The Tesla Model 3 Electric Saloon: The Complete Guide For India

Tesla electric car


Electric Cars: The Basics


For those of you new to zero-emission electric driving, we recommend a read of the following articles:

For those keen on an overview of the Indian electric vehicle (EV) market and the benefits of zero-emission electric driving, simply scroll down to the end of the article!


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The Tesla Model 3 Electric Car


Tesla Inc. (formerly Tesla Motors Inc.) is a US based electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer with the following portfolio of electric vehicles:

The all-electric Tesla Model 3 is a best-selling electric vehicle globally. Since its unveiling in 2016, the Tesla Model 3 has been making history.  Within a week of opening the booking for the ‘affordable’ Tesla, orders had topped 325,000 units. As of December 2020, more than 800,000 pure electric Model 3 cars have been delivered.

Deliveries to US customers commenced in July 2017. In February 2019, the Model 3 become the best selling plug-in electric car in the US. For the UK market, the Model 3 bookings opened in May 2019, with deliveries commencing in June 2019.  

The All-Electric Tesla Model 3 India
The All-Electric Tesla Model 3 (credit:Tesla)

Driving an electric vehicle (EV) is cheaper than driving a petrol or diesel vehicle. As an example, in India, filling a full tank of fuel for the internal combustion engine (ICE) Tata Nexon SUV will cost up to Rs 5,000 (assuming an average cost per litre of Rs 100. The Tata Nexon has a fuel tank capacity of 44 L).

In comparison, the Tata Nexon Pure Electric SUV will cost less than Rs 300 for a full EV battery charge (EV Battery size: 30.2 kWh). In India, the average cost for residential electricity is between Rs 5 to Rs 10 per kWh(unit). Therefore the cost to drive per km (or mile) in a pure electric vehicle is substantially lower than a petrol or diesel vehicle.

At an average one can expect a cost per km of Rs 1 for a zero-emission EV, while for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, the cost per km could be up to Rs 7 per km. The annual cost savings achieved by switching to electric driving is significant!


At A Glance
EV Type:Battery-Electric Vehicle (BEV)
Vehicle Type:Saloon
Engine:Electric
Available In India:No

Trims (3 Options)
Standard Range Plus
Long Range
Performance

PROSCONS
A best-selling electric carExpensive. Cheaper pure electric alternatives available
Fast electric performanceBuild quality can be improved
Good EV battery range and Supercharger networkLow rankings in 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey

EV Battery & Emissions
EV Battery Type:Lithium-ion
EV Battery Capacity:Available in three battery sizes (53 kWh, 78 kWh, 82 kWh)
Charging:Up to 250 kW rapid charging standard. On-board charger 11 kW AC (3-Phase)
Charge Port:Type 2
EV Cable Type:Type 2
Tailpipe Emissions:0g (CO2/km)
Warranty:8 years or 100,000 miles

Charging Times (Overview)
Slow charging AC (3 kW – 3.6 kW):6 – 12 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SOC)
Fast charging AC (7 kW – 22 kW):3 – 8 hours (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging AC (43 kW):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Rapid charging DC (50 kW+):0-80%: 20 mins to 60 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Ultra rapid charging DC (150 kW+):0-80% : 20 mins to 40 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)
Tesla Supercharger (120 kW – 250 kW):0-80%: up to 25 mins (dependent on size of EV battery & SoC)

Dimensions
Height (mm):1443
Width (mm):1849
Length (mm):4694
Wheelbase (mm):2875

Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus
EV Battery Capacity:53 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):278 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):154
Charging:170 kW Rapid Charging (on-board charger: 11 kW AC)
Top Speed:140 mph
0-60 mph:5.3 seconds
Drive:Rear-wheel drive (RWD)
Electric Motor (kW):239
Max Power (PS):325
Torque (Nm):420
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Driving Modes:N/A
Weight (kg):1,625
Colours:5

Tesla Model 3 Long Range
EV Battery Capacity:78 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):360 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):152
Charging:190 kW Rapid Charging (on-board charger: 11 kW AC)
Top Speed:145 mph
0-60 mph:4.2 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):324
Max Power (PS):441
Torque (Nm):493
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Driving Modes:N/A
Weight (kg):1,844
Colours:5

Tesla Model 3 Performance
EV Battery Capacity:82 kWh
Pure Electric Range (WLTP):352 miles
Electric Energy Consumption (Wh/km):165
Charging:250 kW Rapid Charging (on-board charger: 11 kW AC)
Top Speed:162 mph
0-60 mph:3.1 seconds
Drive:All-wheel drive (AWD)
Electric Motor (kW):377
Max Power (PS):513
Torque (Nm):660
Transmission:Automatic
Seats:5
Doors:4
Driving Modes:N/A
Weight (kg):1,844
Colours:5

tesla model 3 electric car India
The All-Electric Tesla Model 3 (credit:Tesla)

tesla model 3 electric car India
The All-Electric Tesla Model 3 (credit:Tesla)

tesla model 3 electric car India
The All-Electric Tesla Model 3 (credit:Tesla)

India Electric Vehicle (EV) Market


India, like many other countries, is well positioned to benefit from the shift to zero-tailpipe emission electric driving. Road transportation is a major contributor to air pollution (over 30%), choking our towns, cities and villages across India. Diesel vehicles, in particular, diesel trucks and diesel buses, are significant sources for tailpipe emissions. But given the rise in the standard of living, since liberalisation, the demand for privately owned passenger cars has increased at an unprecedented pace, further worsening the air quality. India has more than 3 crores (30 million) cars releasing tailpipe emissions on its roads!

Though we have seen some improvements in air quality during the ongoing pandemic (as a result of lower vehicle traffic), India’s shift to electric driving will be key in achieving long-term higher air quality. Of course, apart from EVs, the continued development of green and renewable energy infrastructure will be key in achieving lower long-term air pollution. India has already demonstrated global leadership in regards to large-scale solar and wind projects! Hopefully, India will replicate the success with zero-emission electric vehicles.

Despite recent announcements and support from local and national government agencies in India, the EV market is still at a nascent stage, well, at least in terms of electric cars and electric vans. Two-wheel electric scooters and three-wheel electric rickshaws (e-rickshaws) have demonstrated a strong uptake, and India is poised to become a global leader in electric scooters and electric rickshaws (e-tuk). In fact, the ubiquitous e-rickshaw commands an impressive 83% of the Indian electric vehicle market. India currently has over 15 lakhs (1.5 million) e-rickshaws, with each EV playing a role in reducing tailpipe emissions on our roads in India.

Sales of passenger electric cars is still at an early stage. In FY2021, though the market witnessed a growth of nearly 110% from the previous year, the absolute volume of cars sold was only 5,905 electric cars. Currently there are less that 15 pure electric car models available on sale in India.

Tata Motors, the biggest automotive manufacturer in India has launched the Tata Nexon electric SUV. Mahindra Electric, another leading Indian automotive manufacturer, has also launched a number of plug-in electric vehicles (EVs), to include, the Mahindra eVerito electric car, Mahindra eSupro electric van and Mahindra e2o Plus compact electric car. International manufacturers, like UK based MG Motors, have also launched the MG ZS electric SUV in India. Also available are the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE SUV and the Hyundai Kona electric SUV.


Benefits Of Electric Driving


The benefits of electric driving are many, with significant advantageous over petrol and diesel internal combustion (ICE) engine cars, for all stakeholders. These benefits include:

  • Lower to zero-tailpipe emissions
  • Lower running costs
  • Lower taxes
  • Lower maintenance costs
  • Lower noise pollution
  • Convenience of charging at home
  • Smoother drive
  • Instant torque for acceleration
  • Lower environmental impact

Below we have highlighted three of our favourite benefits of owning and driving an electric car.


Improved Air Quality


Battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) or all-electric vehicles do not have tailpipe pollution. In fact, such electric cars do not even have a tailpipe! Zero-emission electric driving has a real and immediate impact on local air quality i.e. improving air quality. While, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) have reduced tailpipe pollution compared to traditional petrol and diesel vehicles. The sooner we migrate to electric driving in India, the sooner we can improve air quality for all our cities, towns and villages. Lower air pollution will also result in a reduced number of health issues arising from inhaling toxic pollutants.


Lower Maintenance & Running Costs


Electric vehicles (EVs) are cheaper to maintain and drive. Pure electric cars have far fewer moving parts compared to internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. The fewer the moving parts, the lower the probability of repair and maintenance. Moreover charging an electric car can cost as little Rs 50 per 100 kilometres! A full charge can cost between Rs 100 and Rs 200. Significantly cheaper than filling a tank of petrol or diesel!


Lower Noise Pollution


Yes, we in India are far more resilient to noise pollution than those living in the western world. We have certainly got used to horns blaring and engines roaring, day and night. But that does not mean we enjoy or welcome noise pollution. In fact, quite the opposite!

Though much focus has been on the advantageous of ‘air quality’ with an electric car, just as important, is the benefit of lower noise pollution. In fact, pure electric cars are silent, with an inbuilt ‘sound booster’ to increase road safety for pedestrians. As our cities in India and across the world become densely populated with cars, the significant negative impact on ‘quality of life’ as a result of increased noise pollution from petrol and diesel vehicles, is just as dangerous, as increased air pollution. Battery-electric cars are a perfect solution in reducing noise pollution and increasing the living standards for us all. Of course, one can only hope that the self inflicted ‘horn blaring’ pollution will also reduce!



Author

Ashvin Suri

Ashvin has been involved with the renewables, energy efficiency and infrastructure sectors since 2006. He is passionate about the transition to a low-carbon economy and electric transportation. Ashvin commenced his career in 1994, working with US investment banks in New York. Post his MBA from the London Business School (1996-1998), he continued to work in investment banking at Flemings (London) and JPMorgan (London). His roles included corporate finance advisory, M&A and capital raising. He has been involved across diverse industry sectors, to include engineering, aerospace, oil & gas, airports and automotive across Asia and Europe. In 2010, he co-founded a solar development platform, for large scale ground and roof solar projects to include the UK, Italy, Germany and France. He has also advised on various renewable energy (wind and solar) utility scale projects working with global institutional investors and independent power producers (IPP’s) in the renewable energy sector. He has also advised in key international markets like India, to include advising the TVS Group, a multi-billion dollar industrial and automotive group in India. Ashvin has also advised Indian Energy, an IPP backed by Guggenheim (a US$ 165 billion fund). He has also advised AMIH, a US$ 2 billion, Singapore based group. Ashvin has also worked in the real estate and infrastructure sector, to including working with the Matrix Group (a US$ 4 billion property group in the UK) to launch one of the first few institutional real estate funds for the Indian real estate market. The fund was successfully launched with significant institutional support from the UK/ European markets. He has also advised on water infrastructure, to include advising a Swedish clean technology company in the water sector. He is also a member of the Forbury Investment Network advisory committee. He has also been involved with a number of early stage ventures.

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