2012 Tesla Model S Gets EPA Certified 265-Mile Range, 89 MPGe Rating

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If you're like us, you've been wondering--some of you may even have been doubting--whether Tesla Motors' claim of a 300-mile range in the largest-battery pack 2012 Model S would stand up to EPA testing. Wonder no more: it's close, securing a 265-mile range rating when equipped with the largest (85 kWh) battery pack.

The news comes to us from Green Car Reports' John Voelcker, who confirmed the official figures with Tesla today. Along with the slightly under-target range figure, the Model S gets an 89 MPGe rating--the EPA's somewhat bizarre miles-per-gallon equivalency score. The MPGe rating relates the distance the Model S will travel on the electric equivalent to the energy in a gallon of gasoline.

Despite coming up about 12 percent short of its 300-mile range target, the Model S is nonetheless the widest-ranging all-electric car available, outstripping the Leaf's 100-mile range considerably, though the Leaf does get a 99 MPGe rating from the EPA.

Part of the reason for the Model S's slightly lower MPGe rating is its size--with that much mass, it has to be slightly less efficient than the Leaf, just as with gasoline-fed cars. Another part of the reason is the Model S's performance: while the Leaf tops out at 90 mph and gets to 60 mph in 10 seconds, the Model S can run up to 130 mph and hit 60 mph in just 5.6 seconds (or 4.4 with the Performance package).  

Fast, attractive, efficient, and nearly the range of a gasoline-powered car? Yeah, sounds good to us.
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Comments (4)
  1. "Despite coming up about 12 percent short of its 300-mile range target"

    What set of facts shows that it came up 12% short of its target? It's target was 300 miles under the 2 cycle EPA test that existed when development of the Model S was started.

    The EPA changed that to a 5 cycle test which puts additional strain on the battery (and may be more realistic under normal use). Tesla has been clear that under the test the car was designed for it still gets 300+ miles, and since the new test was announced they were open about the fact that the car would get ~260 miles.

  2. As you note, it's all in how you measure it. Yes, Tesla has recognized the 5-cycle test would result in about 265 miles range (as I noted here last month: http://www.motorauthority.com/news/1076108_tesla-model-s-to-arrive-in-june-deliver-up-to-350-miles-highway-range) but at the same time, it says it can get up to 350 miles highway range--if you hold it to 50 mph constant. The point was made in relation to the 300-mile figure that Tesla has used for nearly as long as the Model S has been publicly acknowledged without having to delve too deeply into the details, which have already been handled.

  3. Despite of the results, I think it's a great contribution to the clear Earth process. Results will be better, no doubt, engineers just need some more time. And I can't wait to see my city with only cars like that to breathe some fresh air in the very center.

  4. As usual, EPA mileage figures are pure bunk. The Model S has achieved 300 miles at highway speeds (which is where range is all important). At speeds 35 to 40 it has traveled 400 miles and at lower speeds up to 450 miles. Tesla will give a prize to the first customer who exceeds 400 miles on a single charge. That prize should be won within days of the first delivery.

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