Big practical test: In the smallest Tesla Model 3 on tour through German leisure parks (part 1)

Probably the biggest prejudice that critics have against electric cars is the alleged impossibility of using them to cover long distances quickly and easily. To check whether there is something in it, took a long tour through Germany with the smallest Tesla Model 3. We visited a total of five leisure parks with the Tesla Model 3 SR +, covered more than 2000 kilometers and tested how the current infrastructure for e-cars is set up and what planning effort has to be made in a Tesla for such routes. This first part is about the pleasantly low consumption of the smallest Tesla, other articles in the next few days will deal with range anxiety, charging in the big city, costs and problems with the Supercharger.

Tesla Model 3 with luggage and 3 people

A new Tesla Model 3 SR + served as the test vehicle. The vehicle accelerates from 0 to 100 km / h in 5.6 seconds, comes up to 225 km / h and, according to the WLTP, can do almost 400 km. It was our aim not to be significantly slower than conventional combustion engines; wherever possible and allowed, we drove at 130 km / h with the autopilot. In any case, we weren’t slow. Two adults and one child sat in the electric car. In total, there was around 230 kilograms of additional weight in the vehicle with luggage. At the beginning of the long journey, we charged 100 percent on the wallbox at home. According to an ad in the Tesla itself, you shouldn’t use this charge level too often. This also restricts recuperation – the usual single-pedal driving in the Model 3 was only possible once the battery had reached 90 percent.

The first destination was the Playmobil fun park in Zirndorf. The route there was around 280 kilometers, which is why the Model 3 provided for an initial charging stop on the Tesla Supercharger in M├╝nchberg. On the way there, however, it became clear that the Tesla’s calculations were made with excessive consumption, which significantly reduced the charging time on the Supercharger. The slot was therefore occupied for just under 15 minutes. That was just enough to go to the toilet and have an ice cream at the nearby gas station – basically perfect with a child. The consumption that was assumed to be too high for the calculation of the routes ran through the entire test. The reverse would of course be more problematic.

Park not prepared for electric cars

In Zirndorf at the Playmobil Funpark on site, it became apparent that the providers of such centers are not yet fully prepared for the steadily increasing electromobility (Heidepark Soltau is an exception, more on that later). Only a single charging station was available there – but occupied by a hybrid car. Nevertheless, we were able to charge: The very friendly staff provided a conventional Schuko socket that produced around 3 kilowatts. After visiting the park, we slept in a local hotel and were able to charge at one of four charging points just 200 meters away without looking for it in advance. Not practical, but quite understandable: According to the signs, you were only allowed to charge for four hours, even at night. In any case, our Tesla Model 3 was 100 percent full again the next day.

Even on the first stage it became clear that a leisure trip with a Tesla is extremely easy. Yes, you have to charge, but when and where is included in the travel calculation of the Tesla GPS right from the start. Without fear of range, at least in the country, you can’t get any further, as we will report in the next part.


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