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RWD vs Long Range Tesla Model 3 Winter Route Planning

With the increasing popularity of electric cars, many drivers are now considering the Tesla Model 3 as their next vehicle. The range of the Tesla Model 3 can be a major factor in deciding which model to buy, especially for those who live in colder climates.

In this article, we will discuss the differences between the Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) and Long Range Tesla Model 3 vehicles in terms of winter route planning. We will also provide some tips for planning a long-distance winter route with your Tesla Model

The Tesla Model 3 with a long-range battery pack was a suitable choice for my last road trip through Canada. As for the rear-wheel drive model, I’m not sure how anyone would manage it in this winter climate, especially if their batteries degrade. When I’ve charged up to 90% and arrive at my destination with 4%, it seems sketchy at best…

PXL 20230121 201744127 1600px | Graydon Schwartz
RWD vs Long Range Tesla Model 3 Winter Route Planning 3

With 54,799 miles on it, my 2019 Tesla Model 3 Long Range has a range of 279 miles (approximately 10% battery degradation), whereas a brand-new 2023 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive has a range of 272 miles.

I pulled up a better route planner to see if it’s manageable with a 2019 Tesla Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive. Ah! Brilliant. Escanaba, MI Supercharger to Sault Ste Marie, ON Supercharger, you would have to drive down to the Mackinaw City, MI Supercharger in order to get there.

ABRP Settings:
90% charge
5% battery degradation for 2022 and 10% for 2019-2022
Quickest arrival.
Avoid Ferries and Car Trains.
Arrive with 10% battery.

  • 7 hours 2 minutes (driving) + 32 minutes (charging) – 1 charge (2022 LR/AWD)
  • 7 hours 12 minutes (driving) + 39 minutes (charging) – 2 charges (2019-2020 LR/AWD)
  • 7 hours 12 minutes (driving) + 57 minutes (charging) – 2 charges (2022 RWD)
  • no valid plan found – this is the best attempt (2019-2020 RWD) >.<

2019-2022 Tesla Model 3 Long Range models and RWD versions have significantly different travel and charge times. With the Long Range, I feel I made a wise choice. When you’re driving cross-country, it adds up.

Let’s take a look at the estimated charging costs for all 4 models as well.

  • 2022 Tesla Model 3 LR/AWD $18.22 USD total
  • 2019-2020 Tesla Model 3 LR/AWD $27.14 USD total
  • 2022 Tesla Model 3 RWD $25.64 USD total
  • 2019-2020 Tesla Model 3 RWD $28.98 USD total

In conclusion, planning a cross-country winter route in a Tesla Model 3 is an exciting and achievable adventure. While the RWD Model 3 might constrain your range, careful planning can ensure you get where you’re going without running out of charge.

Utilizing tools like PlugShare and Roadtrippers will enable you to identify charging options along your route, while being mindful of weather conditions, elevation changes, and traffic will give you the best chance to make it to your destination safely and efficiently.

By Graydon Schwartz

Find out more about Graydon on the About Me page.

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