Mission accomplished?

That's what Tesla executives Elon Musk and J.B. Straubel might be asking themselves after running single-charge mileage tests of the company's Model S sedan, which could be making the near first customer deliveries in about a month. That's roughly 30 days ahead of schedule, as Tesla is reportedly wrapping up crash testing fast enough to start making the hotly-anticipated EV.

Tesla's Model S battery-electric sedan has about a 31 percent longer single-charge range than the Roadster convertible that Tesla debuted in 2008, Musk and Straubel wrote on the company's blog Wednesday. More importantly, the Model S exceeded the company's goal of a 300-mile single-charge range under a mix of city and highway driving. Read their gloatations here and check out our first-ride impressions here.

In fact, under the so-called 2-cycle EPA testing method involving 55 percent city driving and 45 percent highway, the Model S drove 320 miles on a single charge. Back when the Roadster was tested, it got 244 miles. The biggest battery you can get in the Model S is 85 kWh, while the Roadster has 56 kWh. Oh, and Tesla thinks the potential is there for more miles to be hiding in a Model S pack, and is going to give some sort of prize to whoever can drive a Model S over 400 miles on a single charge first. The glove has been tossed.

The Model S couldn't come at a much better time for Tesla, as the automaker just announced a first quarter loss of $89.9 million. The prospects aren't any better for Q2, but the second half of the year should be an entirely different story. Q1 revenue was only $30 million, and the first half year revenue is expected to come in around $60 million. With the Model S around for the second half of the year, sales are expected to skyrocket into the $600 million range. Tesla forecast earlier this year that 2012 sales would triple from last year's revenue of $204.2 million because of the Model S, which the company estimated would move 5,000 units this year, even though the automaker currently has 10,000 orders in-hand.

Autoblog writer Chris Shunk contributed to this post.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 125 Comments
      goodoldgorr
      • 2 Years Ago
      @ Peter scott. Rotation is not an anti-ev troll and his concern are realistic. There is still the problem of almost no fast charger on the road and also it will be so for the forseable future, maybe you will never see it in your lifetime and on top of that there is still another problem and it is that many supposedly fast charger do not have compatible plug one to another and i heard that the paying method are also different from one hypotical fast charger to another. So to be fair you have actually one chance on one million to find a usable fast charger where you need it except at your home if you accept to pay another 10 000$ on top of the 55 000$ for the tesla model s that will be released soon. Maybe in 2015-2020 they will have sorted it out but in that time manufacturers will introduce natural gas and hydrogen so maybe you will be still caught with a tesla model s, leaf, imiev, tesla roadster, home made bev, zero motorcycle that cannot travel on the road so you will have to keep a gasoline car so it will further drive the price of a fast charger infrastructure and gasoline infrastructure way up then what it is now.
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      Look at the source link. Their chart shows the car gets a hair over 250 miles range at 65mph. And that's with only 300 lbs cargo (including driver), a brand new battery pack and with the climate control off! This car is going to produce significantly less range than promised. If you use the climate system and drive 65, you're talking about probably 225 miles range on this car. IMHO Tesla is making a big mistake putting out their figures of 320 miles, 350 miles (see engadget) or crowing about 400 miles in the source link when people are going to see 225 miles in real life. Not that 225 miles isn't enough, but you run a huge risk of turning people off when you bandy around numbers 125 miles higher than they experience. The really unfortunate part is that all this means the shortest range model, the "160 mile" range model is going to produce less than 100 miles in normal highway use. The good news I guess is that on shorter trips you do tend to spend less time at 65mph, so people can reasonably expect to experience more than 100 miles on that one.
        Anne
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rotation
        "The really unfortunate part is that all this means the shortest range model, the "160 mile" range model is going to produce less than 100 miles in normal highway use." How did you arrive at that conclusion?
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Joevicoe: To be most fair, my estimates are based upon real data AND conjecture. I didn't make up the figures, I got them from Tesla's chart. Then I adjusted them similar to how other 2 mode figures have been derated in the real world (LEAF, Volt). So my figures are not made up but they are very likely in the right ballpark. And if you are just down to complaining I didn't run my own testing, I think you don't have a lot of real argument left to me.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Rotation, still, none of your estimates are based on real data. Just conjecture.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Because it's less than half the size of this car's pack. This one gets 225 miles in best realistic case highway use (250 miles @ 65 mph minus hotel loads, not a brand new pack and not having an empty trunk). So cut that in half, subtract off for normal instead of optimistic use and you're talking under 100 miles of highway use. 225 * 40 / 85 = 105. Okay, I did my math wrong. People will get about 100 miles of highway use in best realistic case normal highway use, not under 100 miles.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Taking the worst case scenario and assuming most people would get that.
          Anne
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          @Rotation The 40 kWh version is lighter due to the smaller battery and delivers lower performance. Your calculation does not factor that in. You'll have to wait until the real numbers come in.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Anne: None of these figures are dipping into the increased performance of the higher end models. It wouldn't get even 100 miles if it did. It is lighter, but don't expect miracles. You can do the math other ways if you want. Tesla says the S is about 10% less efficient than the Roadster, and the Roadster was 110MPGe. The 40kW model has about 1.1 gallons of gas (equivalent energy) in it, 110*1.1*.9 = 110. Still about the same figure I calculated the other way.
          Jim Illo
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Anne
          Yeah, I don't get it either. Even if you use "Rotation"s 'worst case' for the 85Kwh pack, you're looking at 225 miles vs. EPA two-cycle test of 320 miles. 225/320 = 70%. 70% of 160 miles = 112 miles of real world range for the 160 mile Tesla S. That's higher than "less than 100 miles in normal highway use" per Rotation's commnent.s
      islandboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      What's going to be interesting is, when the batteries developed using technology from Envia and/or DBM Energy hit the streets. These batteries should significantly increase range while reducing weight and cost. Will 200+ mile range become the new normal? Still, Tesla is way ahead of the pack with this sort of range and performance now!
      PeterScott
      • 2 Years Ago
      IMO Everyone should be cheering for Tesla to succeed. This the kind of American success story we need. A new American car company, with product conceived, designed, engineered and built in the USA. Running almost entirely on US sourced energy. Yet the negative Nellies are out in force because it "only" gets 265 miles of range on EPA 5 cycle test.
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        Well, everyone lies about their EV range. So why single Tesla out.. but i agree, it is a nasty practice for all the automakers.. and anyone selling batteries, really. You all should be listening to what the EPA has to say.
        Dave
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        Tesla makes expensive snake oil that gives EVs a bad name.
        goodoldgorr
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        If i understand something it's that tesla have his own norm about fast charging and it is not compatible with the nissan leaf norm of the imiev norm nor the upcoming byd method or coda. Who will win.
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        I actually read their blog link. It seems very well balanced. Hardly just crowing about 320. http://www.teslamotors.com/blog/model-s-efficiency-and-range The had design goals to reach 300 mile range on EPA 2 cycle. They can't change their design just because the EPA changed the test. In their blog entry they are happy to have exceeded their original 300 mile EPA 2 cycle range by 20 miles. No failure there. That is exceeding the design goals. So well done. But in the same sentence, they show the have exceeded design goals, they clearly mention that they get 265 on the new tougher EPA 5 cycle. They aren't hiding this. The test changed, the EPA number will be lower. By exceeding design goals, they have shown their technical prowess, now when the final car is done, and gets official EPA testing, it will be advertised with that number, much the same as the roadster was.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          The crowing is referring to AB's sentence: "Read their gloatations here and check out our first-ride impressions here." And in what world is what Tesla did here not advertising? They are getting the higher numbers out ahead of the official numbers. This is the problem, not the job they did, the expectations they are setting.
          PeterScott
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          How is Tesla responsible for ABG commentary?
          Rotation
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @PeterScott
          JakeY: Look at the marketing of this car, it isn't to "the EV community", they are trying to position it to everyone. So saying EV insiders already get it isn't covering the issue. The issue is that gas drivers may be swayed to this and then discover, "as they always suspected" that EVs can't measure up. Yes, I have seen companies manage expectations before. How you can say Tesla exceeded expectations when the 320 figure is under 40mph I don't know. If you tell a customer a car gets 300 miles range highway, they are expecting that to be at highway speeds. They don't mean that if you drive under 40mph for 8.5 hours you'll experience 320 miles range!
          JakeY
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @PeterScott
          @Rotation "You're right, Tesla is not directly responsible for AB's commentary. But they have to manage expectations. " I have never seen any company tell the media to stop being too positive. And in general I don't think owners expected 300 to be the 5-cycle test (at least the ones that visit the owners forums). If you step over to Tesla Motors Club, most people expected 300 to be the 2-cycle number (they got 320) and 300*70% = 210 to be the 5-cycle number (from experience with the ratings of the Roadster vs the Leaf). So Tesla actually exceeded expectations.
          Anne
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @PeterScott
          @Rotation "If you tell a customer a car gets 300 miles range highway" Where exactly did they say that?
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          You're right, Tesla is not directly responsible for AB's commentary. But they have to manage expectations. When Engadget says 350 miles, they would do well to get the proper word out or else customers will be upset when they get 230.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @PeterScott
        When you call the car a 300 mile range and crow it's really 320, but it's actually 265 or less, then yeah, that's a negative. They're risking unhappy customers and I don't like to see people buy EVs and then get unhappy because "just like they thought" the things can't really measure up on range.
      Dave D
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is amazing! An EV that is better than a BMW 7 series in almost every conceivable way, including price, announces they got slightly better than expected mpg on an EPA test and half of you are lambasting them! Do you guys remember where EVs were 5 years ago? Even 3 years ago? What the hell do you want?
        Anne
        • 1 Hour Ago
        @Dave D
        "Do you guys remember where EVs were 5 years ago? Even 3 years ago?" Oh yes, I remember very well. Three years ago I thought I'd be driving my first EV in 2017. For 50,000 euros and with a 150 km range. Now it looks like I'll be driving one next year. 21000 euros and with a 200 km range. "What the hell do you want?" +1 Indeed many people are behaving like spoilt kids that want everything NOW, IMMEDIATLY, PERFECTLY, EFFORTLESSLY. And if it doesn't happen, then that proves EV's are useless. In the mean time, in the real world, progress is hard work, taking small steps and more hard work.
      2 Wheeled Menace
      • 2 Years Ago
      "300-mile single-charge range under a mix of city and highway driving." Okay, there you guys go. You will get under that figure on the highway, you will get over that figure in putzy city driving. A lot of people are looking at the highway number only and saying that Tesla is lying their pants off. Is that fair? I don't think it is. I don't think it's fair to rate a gas car based on it's highway fuel economy either, you have to consider the city fuel economy and look at the average.
        Rotation
        • 1 Hour Ago
        @2 Wheeled Menace
        You're not giong to drive 300 miles city driving in a day. Well, most won't. It'd be a nightmare.
          PeterScott
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Rotation
          Most people average less than 40 miles per day, total. The 85KWh pack cars are mostly overkill that will primarily be about eliminating range anxiety for the well to do. The car with the 40KWh pack would be plenty for me.
          Chad Schwitters
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Rotation
          PeterScott's comment makes perfect sense for multi-car families buying their first BEV. But for single-car families, and two-car families buying a second BEV, an 85kWh pack may make a lot of sense. But frankly, I'm more jazzed just about the availability of the 85kWh pack, rather than whether or not anybody buys it. So many people say "I'll consider an EV when it can go 300 miles", and now one does. So now perhaps they will really consider one. Sure, after considering their finances and their REAL needs, they may only buy the 40kWh pack--or a Leaf--but that's great!
          2 Wheeled Menace
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Rotation
          ^-- peterScott nailed it.
      pmpjunkie
      • 2 Years Ago
      Exiting news! I hope they can realise the industry standard 8% annual improvement in range and 14% reduction in cost. Starting with the EPA5 range of 265 miles you would see that increase to 330 miles by 2015 at a lower price than today. Can't wait for all the knuckleheads to be like: "but it has to be 1000 miles and charge in 2 seconds blah blah blah....."
      Jason Allen
      • 2 Years Ago
      Does anyone know if the smaller battery pack cars are likely to have better range too? Like, an extra 10 miles sounds right, if this translates.
        PeterScott
        • 1 Hour Ago
        @Jason Allen
        Bear in mind, that the bigger number is on the old EPA two-cycle test. This isn't the test the cars will be EPA certified with. Calculating expectation for the other packs on old EPA 2 cycle: 85KWh - 320 miles 60KWh - 245 miles 40KWh - 170 miles Calculating expecations for EPA 5 cycle numbers, the test the cars will actually be certified with. 85KWh - 265 miles 60KWh - 203 miles 40KWh - 141 miles Note the numbers don't correlate 100% to packs size, as the smaller packs are lighter they gain some efficiency from that.
      Letstakeawalk
      • 2 Years Ago
      Fortunately, Tesla has realized that a simple written warning is really not a satisfactory solution to a potentially ruined battery, so the Model S incorporates systems to prevent total discharge from happening. "Today, Tesla said the Model S has more protections than the Roadster and would approach full discharge after 12 months if left parked with a 50 percent charge. Also, a Model S can be recharged if driven to a zero battery state. "Model S batteries also have the ability to protect themselves as they approach very low charge levels by going into a 'deep sleep' mode that lowers the loss even further. A Model S will not allow its battery to fall below about 5 percent charge. At that point the car can still sit for many months. Of course you can drive a Model S to 0 percent charge, but even in that circumstance, if you plug it in within 30 days, the battery will recover normally," Tesla said on its Web site today." http://news.cnet.com/8301-11386_3-57384571-76/tesla-you-cant-brick-model-s-batteries/
      hahiran
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love true innovators like Elon. I think all the other electric start-ups failed largely because they lacked vision, deep personal pockets, giant ego, and dogged persistence. They might have had one of those, but Musk has them all. Like someone else commented on here, we should really get behind Tesla as an American company of the future. He didn't build his factory in China like so many other so-called American companies that are nothing more than hollow shells, like Nike.
        Smith Jim
        • 1 Hour Ago
        @hahiran
        I gave you a +1 but you comment deserves +1,000,000
          marcopolo
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Smith Jim
          @ Dave Mart, I'm not sure, but I don't think Peter is referring to you ?
          PeterScott
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Smith Jim
          I expect Rotation/Dave, they seem most hostile about Tesla. I voted him up after I saw the -1, but it didn't seem to work. My votes only seem to work half the time.
          Marco Polo
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Smith Jim
          @ Smith Jim Me too, I can't imagine who voted down hahiran's comment ? On, yeah there's DF....
          DaveMart
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Smith Jim
          @Peter: Weirdly you seem to regard any comment which is less than cheerleading as anti Tesla. All I have done is noted that they achieved their goals for range, but also put the criteria for the absolute range into context, and noted that since this is at constant miles per hour and so on few are actually going to get quite that much. In your world apparently putting the article here into perspective is apparently knocking copy. Get real. I think they have done a great job so far, but confine my cheering to what they actually do, as opposed to disintegrating into a puddle of ecstasy, which apparently is the only acceptable attitude for you.
          DaveMart
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Smith Jim
          Dave D: I thought you were otherwise known as: 'Pistol'? :-)
          PeterScott
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Smith Jim
          @Davemart. I am referring to "Dave" who said: "Tesla makes expensive snake oil that gives EVs a bad name" Or claimed that the Range mode destroys batteries. He has been posting completely negative comment through the thread.
          Rotation
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Smith Jim
          I'm not hostile toward Tesla and I rarely vote down any posts, let alone this one. You people are weird. I'm upset about this because Tesla will bring in new EV customers and potentially turn them off, not because Tesla has a great car. I'm not saying the car isn't good, they just need to manage expectations. Remember the Volt 230 mpg thing? Nothing against the Volt, just the marketing. This is the same situation.
          Dave D
          • 1 Hour Ago
          @Smith Jim
          DaveMart, I think he was referring to the other Dave (Dave L I believe). Not you or me. Too many of us Dave's in this world. I think I'll change my moniker to "Hoser" :-)
        Dan Frederiksen
        • 1 Hour Ago
        @hahiran
        Martin Eberhard who? : ) serves you right Martin for fading away
      JakeY
      • 2 Years Ago
      @Letstakeawalk It also says this: "Of course you can drive a Model S to 0 percent charge". That sounds like Range mode to me (or something similar).
      Dave
      • 2 Years Ago
      Does this include a "range mode" that destroys the battery pack like the Roadster does?
        PeterScott
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        What a surprise, the local Hydrogen shill posting FUD on an EV story...
          PeterScott
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          I see nothing about range mode destroying batteries, so it qualifies as FUD.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          Thanks for doing the research, LTAW. Again, the Model S (and the roadster) work in a different way from a gas car. Those driving them will have to learn a different pattern for maximizing the potential for their EV just like everyone knows how to take care of their gas car now. No one goes on the AB site and comments "and if you forget to put oil in the car - you ruin the engine!" on a regular basis. Nor does someone post "And flooring your Ford Focus drops your mileage by half! What a loser car!" every time there is an article about a Ford Focus. But those kind of posts show up here all the time... So Dave is just pointing out how an electric car works in a different way when compared to a gas car. Well, Dave - no kidding. Next do you want to point out how, if you remove the air from a tire, it can damage the tire?
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/7156-Actual-range-of-the-160-mile-model-S
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          I saw it in the second comment, and nobody seemed to bat an eye... Tesla drivers just accepted the comment and went on with the discussion. "You don't want to use range mode every day for your daily driving, or your pack will degrade quickly...so you'll use standard mode, which gives approximately 80% that range." Likewise, Dan Myggen gives some advice about maintaining the battery, and points out that Range mode allows the battery to be topped off to a higher SOC, which can cause damage if the car is allowed to sit in the sun. "Think of battery degradation this way. It is very much a function of time spent at voltage and temperature. For instance, you do not want to charge a car all the way in performance mode, and then let it sit in the sun all day. Between the higher thermal limits and the high SOC, you are causing the battery a relatively high amount of degradation .In fact, the car will eventually allow itself to discharge to Standard levels if left in Performance mode to prevent inadvertent damage to the battery. If you start driving right away after charging in Performance or Range Mode, and don’t let it sit, you would minimize the damage incurred, as the time spent at these extremes is an important part of the calculation." The logic is simple as to why Range mode causes a battery to degrade more quickly: the battery's SOC is allowed to go further to both full and empty extremes. That type of usage is known to cause batteries to have much shorter lifespan. Also, partial charges cause balancing problems, which can lead to charging problems later on.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          Feel free to look it up. Its true, not FUD.
          Dave
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          http://www.teslamotors.com/it_IT/forum/forums/range-mode-battery-life
          Letstakeawalk
          • 2 Years Ago
          @PeterScott
          "So Dave is just pointing out how an electric car works in a different way when compared to a gas car. Well, Dave - no kidding. Next do you want to point out how, if you remove the air from a tire, it can damage the tire?" Thanks for confirming that Dave was only pointing out an obvious and well-known issue. He wasn't incorrect, and the info wasn't FUD - it is an honest issue that actual Tesla owners have developed a strategy to deal with and minimize damage (mostly by avoiding using that specific mode).
        2 Wheeled Menace
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        Oh cmon dude. Sounds like range mode allows you to dip lower into the SOC, where normally there is kind of a reserve hanging out . This probably allows you to hobble along if you've gone too far and need to find a plug. I bet you they warn about it in the user manual just like they warned about discharging your car and leaving it sitting for months ( "bricked" battery being a result )
        Marco Polo
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Dave
        @ Dave, Yes, yes it does ! How perceptive of you ! Oh, the Tesla S also, catches fire regularly, breaks down in traffic, causes divorce, is more polluting than a Hummer, pays for Obama's secret society memberships, makes your hair fall out, damages the road system, and prevents you from watching Fox News ! Elon Musk is a secret Communist , who will eat your children ! Better stick your trusty 6 litre V8 SUV with not one, but two, gun racks! (fully loaded)
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