EPA range ratings are funny things—they're never official until they're official.
Tesla released its Model 3 Mid Range in early November, in an effort to offer a lower-priced base model, with an estimated range of 260 miles.
Now the EPA has released final range figures confirming that number, and revealed official MPGe efficiency estimates.
According to the EPA, the Model 3 Mid Range gets 128 MPGe in the city, 117 on the highway, and 123 combined. That's about 5 percent lower than the now-discontinued long-range rear-wheel drive version, though it's not clear why.
The Model 3 with the long-range battery is now available only with all-wheel drive, and lower efficiency ratings of 120 MPGe city, 112 hwy, and 116 combined. It gets an estimated 310 miles of range.
The Model 3 Mid Range uses a battery pack of about 60 kwh in place of the 75-kwh pack in the Long Range model.
The Mid Range version still has a longer range than the Chevrolet Bolt EV's 234 miles or even the new Hyundai Kona Electric, which is rated at 258 miles from a slightly larger, 64-kwh battery pack.
In practice, automakers conduct their own tests for EPA ratings and submit them to the EPA for certification. Tesla's original range estimate may have been based on its own tests. The EPA does not always conduct its own tests, but spot checks manufacturer tests.
The Model 3 Mid Range starts at $47,200, including destination, $7,000 less than the long-range Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive model.
Tesla has long promised a Model 3 Standard Range for $35,000, with a smaller battery expected to have about 225 miles of range from about 50 kwh. That car is not yet available, as Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said the company will need another three to six months of full production of more expensive versions of the Model 3 to generate enough cashflow to afford to build the Standard Range car.