The Tesla Model 3 version 2022 was overshadowed last year by other cars in their lineups, like the Model S and Model Y.
But the good old model 3 is still one of the best cars on the market and with some new updates just starting to roll out across the globe.
Today the Model 3 has become a more attractive vehicle and is easily the most cost-effective electric car of any EV.
Therefore, let’s discuss why the Tesla Model 3 is one of the electric cars you should buy.
Now with a new naming structure for the various variations of the Model 3, the term Plus standard range is gone, which is amazingly clunky to say.
Anyone who wasn’t around for the original launch of the Model 3 wouldn’t know what the Plus was referring to.
So now the base level is just the Model 3 under the rear-wheel-drive category.
If you want dual motors and all-wheel drive in the Model 3, that can come with long-range or performance depending on which aspect you prioritize.
Beautiful, simple, and easy to understand, the rear-wheel-drive model 3 is where the real changes have come for 2022.
The 2022 Tesla Model 3 is a brand new car, although it looks like 2021.
You’ll notice that the range has increased while the acceleration performance has decreased.
You’re now in the 272-mile range with the 18-inch aero wheels installed, which an extra nine miles from the 2021 specs drops to 267 with the 19-inch sports wheels, which also adds $1500 to the price.
If you want to make the best of both worlds, you can remove the odd-looking aero’s hubcaps and have pretty good-looking black rims underneath.
You need to buy a kit to close it, and it’s around $30.
You lose some range when you remove the hubcap. But you can always plug it back in for a long ride when you want that extra Tesla mile on the highway.
The Model 3.0’s acceleration time of 3.0-60 miles per hour for 2022 isn’t that great, and it’s now 5.8 seconds instead of 5.3.
Do you think this is still very good for an electric car with a base model, single motor, rear-wheel drive? The new high-end Volkswagen ID4 model with dual motors and the all-wheel-drive does 0-60 in 5.7 seconds.
Tesla Model 3 Prices
Let’s talk about the price of the latest Tesla Model 3.
So the Model 3’s list price has gone up to $7000 since early 2021, from $38,000 to $45,000.
It’s unfortunate, but in many ways, it’s only natural that if demand for a product is high and supply is low, then prices will go up, and that’s what happened with the Model 3.
Car rental company Hertz certainly played many roles in offsetting that demand.
But even without them, there will still be more demand for cars than Tesla can produce, which won’t change until they land a new Gigafactory in Texas, which may still be a year away.
Then there are other external factors like rising material costs, labor inflation, supply chain shortages, and the unexpected effect of more than just electric cars.
Just wait until Black Friday this year when there’s not enough stuff to circulate because the angry mob will get fast.
However, Tesla is now offering a midnight silver metallic color at no extra cost, which is great.
If you don’t like white cars, you’ve saved $1,000.
2022 Tesla Model 3 Battery and Performance
When you come back to the performance figures for 2022, there’s one big spec change to the Model 3.
It makes this 2022 Tesla Model 3 a completely new one, which is better in almost every way.
The latest version of the Model 3 retains all the upgraded features in 2021.
The windowpanes are a custom design made by Tesla, maximizing sound insulation and strengthening the exterior.
The interior trim is satin black, so there is no chrome on the body or gloss black interior.
The Octo Tesla valve heat pump keeps the HVAC system as energy efficient as possible.
Model 3 is equipped with a HEPA air filter, though it’s not big enough to reach other Tesla vehicles’ biological weapons defense modes.
Each trim level comes standard with a power lift trunk lid introduced in the first half of 2021.
Running through 2022 is Tesla’s vision-based autopilot system meaning that unlike previous versions of the Model 3, the 2022 Model 3 will come without radar sensors.
So all advanced driver assistance features in autopilot are executed on camera vision only.
Tesla’s artificial intelligence team says that this switch reduces the amount of noise at the car’s input and makes the autopilot system smoother and more confident.
The Model 3 2022 for the US market has been converted to an LFP or lithium iron phosphate-based battery cell.
Also, this configuration has been standard for Tesla in China since the start of production there in 2020. But this is a new battery design for North America, this new cell is only found in the rear-wheel-drive Model 3, and it brings a lot of changes to the previous battery.
The batteries used in all 3s models were cylindrical lithium-ion cells with NCA chemistry, which means nickel, cobalt, and aluminum.
This cell format is called 2170 and is used by other high-end EV makers like Rivian and Lucid. But tesla makes their customized version of the cell in partnership with Panasonic at their Gigafactory in Nevada.
This type of battery is very energy-intensive and efficient and very slow and expensive to manufacture.
On the other hand, you have LFP battery cells made by a Chinese battery supplier called CATL because they use ordinary scrap metal instead of rare fancy metal.
LFP cells are fairly inexpensive and easy to make by comparison.
But what does all that mean for consumers? The advantage of LFP cells is that they are much more powerful than ordinary lithium-ion cells with a nickel cathode.
Anyone who has owned an electric car before will know that they are not supposed to charge the battery to 100% every day.
If you know you will be traveling a long way, you should only do that.
You should always limit the charge to 80%-90% for optimal battery health.
Even if you do everything possible to take care of your battery, its capacity will still decrease over time.
Real-world use of the Model 3 indicates that you lose about 4% of the total battery capacity each year.
New LFP batteries are not very sensitive in terms of charge percentage.
You can freely charge the 2022 3 Model to full capacity every day without worrying about the battery pack’s health.
Since iron is a stable element, it will not degrade as rapidly as the lithium-ion chemistry of NCA.
Over time, there should be no loss in total range with a new battery in the 2022 Tesla Model 3.
It is believed that an LFP cell in an electric car should last a million miles of driving and possibly more than that.
The other advantage of iron-based chemicals is that they do not burn when the battery is damaged.
You know that lithium-ion batteries are susceptible to something called thermal runaway.
Even if one cell overheats, it will spread throughout the pack, and everything catches fire.
The LFP doesn’t do that now. It’s not fire retardant, but it’s not very reactive either.
If you have a bad accident, the LFP battery will give you a higher chance of survival.
When comparing the real-world daily driver range of the LFP-based Model 3 versus the NCA battery pack in the long-range Model 3, the Long-range Model 3 gets you 358 miles on aero wheels for daily driving applications.
You know you’re only allowed to use 90% of that capacity, which brings you down to 322 miles in regular use.
Then factor in the number of years of battery life by a total capacity loss of 4% per year.
You get down to the daily driver range at 90% charge, 296 miles.
If you plan to own the car for five years or more, a standard Model 3 will probably have more daily driver range than a long-range Model 3.
Another very interesting real-world difference between the two batteries is obvious.
The NCA lithium-ion battery loses the ability to regenerative braking at 100% charges as the battery is full, and even at 90%, the regen is quite weak.
However, the LFP battery still allows regenerative braking at 100% charge. The effect does not weaken at high charge levels, which would probably result in a more noticeable range for the LFP again.
Of course, there is more to the long-range Model 3 than just the Range.
It is also equipped with front and rear motors for all-wheel-drive traction and faster acceleration.
It’s a much more fun car to drive if you want those features; the choice is obvious.
But if power and traction aren’t that great, the base Model 3 might be the better choice while saving $5000 on the purchase price.
As for the downside, LFP cells have less energy density than NCA lithium-ion battery cells.
So pound by pound, there is less energy capacity in the LFP.
There need to be more LFP cells in the car to get the same result between the two.
But more cells equals more weight, which could be why the car is slower.
Tesla increased the size of the battery pack until the range was even, but that made it a little more difficult to accelerate quickly.
Another drop in performance could be that Tesla is replacing the old motor with a less powerful and more efficient product.
Tesla could even use the same motor from the all-wheel-drive version to reduce their parts catalog, which has slightly less torque than the rear-wheel-drive motor we’re familiar with.
One more drawback that will only affect some buyers sometimes is the cold-weather performance of the LFP battery pack.
Results returned from northern China and Europe indicates that the LFP battery in the Tesla Model 3 experienced a marked reduction in range in cold weather and had difficulty charging in sub-zero temperatures.
So if you live in California, that’s not a factor. But if you live in the Northern states or Canada, it can be a problem; it sure is hard, although there are advantages if you live in an area with cold weather.
According to records from Tesla dealers, Tesla is now including more heaters as standard equipment.
The 2022 Model 3 will now be standard with a heated steering wheel and rear seats. So maybe you spend more time on the supercharger, but you will feel warm.
What do you guys think is the shift to LFP battery making the Model 3 more desirable or negatively pushing you towards the Long Range option? Let me know where you are in the comments section below.