2012 Tesla Model S
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Spend a princely sum on a top-of-the-line Tesla Model S, which has an 85-kWh battery pack, and you can get an EPA-certified 265 miles on a full charge. If you opt for the lower-cost (and delayed) 60-kWh version, the EPA has now calculated you'll get 208 miles.

This works out to 95 miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) combined, 94 in the city and 97 on the highway with the 60-kWh pack. The EPA has multiple ways of expressing this number, including: 35 kWhs to go 100 miles. Or an Annual "Fuel" Cost ("Based on 45% highway, 55% city driving, 15,000 annual miles and current fuel prices") of $650. Or that it costs $1.05 to drive 25 miles.

To compare, the 85-kWh version gets 89 MPGe (combined), 88 (city) and 90 (highway), which means the 60-kWh Model S is about six to seven percent more efficient, points out tipster Mike I. He writes that the lower mass of the smaller battery pack probably accounts for the difference, and we suspect he's right, because what else could it be? As always, your mileage may vary.

Speaking of YMMV, here's what you can do with a fully charged, 85-kWh Model S and a light foot: 423.5 miles. That's how far a father-sun duo in Florida managed to go in a Model S recently, according to Green Car Reports and congratulated by Elon Musk. Back in May, Tesla started talking about giving a prize to whoever could drive a Model S over 400 miles on a single charge. Challenge accepted and accomplished, Tesla. Now, what's the prize?


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 46 Comments
      Rotation
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's about 185 EPA miles not using range mode (Tesla's recommended daily use) and that's probably about 165 real-world miles not using range mode. That's better than I expected by a bit.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 21's are actually standard on any Performance Model S in 2012. In 2013 they will become an option for all Model S
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        not because - "become"
        ElectricAvenue
        • 2 Years Ago
        Huh? The 21" wheels are an option on any Model S right now. Just go to the "Model S Design Studio" on their web site.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @ElectricAvenue
          The 21" wheels are a "no cost" option for a Performance buyer. In 2013, they will because an option with cost.
      Grendal
      • 2 Years Ago
      The range is actually better than what people on the Tesla Forum were expecting.
      edward.stallings
      • 2 Years Ago
      That's less than 3 hours of driving at highway speed before tow truck time.... What a joke! So if you drive over 104 miles away, you are not driving home - lol! What kind of idiot would buy one???? Keep in mind that my estimate is very generous because the EPA highway testing is not what a normal driver would consider highway speed, so real life range is even more pitiful. Watching this unfold is the best comedy available!
        ElectricAvenue
        • 2 Years Ago
        @edward.stallings
        Right, because *nobody* ever drives less than 200 miles in a day.
        bluepongo1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @edward.stallings
        Watching slugs come back with different names and the same rants after they were erased is better comedy. Since you probably live in a car and use a library computer, you probably don't have the intellect to rent a car let alone own more than one. Explaining mileage and resale is pointless because you are incapable of learning. People have exhaustively tried to educate you and have failed and you keep whining about "tow truck time". In before the slugs who cry about a luxury car they will never own not being sold at a clown car price*. *( They are probably whining about the price of a Veyron) WINNERS>whiners
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @edward.stallings
        If you're going to be driving long distances on a regular basis and really want to do it with an EV (I know you don't edward) then you should probably drop the extra $10K and get the 85 kWh version that gets you free access to the Supercharger stations.
        fly by wireless
        • 2 Years Ago
        @edward.stallings
        60KWH / 3H = 20KW each hour. I suspect you've successfully outrun the police burning through that much juice.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @fly by wireless
          Yes, 60 kWh consumed in 3 hours is an average power of 20 kW (or 27 hp). So? 60 kWh is only the energy equivalent of about 1.6 US gallons of gasoline. Contrast, for example, with a ICE car that gets, say, 30 mpg at 60 mph. That's 2 US gallons per hour, rather than about half a gallon per hour. EVs are efficient! What this has to do with edward.stallings ignorant rant is beyond me, however.
      • 2 Years Ago
      The 19 inch tires are also more efficient, that could have contributed as well.
        Nick Kordich
        • 2 Years Ago
        The 19" wheels were used on both 85kWh and 60kWh EPA tests, I'm sure - the 21" wheels are optional, and I'm sure Tesla Motors wouldn't specially equip the test car with sub-optimal wheels when determining the baseline range. On the other hand, the owner who made the 423.5 mile drive had 21" wheels on his own car, and while he planned a good route (where he could travel at just 25mph on mostly level ground), he also had a 13 year old passenger and poor weather that probably took off a few miles. According to Tesla's "Go Electric" web page, the 21" wheels result in a range about 6% shorter than the 19" ones at highway speed. In a low-speed drive where rolling resistance is a bigger factor than aerodynamic drag, the effect of the wheel size is magnified. With a set of 19" wheels and no passenger, 450 miles looks feasible.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick Kordich
          @Rotation Four friends owning Model S's? Wow. That's got to be long odds, or you have influenced them, or maybe they have influenced you. No matter what, that's pretty cool. Thank them from me. Their early adoption will allow me to eventually get my Gen III car. Or if that takes too long then I'll probably go ahead and get a Model S myself. Either way, your friends are helping to make it happen.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick Kordich
          Totally agree about the ranged trip. The number is fun but it shouldn't be taken as anything realistic unless you're a daily hypermiler. As for the 21" wheels, they were included in the Signature package so most cars on the road now have them. That is changing quickly as more and more general production cars hit the road. Even those numbers are skewed since Tesla is only handing out 85 kWh standard and performance cars. A lot of those customers are upgrading their wheels. 60kWh and 40kWh people are probably not buying the 21" wheels since they are trying to save money.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick Kordich
          Any option that is selected by more than 30% of customers and affects mpg must be proportionally factored into the EPA rating. So, for example if there is a 50% uptake on the 21" rims, then the EAP figures should be 50-50 averaged between 19" and 21" figures. I dunno what the 21" uptake is on the 95kWh Model S is, but it may be over 30%. 450 miles isn't really realistic no matter what wheels are on. It can be done, but you're going to have to put yourself into unrealistic conditions (low speeds, no A/C) to do it. http://www.teslamotors.com/forum/forums/range-vs-speed-graph Tesla's own charts say you'd have to drive 20-25mph to do 450 miles. Are you really going to spend 18-22 hours at 20-25mph? Not in any normal conditions.
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick Kordich
          "Who is buying a $60,000 sports car, and trying to save money on the 2 inch shorter wheels???" The wheels are $3500 extra. If you add in supercharger access, that's $5500 right there. For another $4500 you might as well get the larger battery pack and all that comes along with it. So monetarily it makes sense that 40 and 60 kWh people are going to avoid that extra $3500 charge for something that's mostly visual. But sure. If you really want them you'll pay whatever it takes to get them.
          Nick Kordich
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick Kordich
          @Rotation - thanks for the insight on the uptake affecting the EPA rating - I wasn't aware of that. It makes sense, though I'm curious how it would be factored in on a brand new car well before options were selectable (second year sales, I can see, but I'm wondering it that's up to marketing's best guess on their original estimate). Also, I agree on 450 miles being unrealistic. Instead of "feasible" I should have said "doable [in the context of a range challenge]." I believe Elon Musk had suggested some form of recognition for the first ten who beat 400 miles, and I was thinking we might see a few others try to beat this.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick Kordich
          Yeah, the Signatures have them, but are Signatures even Model S cars? Tesla didn't call them that. I wonder if Tesla found a way to not count them (and their option mix) in the EPA numbers. I agree the cheaper cars will have less 21" uptake. Although neither of my 85kWh Model S (not signature, not performance) owning friends got the 21s either. My signature performance owning friend has them (duh). I actually have a 4th friend with a Model S now, but I haven't asked him about it, I didn't even know he had one until I saw him driving it.
          Joeviocoe
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick Kordich
          " 60kWh and 40kWh people are probably not buying the 21" wheels since they are trying to save money." Who is buying a $60,000 sports car, and trying to save money on the 2 inch shorter wheels???
          Grendal
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Nick Kordich
          I didn't realize that the 21" wheels had such a dramatic change in range numbers. I can't think of a single reviewer doing a range test that used the 19" wheels.
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        It also takes less energy to accelerate a car to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds (60-kWh battery) compared to 5.6 seconds for the 85-kWh version. Lighter weight + more efficient wheels/tires + slightly slower acceleration would all explain why it is more efficient. Very good stuff. It leads me to wonder if the 160-mile version will get EPA rated somewhere in the mid-140's in range based on these numbers. That shorter range isn't too shabby, but that along with no SuperCharger network access, 6.5 second 0-60 times, and potentially shorter battery life seems like too much to give up for the $10K price difference between the 40 kWh and the 60 kWh packs. Especially when resale values are factored in. I think you might get most of that $10K difference back on resale.
          raktmn
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          Rotation -- I just had to down-vote my own post out because I clearly hadn't thought through what I posted enough before posting it. =( You are right that the EPA tests don't use WOT as part of their test cycle. It is all set rates of acceleration that is the same for every car, and are actually pretty mild. So what I said about acceleration wouldn't apply to the EPA test results. My bad. I understand the C rating concept. But I don't understand how that would apply directly to efficiency as long as the batteries weren't being discharged faster than what they are rated for. If it takes X units of energy to move a car from 0-60, how would the C rating change how many units of energy it would take? I just don't understand the details of how batteries work within their C rating that would change their efficiency. Let me put it another way. We know the standard 85 kWh battery pack is well below it's C rating in the non-performance sedan (because they also sell a performance version). Let's pull a figure out of thin air just to play with, and say that the 85 kWh battery is operating at 70% of it's C rating doing 0-60 in 5.6 seconds. Let's assume for this example that the 60 kWh battery uses the same cells, just less of them (I don't think we can actually assume that in real life). That would mean it would use roughly 100% of it's C rating to accelerate at the same speed. But the controller doesn't allow the same acceleration, so the slower acceleration would be somewhere less than 100% of C rating. As long as it doesn't cross over that 100% of C rating, wouldn't the amount of energy coming out of the pack always equal how much energy it takes to go from 0-60, without any additional energy drains on the battery? I'm making my own brain hurt. I hope I don't end up having to down-vote myself again...
          SVX pearlie
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          Even if it degrades from 140 down to 100 miles, that's still far larger than what the typical person will drive for a regular commute. The typical 40-mile commute is only 25% of the starting total. You could charge every other day and keep SOC between 20% and 80%. After 8 years, you've still got up to 100 miles, which beats a brand-new Leaf by roughly 30%. I'm not seeing the issue. Aside from massively diminishing returns by buying 140 or 200 miles with 100+ miles of excess capacity instead of the 40-80 miles that one might need. But then, we drive giant SUVs to get groceries and mail letters, so eh, not a big deal.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          Well, C rating comes into play on efficiency because the pack has an internal impedance. More correctly, each cell does. The current is divided proportionally across all the cells (well, across the vertical stacked up strings of cells, but let's not worry about that, that doesn't actually matter). The loss in each cell is the current multiplied by the internal impedance. As you draw more power relative to the pack size, the energy lost in the pack itself goes up, because your current draw is going up on each cell (as you are taking the same current from fewer cells). Basically, just google battery pack power density to see what's up. This is why the Model S with 60kWh pack is slower 0-60 than the 85kWh and the 40kWh is slower than either. It's also why the top speed goes down, as top speed requires continuous full draw and the max continuous full draw goes down.
          Rotation
          • 2 Years Ago
          @raktmn
          On the contrary, packs lose more energy internally the more power they put out. This power is measured in C, or the capacity of the pack. The 60kWh pack wil be working at least as hard (probably harder) during a 0-60 run as the 85kWh pack does when you measure the rate of work in C. Note that in EPA testing, the car doesn't accelerate 0-60 in 5.9 or 5.6 seconds, the car isn't pushed that hard. So none of that would factor into EPA numbers.
      raktmn
      • 2 Years Ago
      forgive me I haven't kept up with the latest news, but has the 60-kWh version of the Model S been approved for Tesla's SuperCharger network? If so I personally think that this would be the best version for my needs (not considering future smaller/cheaper models promised by Tesla). The performance version of the 85K model is an absolute killer, if you can afford M5 prices. But if you just want something more practical than an M5, more at the level of a 535i, I think this is where this one fits nicely. YMMV.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @raktmn
        Yeah, it'll work, Tesla wants extra for it, but hey, it is their electricity, so they can do that. It's unclear how much charge you'll get, it likely won't be 150 miles in 30 minutes, maybe 120? Hopefully Tesla will clear this up for us.
        wtrmlnjuc
        • 2 Years Ago
        @raktmn
        Tesla's Model S Design Studio... thing says yes. Only the 40kWh batteries are not supported.
        raktmn
        • 2 Years Ago
        @raktmn
        To answer my own question. An extra $2,000 dollars buys yourself unlimited access to the Tesla SuperCharger network.
      Giza Plateau
      • 2 Years Ago
      How heavy is it?
        bluepongo1
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        " Crash test safe " heavy. WINNERS> whiners.
        Rotation
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Giza Plateau
        Very very heavy, over 4600lbs.
          ElectricAvenue
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Rotation
          I think Giza Plateau is asking about the weight of the 60 kWh model, which is something that is not, I think, publicly known. The 85 kWh model is said to be 4647.3 pounds. Give or take 0.05 pounds, one presumes. :-) I wouldn't be surprised if the 60 kWh model was 500 pounds lighter. But that's just a wild guess.
      SteveM
      • 2 Years Ago
      This is good news. The configurator at teslamotors.com shows that adding in optional access to the Supercharger network with the 60kwh battery is an additional $2000. So the difference between a similarly-equipped 60kwh Model S and an 85kwh Model S ends up somwhere between $7000 and $8000, since the Supercharger network access is included with the 85kwh battery. So that extra $10k for the 85kwh battery over the 60kwh battery drops down by $2k.
      Ziv
      • 2 Years Ago
      208 miles of range is getting close to being a full utility car. Being able to drive 2-2.5 hours while still having a reasonable reserve, stop and fast charge to 80-90% of total capacity in thirty minutes or less while grabbing a bite to eat, and then drive another 1.75-2.25 hours is pretty impressive. We are pretty spoiled by just how convenient and energy dense gasoline is. It is still too expensive for most of us, as is the Volt, but they are both moving in the right direction. I think the EREV's will still outsell BEV's for the next 5 or 6 years, but by 2019 the competition between the two types of EV's could be very interesting.
        Letstakeawalk
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Ziv
        "... fast charge to 80-90% of total capacity in thirty minutes..." A 60kWh battery, at a 90kW charger, for half an hour. More like 75%?
          Ziv
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          So the driving speed and time would be, a Tesla S driver can drive for 176 miles at 65 mph in 2.5 hours with a 21 mile reserve, recharge to 80% in 41 minutes and drive another 137 miles in 2.1 hours before getting to a 21 mile range remaining warning again. I don't think driving 2.5 hours then 2.1 hours would be that much of a sacrifice, but that is assuming each fast charger is perfectly placed each time. Not likely, that. But the 60 kWh S is getting into spitting distance of being a full utility car which is very impressive. It makes the Leaf/FFE/Spark EV 'green' with envy, I would imagine! ;-) And the 85 kWh S is the real deal. Now if we could just fast forward on the price improvement front...
          Ziv
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Letstakeawalk
          You are right, LTW, according to Tesla, if I drive 65 mph in a 60 kWh S, it will take 41 minutes to re-charge from 10% to 80%. So they are assuming drivers will be willing to drop down to just 21 miles of range, given the location of the fast charger is known. But at 65 mph, which I can say with personal experience is about as slow as I am willing to go on an interstate, Tesla estimates that you can go 176 miles and go from 100% to 10%, and then it would take 41 minutes to re-charge to 80% for another 137 miles of range. Which isn't bad. Tesla has an interesting site, the set up is kind of zoomy, but the data is there. http://www.teslamotors.com/goelectric#roadtrips
      EZEE
      • 2 Years Ago
      Merica, eff yea! (Raises beer, shoots shotgun) We rock!
      mycommentemail
      • 2 Years Ago
      "father and sun team"? Glad it wasn't a father and moon team, that might have gotten them arrested.
        Grendal
        • 2 Years Ago
        @mycommentemail
        I totally missed that. It should have been obvious. Brains are odd things.
      Aaron
      • 2 Years Ago
      YMMY? How about YMMV. :)
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