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.