How far can Tesla’s 85-kwh Model S go on a single charge? Oh, around 238 miles says Motor Trend after a mixed driving test with some power-saving tricks employed as well.
The U.S. EPA officially pegs its range at 265 miles, but given Tesla had initially limited test drives to much shorter than the automotive industry norm, some had still wondered whether Tesla had something to hide.
Motor Trend’s editors were the first for a major publication to find out for themselves on a round trip from their El Segundo, Calif. offices south to San Diego and back.
Running the car with A/C off, but ventilation on, cruise control set at a conservative 65 mph and body lowered on its air suspension, it got down to the wire.
“The total range – adding the unused 4 miles, would be 238. Yes, 238 is 11 percent short of 265. Moreover, it was done while being very stingy with performance (for the most part),” wrote the publication. “Is that 265 actually valid? If you drive predominately at highway speeds, then probably not. But were we to have included more medium-speed roads (long stretches at 45-50 mph) well, possibly.”
Still, 238 miles is pretty good – in fact it’s the best presently available for an all-electric production car. Of course this one costs, depending on options, anywhere from over twice to nearly four times the national new car average price of $30,013.
Price of the Model S ranges from an advertised $77,400-$105,400 and we know one person whose out-the-door cost for a fully loaded Model S was $119,600, so yes, this can be a $120,000 purchase, for those folks who want all the trimmings.
Tesla has not started to deliver its 60-kwh models, let alone its 40-kwh models. It will be interesting to see more claims for Model S – from the first hyper miler who publishes a number far exceeding Motor Trend’s attempt at more or less conservative real-world driving, to range estimates for the smaller battery models as well.