So just how affordable is this new Model 3 Standard Range Plus? At £37,340 (including the £3500 government plug-in grant), there are certainly cheaper electric vehicles out there. But we’re yet to come across a similarly priced EV that’s a genuine match for the Tesla in terms of its desirability and drivability.
That said, for the money, there are EVs that offer superior range. At typical UK motorway speeds, our test results suggest the Tesla should be capable of travelling around 200 miles on a single charge – some 30 miles less than the 64kWh Kia e-Niro we tested earlier this year.
Exit the motorway, stick to a 50mph cruise and, as our testing revealed, the Model 3 will return 4.5mpkWh and could put just under 230 miles between charges. The Model 3 also has a massive advantage up its sleeve: access to a network of more reliable and accessible public rapid chargers.
Because it’s fitted with a regular CCS charge port, not only can it tap into Tesla’s widespread Supercharger network, but it can also draw power from any compatible third-party provider. Of course, the Supercharger network remains the car’s default choice and is what the sat-nav will automatically guide you to if you don’t have enough range to complete your journey. But there’s no apparent penalty for using another network, and plugged into a 350kW Ionity charger, the Model 3 was still adding 300 miles of range per hour of charge.