Preparing for long distance travel, one of the main questions is the optimal speed of driving. Higher speeds increase energy consumptions and shorten range (more or longer stops at the fast chargers). Another level of complexity is that charging speed usually isn’t constant, so it might be worth it to charge only up to 60-70%, instead of to let’s say 80%.
Bjørn Nyland recently spent some time testing his Tesla Model 3 Performance (with custom wheels) at various cruising speeds and collecting charging data to find out the optimum.
Taking the speed limits aside, the fastest way to travel over a long distance is to set 190 km/h (118 mph) and Supercharge from 10-60% SOC, which is in line with Fastned’s Model 3 charging chart.
Bjørn Nyland says also that a speed of 150 km/h (93 mph) is also reasonable as the average speed, including charging stops, is similar (109 km/h vs nearly 115 km/h – less than 5% difference)
We would move even further and say that a speed of 130 km/h (81 mph) is a very good choice because after including charging, speed of 150 km/h (15% higher) is just 6.8% quicker, while 190 km/h (46% higher) is just 12.1% quicker. Driving significantly slower doesn’t make us much slower in the final analysis, while it increases safety and allows to stop fewer times (energy consumption is almost 38% lower than at 190 km/h). By the way, 130 km/h (81 mph) fits many European highway speed limits.
You can also charge to 70% SOC instead of 60%, the difference is marginal.
The results can change in the future when the charging power will increase up to 250 kW. The quicker the charging is, and the more chargers along the route to choose from, the higher the optimal speed can then be.