Tesla Model S has 265 miles electric range, 89 MPGe, per official EPA ratings
With the impending official launch of the Tesla Model S, the EPA released its official ratings of that electric car. The ratings fall in line with the estimates Tesla published over a month ago, and validate that Tesla achieved its range and efficiency goals for the Model S. With the EPA ratings in hand we can now compare the Model S to other all electric luxury cars, if there were any.
The EPA ratings were released for the regular version of the Model S, with a base price of $77,400. It has an 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack, does 0-60 in 5.6 seconds, a top speed of over 120 miles/hr, and begins shipping this summer following the 1,000 Signature series cars.
The official EPA ratings are: 89 miles/gallon equivalent (combined), 88 MPGe (city) and 90 MPGe (highway), based on consuming 38 kilowatt hours per 100 miles (combined). The cost to drive 25 miles is $1.25, and the EPA forsees an annual fuel cost of $700. The official EPA driving range is 265 miles, and will take 12 hours to recharge at 240 volts.
The efficiency of the Model S is in line with the other electric cars. The Coda electric car has a 73 MPGe (46 kilowatt hours / 100 miles), the Nissan Leaf has an 99 MPGe (34 kilowatt hours / 100 miles), the Ford Focus Electric has a 105 MPGe (32 kilowatt hours / 100 miles), the Mitsubishi i-MiEV as a 112 MPGe (30 kilowatt hours / 100 miles), and the Honda Fit EV has a 118 MPGe (29 kilowatt hours / 100 miles).
The charging time reported by the EPA requires a much longer time than the other electric cars, because of the relatively huge battery pack. The 85 kilowatt hour battery pack, when charged at a 10 kilowatt rate supported, would require at least 9 hours of charging and could well add up to 12 hours for a complete recharge from 0. This will make the Twin Chargers, supporting a 20 kilowatt charging rate, a nice option for reducing the charging time. On the other hand, if you're out and about using public charging stations, you'll be unlikely to get more than a 7 kilowatt charging rate (240 volts, 30 amps, is 7.2 kilowatts). For contrast, the Nissan Leaf, with a 24 kilowatt-hour battery pack, requires 7 hours to recharge, with its built in 3.3 kilowatt charger.
What may be a head-scratcher for some is that Tesla claimed the Model S has a 320 mile driving range, while the official EPA rating is 265 miles driving range. We predict that some will have skipped over the details Tesla published at that time, and start complaining about Tesla inflating their range estimates, when in fact Tesla also predicted a 265 mile driving range.