previously unused to my knowledge) in case of an accident, and I replied Yes.

Another new thing with this OTA software upgrade was that the Tesla navigation system now shows alternative charging stations in addition to all the Tesla charging stations. Perhaps they added this because their competition of a routing system, A Better Route Planner, had the alternative charging stations.

One thing I noticed after I read the release notes and actually tried a couple of features, when I went to the iPhone app, it would not connect with the car. I had also used my iWatch to do a few things with the Tesla, so I thought it might have crashed the connection. I solved the iPhone connectivity issue by turning my iPhone off and restarting it. I was very happy that I did not have to reboot the Tesla's computer. So, keep in mind that when you get an over the air update and your iPhone no longer connects, just restart your iPhone.

After market Rear and Front View Cameras

At Amazon search for : VanTop H610 10" 2.5K Mirror Dash Cam

This item comes with a promotion for a gift for writing a customer review.

The monitor fits over your regular rear-view mirror, but still gives a reflection. It is a much wider view than the built in monitor.

View of our Tesla, but still has distracting reflections of me and my phone.

Tesla 3 Crumple Zone

Under our Frunk lid, the crumple zone. A design created for the lunar lander.

Frontal Collision

Due to the absence of an internal combustion engine in the front of a Tesla, this frontal space serves as a large crumple zone that absorbs the impact and it not only provides added safety for vehicle occupants but also for pedestrians in an incident.

Illustration: Tesla Model 3 Large Crumple Zone

(Image: Tesla, Illustrated by: Iqtidar Ali)

Here is a short YouTube video of a guy using the back camera to back into his garage:

Mileage comparison of dual motor to single motor Tesla 3.

By: Wade Malone of

The Tesla Model 3 Long Range AWD and Performance models aren't as efficient as the RWD model. But yet they have received the same advertised range.

We've known for a while that the "Dual Motor" All Wheel Drive (AWD) and Performance (P) models of the Model 3 would likely be less efficient than the standard Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) model. Earlier this month, documents from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) were leaked. They showed that the RWD model has an extended driving range over AWD under the Urban Dynamometer Driving Schedule (UDDS) testing cycle. The AWD/P models earned a 455-mile rating compared to 495 miles for the RWD model... So for Model 3 buyers: RWD is the most efficient and will result in the longest real-world driving range.

Although the first sentence above proves what I had suspected, that single motor Tesla 3 gets better mileage than the dual motor. However, when I found the table above, it further proves that slower speed is more efficient than high speed (perhaps that is why Tesla will tell you on the screen if you are not likely to get to the next Supercharger unless you drive at XX miles per hour...nice to know!)

Our Tesla 3 Standard Range plus (SR+ 19" wheels) is highlighted on the right with "<<". I specifically like the Column "30-minute Supercharge" which shows our car can be charged for 150 miles in 30 minutes. I can now use that as an example when people ask how long does it take to charge on a road trip.

The blue columns show what mileage one could get at driving at 55-, 60-, 65-, 70-, 75-, and 80-mph. On a long Interstate trip, you would probably get run over trying to drive less than the speed limit! In a recent trip on California Interstate 5 in Orange and San Diego Counties, the slow lane was going 72 mph. I saw a recent YouTube posting of a fellow that drove 2,000+ miles from Northern California to Michigan and his speed was 75 mph. That would be a maximum of 201 miles for our 255 miles rated Tesla 3. That falls in line with my experience that I get about 72 - 86% of what the "miles" say in charge. Bottom line for me on a trip: charge to 100% and count on 200 miles in range.

Troy lists other Teslas in his article as well at

Troy's suggestions to a blogger who asked him about driving 295 miles in rain and 40 Degrees (Neither of which we have in Southern California):

    If you take the 295 mile road trip regularly, here are some tips:
  1. Leave with 100%
  2. Charge to 100% just before you leave to heat up the battery. You could charge to 90% overnight and top up to 100% in the morning.
  3. Ideally, arrive at the supercharger with low range because Supercharging will be faster when the battery is less full. Also, ideally, you want to avoid having to supercharge to over 90% because that last 10% is extremely slow.
  4. You could calculate total trip time if you skip the first supercharger by driving slower to increase your range. Not sure if that's possible but worth considering.

By the way, the Model Y has better winter performance than Model 3, S or X because of the heat pump. So that's something to consider in the future if you decide to buy another Tesla.

"We drove these electric cars until they DIED!"

Another experiment in England was done by Matt Watson of, of driving several electric cars on the same trip. This involved several electric vehicles and each was to drive until they actually stopped running. They knew where the next charging stations were, so if they were nearly out of energy, they would circle near the charging station and see if they could push it by hand to the charge spot after it stopped. Some vehicles could be pushed (including the Tesla 3), but one would not move without someone in the passenger seat. Each reported what % of the mileage the car said it had at the start. All were between 70 and 90% of charge. Matt Watson, director of the experiment, drove the Tesla 3, which got 78% of "claimed range". The Tesla began shutting non-essential activities as it got low on energy, such as not providing internet connected navigation nor cell phone charging. He evaluated the Model 3 as he drove it on this 270 mile experiment and the only quote I worte down was, "quite compfy on the bum."

Safer than a human

Having owned the Model 3 for 44 days, I continue to find new safety features. Today, I backed out of our garage onto the slightly inclined driveway. I quickly jumped out of the car to do something and the car responded with something like, "Your car has been put into Park to eliminate rolling."

Driving on a two-lane highway with traffic aware cruise on 45 mph, ahead of me I saw a pickup starting to pull out onto the highway and the regenerative braking kicked in (like braking) and the car slowed considerably. I would not have let up on the gas at all, but it was nice to know it was keeping its eyes way up ahead.

Watch for Tesla App

I have not used my "Watch for Tesla App" very much and even forgot that I could unlock the car from my watch if I go to my car without my phone nor key card.

Screens of information on the app:

Above Left, Watchface w/miles in lower left, touch for screen 2. 2. Car's name, miles, etc. 3. 4 more controls 4. 4 more controls.

Above left, Charging information. 2. Where I can set % of charge rather than marks on a graph. 3. Never use nor No. 4.

I went to the car with iWatch, but the iPhone was in the house. I unlocked the charging port from the watch, honked the horn (extra loud!), vented the windows, and set the % of charge. (I presume the phone was still close enough to receive the commands from the iPhone and send them to the car through wifi.) Incidentally, the charger cannot be unplugged unless the owner is in range, so no fear of someone unplugging the charger from the car if you are out of sight.

After 46 days of ownership of our Model 3, I am still learning new things each day by either watching YouTubers like "Tesla3Man" or "Now You Know" or "The Frugal Tesla Guy" or reading "Electrek" articles, or asking questions of Siri, which usually finds the answer in the Owner's Manual. If those references do not satisfy my curiosity, I have the occasional OTA Software updates.

If you have questions about a Model 3, please e-mail me at

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