Type: 1-speed fixed gear
Axle Ratio: 9:1 ratio
Ranges: 215 miles (346 km)
Passenger Volume: 5
Battery Capacity: 82 kWh (300 MJ)
Motor Power: 340 kW (450 hp)
Standard: DC, AC
Time: DC 180 mile in 15 minutes, AC 44.3 miles per hour.
Fast Time: 6.5 hours
As production began in 2017, the base Model 3 was announced to have a 50-kWh battery with a range of about 220 miles (350 km) while the optional 75-kWh battery would have a range of about 310 miles (500 km). Tesla did not produce base Model 3s in 2017 or 2018. The battery uses 2170-size lithium-ion cells.
The 350-volt (nominal, 400v max) Model 3 battery packs are made of four longitudinal modules each containing the groups (bricks). The Standard Range version carries 2,976 cells arranged in 96 groups of 31. The Long Range version carries 4,416 cells arranged in 96 groups of 46, and weighs 1,060 pounds (480 kg) in a 0.40 m³ volume; a density of 150 Wh/kg.
Tesla continues to improve the design of the 2170 battery cell and introduces incremental improvements into the manufacturing line periodically. Tesla began manufacture of the "lighter, better, cheaper" 2170 cell during 2018, with a company goal of reducing the cost of assembled battery packs to US$100 per kilowatt-hour (kWh) by December 2018, and moving the new cell into volume production at Giga Nevada during the first quarter of 2019. Electrek reported in late 2018 that the improved battery cell design was needed to further reduce battery costs as Tesla was planning to begin to deliver the Model 3 Standard Range for the promised base price of US$35,000 the following year.
The inverter for the Model 3 drive unit uses 24 pairs of silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFET chips rated for 650 volts each.
In July 2018 media reported that a Model 3 prototype was seen in California and Nevada while towing a trailer in an apparent evaluation of a tow bar. In May 2019 Tesla started offering an optional tow bar rated for 2,000 pounds (910 kg) available with Standard Range Plus and Long Range for the European Model 3. Towing a trailer may increase consumption by 40%.
The Model 3 uses regenerative braking, which was tweaked and improved in October 2018 via a software update.
In October 2019 Tesla released a software update including a 5% power upgrade and peak power optimization to owners of the Model 3, via software version 2019.36.2.1, which showed noticeable improvements in acceleration and overall speed. In December 2019, Tesla offered Long Range dual-motor Model 3 owners who had software version 2019.40.2 the option to purchase a US$2000 "Acceleration Boost" software upgrade enabling a Sport driving mode, advertised to reduce 0-60 mph time from 4.4s to 3.9s. Road testing confirmed better-than-expected acceleration with drivers in Sport mode reaching 0-60 mph in 3.67s from standstill and 3.47s with a 1 foot rollout.
The Model 3 is mostly steel, with some aluminum. The 185 cm (6.07 ft) width was chosen to fit with automated parking systems in Japan. Due to its smaller size, the Model 3 is expected to consume less energy than the Model Y, and thus have longer range.
Traditional stability control is not made for dual-motor control or the faster response time in electric motors, and Tesla modified the control unit. The motors have magnets arranged in a Halbach array. The cooling system is integrated to reduce size and cost.
Tesla said it would have a 5-Star safety rating.