Up until now, people were used to only charging Li-ion batteries to 80% to conserve battery capacity over time. This is because the high voltage state of charge is what’s eating Li-Ion batteries the most. Only when they needed the full range of the car, say for a road trip, they would charge it to 100%. This common knowledge will have to be scrapped now in the case of the LFP batteries.
The new owner’s manual for the cars equipped with LFP batteries states that Model 3 owners should keep the charge limit set to 100%. They are also recommended to charge their cars to 100% at least once a week. In case the car is parked long-term for more than a week, the new manual recommends that owners drive the car normally and charge it at 100% at their earliest convenience.
“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,” reads the updated owner’s manual. Tesla is aware that regenerative braking is reduced while driving with a fully charged battery.
Even if they are not aware which type of battery comes with their car, drivers can quickly check by opening the charging menu and selecting “Set limit”. According to the Tesla owner’s manual, the cars with LFP batteries will show “50%” and “100%” settings, while other versions “Daily” and “Trip” settings.
A further recommendation is to keep Sentry Mode off whenever possible to allow Model 3 to “sleep.” This is to maximize the available range and improve the vehicle’s ability to accurately determine the state of charge and estimated range.
The new Tesla Model 3 RWD base version with LFP battery offers more range than the Standard Range Plus it replaced, but slower acceleration. The new values are at 272 miles for range and 5.8 seconds for the 0-60 mph (97 kph) acceleration. The new RWD trim is also $1,000 more expensive, although the LFP batteries are cheaper.
LFP batteries don’t have the same energy density as their NCA (lithium nickel-cobalt-aluminum oxide) counterparts. On the other hand, they are safer and more stable, so they are less likely to explode or catch fire.