actual miles per charge

actual miles per charge

With 50 cars out there someone must be able to comment on how many miles per charge they are getting. Please feel free to disclaim any aggressive driving style modifiers :)

SMOP | 02. August 2012

Might want to break this up into two categories...

How many miles in Normal mode:

How many miles in Range mode:

Question that I have, is regen disabled like on the roadster after a full range charge?

Teoatawki | 03. August 2012

SMOP, it seems logical that regen would be disabled when the battery pack is at capacity. Since regenerative braking is by definition converting kinetic energy from the motion of the car back into electricity to charge the battery. But the car is designed to protect itself, so once it is no longer safe to charge the battery any further, regen must be suppressed.

cerjor | 03. August 2012

I wonder if TM kept track of miles/kwhr during the Get Amped drives. That would give us a good idea of real world driving.

SMOP | 03. August 2012


It is quite scary when regen is disabled on the Roadster, I can only imagine how scary it would be on a 4600lb sedan! I am hoping that the regen "feel" is still there even after a full range charge.

Rifleman | 03. August 2012

The get amped events are actually probably not a good example for real world range. Most drivers (myself included) pushed the car much harder than it would be pushed in daily driving, and as a result, range numbers would be significantly lower.

BYT | 03. August 2012

@cerjor, I would hardly call any of our test drives (mine for sure) the average real world driving habits in a Model S. I was worried that I was going to make my handler crap himself, but he was fine.

I agree with Rifleman... :)

Rod and Barbara | 03. August 2012

We think the appropriate question is what range efficiency, in Wh/Mile , is being experienced in real world driving conditions. After 367 miles of driving our Model S, our average range efficiency is 338 Wh/Mile. This equates to 226 miles (85,000 Wh/338 Wh/Mile x 0.9) range in Standard mode and 251 miles (85,000 Wh/338 Wh/mile) range in Max Range mode. This is a combination of city and highway driving, with a moderate amount of acceleration tests as we try out the car.

Note that this value of 338 Wh/Mile is the energy used to propel the vehicle while driving and so can be used with battery storage capability to calculate expected range. It is not the energy that must be taken from the grid in order to drive the car for one mile. That is a higher number, and is currently not displayed in the Model S. This higher number is the value that would be used to calculate the cost of electricity to drive the car for one mile.

We have not charged the car in Max Range mode and have yet to fully charge the car in Standard mode since we are only using a 110V source as we await arrival of the Roadster HPC adaptor. The Guide for Owners states that Standard mode charges the battery to 90% of its full capability. As Teoatawki points out, we expect the regenerative braking to not function when the battery is near 100% charge in Max Range mode. As in the Roadster, as the battery level decreases to about 90%, we expect regenerative braking to function normally.

The Roadster limits the amount of power that can be used in Max Range mode, but the Model S Guide for Owners does not mention a similar function for the Model S. At any rate, in our opinion, the main difference between Standard mode and Max Range mode is the amount of battery capacity available for use. The driver can easily drive the car hard in Max Range mode with a resulting poor Wh/Mile efficiency or drive the car carefully with a resulting high Wh/Mile efficiency in Standard mode.

We have not found driving our Roadster in Max Range mode without regen to be scary, just very different from normal Roadster driving. To us, the Roadster without regen feels very similar to driving an automatic transmission ICE vehicle.

toto_48313 | 04. August 2012

Thank you Rod and Barbara, always very instructive post !

Brian H | 04. August 2012

A question about your driving habits: do you use regen exclusively when possible? And what is your highway cruising speed range?

Have you ever checked the watt-hours used before and after an "acceleration test"? Is it a significant number?

SMOP | 04. August 2012

Rod & Barbara,

Can you change to range mode while driving in standard mode to unlock more miles (like in the roadster)? Or is the Range mode option only available for charging?

One of the great things about the roadster is once the battery is depleted to a certain SOC it automatically changes to range mode to unlock more miles (or you could change to range mode to limit power and gain "extra" miles).

jkirkebo | 04. August 2012

You can't do that in the Model S as there is no difference between standard & range mode at the low end. Only the top 10% are hidden in standard mode, not the lower 10% too like the Roadster.

Timo | 05. August 2012

@jkirkebo, where did you get that info? I haven't seen that here or anywhere in the site either.

jkirkebo | 05. August 2012

It's been discussed in the test drive threads on TMC at least. It's info that has been given out by the Tesla staff, not in writing anywhere (except in the manual I guess but that's not available online yet).

JohanH | 05. August 2012

But is the whole 85kWh available for use??? That is, when Tesla says the battery is 85kWh is that until the gauge shows 0% (with still some voltage remaining) or is it until there is zero voltage left (i.e. the battery dead - bricked)?

MB3 | 05. August 2012

thanks R&B, that was exactly what I wanted to know. Enjoy your ride.

Jason S | 05. August 2012

@JohanH -- the battery can still survive for a while (a month has been mentioned) if you abandon the car on the side of the road after driving it till it won't move any longer.

How much of the 85kWh is available is a mug's game. You should assume it is all usable if you are using range mode (100%, not 90%). The car estimates how much range you've got, don't push it. This is no different from an ICE.

JohanH | 05. August 2012

@JasonS: Well, if we're gonna go by the Watts/mile or Watts/km figure and calculate a maximum range from that, it's acutally quite important to know if 85kWh is the total ammount of energy stored in the battery OR the ammount availabe until the car shuts down. Note that in Rod and Barbara's post above they have just simply divided 85kW with the numbers they came up with and deduced a range from that (i.e. they haven't driven the car until it won't go furter).

Rod and Barbara | 05. August 2012

@ Brian H - We use the Standard mode of regen, the higher of the two settings. We attempt to get the most out of regen, but the Model S Standard mode is so much weaker than the Roadster’s regen that we are still adjusting to it. I find myself using the brakes more in the Model S than the Roadster because of the weaker regen. Our typical highway speed is between 60 and 70 MPH. I’m not quite sure how to answer your question about Wh used during an acceleration test. There is a screen where you can monitor the average and current Wh/Mile for the last 5, 15 or 30 miles. I’ll see what data I can pull off there to quantify an acceleration test.

@SMOP, Timo, JohanH, Jason S – The Guide for Owners states that Standard charge mode charges the battery to 90% of its full capacity. There is no mention of a 10% reserve being held back in Standard mode and the Rated Miles (Model S version of Roadster Ideal Miles) and battery State Of Charge (SOC) after a charge event imply that there is no 10% reserve being held back in the Standard charge mode. 85 kWh is Tesla’s evaluation of the useful energy that can be stored in the battery pack, so this value can be used for range calculations as I did in my previous post. When the battery pack reaches 0% SOC the car will stop operating, but the battery will not be completely depleted. In the Roadster, when the car displays 0% SOC, the actually battery cell voltage is 3.00 V/cell which is about 2% SOC for the cell’s advertised capability. (See this Tesla blog post for more information about the Roadster battery capacity and longevity:

kent | 05. August 2012

Rod and Barbara,

Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I'm searching for every post from you until my Sig #121 arrives. Currently, I'm at most 56 days if they deliver in September.

It's great information, please keep it coming!

Brian H | 05. August 2012

Sorry I wasn't clear. Depletion of wh by an accel test was what I was wondering, just trying to get a grip on how much range is being cut by that "newbie" testing. ;)

PenguinOpus | 05. August 2012

I have averaged 390 Wh/mile since getting the car on Monday. In my most recent, more mellow driving, I was around 350 Wh/mile so I clearly still have a heavier foot than Rod and Barbara. I'm also living at 700'+ and working at 15', so there are probably some inefficiencies in the climb+regen.

I had a very nice drive over Hiway 17 and saw a net regen of ~250Wh/mile for the 15-20 minutes of descent. Of course the ascent peaked at 750Wh/mile. This was with 5 people (4 large males and a 5 year old in a car seat).

Brian H | 05. August 2012

What was your res #? When did you take delivery?

Your altitude changes will certainly affect your overall range. But it's representative of what many will experience in similar terrain, I expect.

Timo | 05. August 2012

Also four large males + one child equals something like 900 lbs which is not insignificant.

Volker.Berlin | 06. August 2012

Question that I have, is regen disabled like on the roadster after a full range charge? (SMOP)


PenguinOpus | 06. August 2012

FF0002[56789] (number fuzzed for privacy).

900# is a pretty good estimate :-)

To be clear on my comment, coming down 17 on the way back from SC, I saw a +250Wh/mile regen (green) (as opposed to a 750Wh/mile "spend" (orange) on the way up).

Rod and Barbara | 06. August 2012

@ Brian H – An acceleration run from 0 to 60 MPH uses about 300 Wh. This info is easily pulled from a page on the touch screen that displays the miles, kWh, and Wh/Mile since the last charge session and since the last trip reset for two different trip odometers. With respect to driving style for the range efficiency we posted previously, we had two adults in the car for most of the miles and used the A/C for most of the miles.

brianman | 06. August 2012

@PenguinOpus - What's the 9th character in your VIN? ;)

Brian H | 06. August 2012

So a quick run up to 60 uses almost as much energy as driving a mile, normally. Since driving a mile takes about a minute, that "accel test" is eating power at about 8 or 9 times the "cruising" rate. Interesting!