Tesla is recommending owners of the new Model 3 RWD base model equipped with lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery cells to charge to 100% on a regular basis.
Already available on Tesla’s Chinese-built vehicles, LFP battery cells are starting to find their way into US-market Model 3s, so owners should be aware they require a specific charging behavior.
For starters, you need to know whether your Model 3 is equipped with an LFP battery. For that, all you have to do is open the charging screen on your touchscreen and then touch “Set Limit” or open the charging screen in your mobile app and drag the slider.
If the image of the battery displays “50%” and “100%,” then your vehicle has an LFP battery pack. If the image displays “Daily” and “Trip” instead, then your vehicle is not equipped with an LFP battery.
If your vehicle does have an LFP battery, Tesla has several important recommendations you should follow if you want to keep your battery healthy for as long as possible. Here’s what the revised Model 3 owner’s manual for the US says in this respect.
“If your vehicle is equipped with an LFP Battery, Tesla recommends that you keep your charge limit set to 100%, even for daily use, and that you also fully charge to 100% at least once per week.”
This is different from what owners of Model 3 EVs equipped with the more common NCA battery pack are used to; in that case, Tesla recommends charging to 80% or 90% most of the time and saving the full 100% charge for road trips.
Another recommendation covers the instance where a Model 3 has been parked for longer than a week, in which case “Tesla recommends driving as you normally would and charge to 100% at your earliest convenience.” Interestingly, Tesla also instructs owners not to activate Sentry Mode in safe locations.
“In addition, a best practice is to allow Model 3 to ‘sleep’ regularly by parking it with Sentry Mode disabled, when possible. Consider using the Exclude Home, Exclude Work, and Exclude Favorites settings to prevent Sentry Mode from automatically activating at locations it is not needed (see Sentry Mode).”
According to Tesla, following the above guidance maximizes available range and improves the vehicle’s ability to accurately determine the state of charge and estimated range.
The base 2022 Tesla Model 3 RWD equipped with LFP cells replaces the Standard Range Plus version, offering an EPA combined range of 272 miles (437 km), a 0-60 mph time of 5.8 seconds, and a top speed of 140 mph (225 km/h). In comparison, the Model 3 SR+ has a range of 263 miles (423 km) and 0-60 time of 5.3 seconds (the top speed is the same).