Aside from their higher purchase prices, the biggest reason consumers shy away for electric vehicles as primary transportation seems to be their limited range. That begs a very real question of “how much range is enough for most drivers?”
Those buying a 2013 Tesla Model S
fitted with the 60-kilowatt-hour battery pack can expect to see a range of 208 miles on a full charge, according to Green Car Reports
. Based on the rating just published by the EPA, the car also gets a Miles-Per-Gallon-equivalent (MPGe) rating of 95 MPGe, an improvement over the 85-kWh Model S’ 89 MPGe.
MPGe measures how far a car can go on the amount of electricity equivalent to a gallon of gasoline. The Nissan Leaf, for example, is rated at 99 MPGe thanks to its compact, light-weight design.
Weight plays a factor in the 60-kWh Model S’ improved MPGe rating against its heavier, 85-kWh brother, too. Fewer standard features on the mid-range model probably help its case here, too.
The EPA has now estimated the range of the 85-kWh Model S
(265 miles) and the 60-kWh Model S, but has not yet rated the entry-level 40-kWh Model S, set to enter production next March.
Tesla says the least-expensive Model S
will travel up to 160 miles at 55 miles per hour; based on the difference between Tesla’s estimate for the 60-kWh version (230 miles) and the EPA’s number (208 miles), we’d expect the 40-kWh version to get a range rating of roughly 145 miles.