Most automakers change the technical specifications of their cars with the model year change before a more significant update is introduced with the vehicle’s mid-cycle facelift. That does not represent Tesla’s modus operandi as the Palo Alto electric car manufacturer frequently makes tweaks to its products, even during the course of a model year.
That being said, the 2022 model year introduction for the Model 3 and Model Y in the United States happens to coincide with one important change – better range. In typical Tesla fashion, we are not given an explanation as to how the extra miles were extracted, so all we have for the time being are the numbers provided on the company’s website.
What used to be known as the Model 3 Standard Range Plus is now simply the Rear-Wheel Drive model with a maximum range of 272 miles instead of the previous 262 miles. Bear in mind this upgrade is available only if you go with the standard 18-inch wheels because upgrading to the bigger 19-inch set drops the range to 267 miles.
Stepping up to the Model 3 Long Range will increase the range to 358 miles or five miles more than before, provided you stick with the 18-inch alloys. Switching to the 19-inch wheels will result in a loss of efficiency to 334 miles.
As far as the Model Y is concerned, the all-electric SUV in the Long Range specification sees its range jump by four miles to 330 miles with the 19-inch set or 318 miles with the 20-inch wheels.
Early reports are stating the extra gains in the range have to do with the switch to lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries. These are made in China but Tesla has expressed its intentions to make them at the Freemont factory to improve logistics. Included in the shareholders’ presentation for Q3 2021 results from last month, Tesla confirmed the switch to LFP: “For standard range vehicles, we are shifting to Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP) battery chemistry globally.”