I only get 242mi on fully charged Model S (85kWh)!

I only get 242mi on fully charged Model S (85kWh)!

I have a brand new Model S (85kWh) with less than 500 miles on it. When I fully charge it with 240v, 40A overnight it shows that the rated range is 242mi! I leave in Northern California so cold weather is not an issue. The car is also in the garage.

Shouldn't I be getting 265mi rated range?

MSNGIRL | April 20, 2013

I believe the rating is somewhat based on your driving habits. If you're always on accelerator pedal the number will go down. If you drive slow and use cruise control that number will go way up. Ive heard guys getting 280-310 miles but my guess is they are not driving it like they stole it.

Captain_Zap | April 20, 2013

Are you referring to a standard charge or a range charge?

David M. | April 20, 2013

sharam - Welcome to the Model S family. Normally, you will select "Standard Charge" and the display will show a rated range of 242 miles. On rare occasion you will select "Range Charge" and the display will show a rated range of about 272 miles. You will find these settings in your infotainment screen under "Charging". Regardless of what the rated range shows, the actual range you get will be based on how, and where you drive, along with the comfort settings you select.

In order to maintain (extend) the life of the battery, it will never accept a 100% charge. The rated range that you initially see on a "full" charge aligns with an 81% or 91% charge. Hope my explanation helps.

sharam | April 20, 2013


Thank you for your explanation. My question doesn't involve driving habits or conditions! I just want to make sure that the battery pack is functioning properly and it holds the right level of charge for the 85kWh battery.

I am using the "Standard Charge" and the "Rated Range" and the car is showing 242 miles when it is fully charged.

Is this 91%x265mi = 242mi?

kent | April 20, 2013

240-245 is the normal number for 85kwh battery. The variance is due to when the charge finishes to when you check the next day.

alan | April 20, 2013

It's confusing at first. I've had mine about four months and have driven about 5,000 miles. Awesome car.

Rated range = EPA estimated range which is 265 miles (vs. "300" under ideal, 55 mph, no acceleration, no hills, etc... You can set which one is shown in the dash in the preferences - personally I don't care about the "ideal" range, the rated range is closer to reality, though I get about 85-90% of the rated range in real life.

The "Standard Charge" setting charges to 90% of full capacity which is about
240 miles +/- of "rated" range, or about 240 miles. Your actual range will probably be less. I seem to use about 320-350 Wh / mile, which means at 90% capacity of 76.5 KWh (0.9 x 85 KWh) I should expect a range of 220 miles which is about what I get.

Remember that the car uses power when it's not moving, so if you charged it overnight, but didn't drive it until the following evening, instead of 240, you might see 230 miles of rated range displayed. I think it uses up power equal to about 8-15 miles of range per day (0.8 to 1.5 KW) just sitting there.

I have charged it to 100% a few times and I'd say then I got about 240-250 miles of actual range which is consistent. I'm sure I could get more range if I drove more carefully, accelerated more slowly, didn't live in hilly city, etc...

The car does a pretty good job showing power consumption but I wish they had a better display to show you range based on a few different scenarios simultaneously (ideal, rated, actual, instantaneous, etc...) Now you have to click around on the power screen a bunch to see the car's different range estimates.

One caveat - electricity is a lot more expensive when you use 30-40 KWh / day!! I think my weighted average cost is probably $0.20 - $0.25 / KWh (not the $0.06 / KWh which is PG&E's low, overnight rate - that only applies to your baseline usage which is the first 7-10 KWh per day - after that the price per KWh goes up steeply in bands... My several-days-per-week round trip is about 80 miles each time, which uses about 28 KWh. At $0.20 / KWh that's $5.60; at $0.25 / KWh that's $7.00.

Gas would cost me about $15.00 for the same trip (80 miles / 22 mpg = 3.6 gallons; x 4.20 / gal = ~ $15.00. So it's about 1/3 to 1/2 the price of gas for me.

sharam | April 20, 2013


Thank you! I found your reply very useful.

Brian H | April 20, 2013

In sane jurisdictions, price per kWh is stable or declining as you buy more. CA wants to discourage electricity use, apparently.

Noah.S | April 20, 2013

Brian, don't you live in Vancouver? It's not as big a jump, but BC is tiered too. Or are you saying that BC isn't a sane jurisdiction? I could go with that.

I feel for you California guys. With rates close to 0.25/kwh, the incentive to go electric is pretty reduced.

jbunn | April 20, 2013

As a new California guy of 8 days, there are some ups and downs. Yes, electricity is expensive, but gas is bad as well (don't buy, just saw). On the other hand, just to confuse things, in many places electricity for EV's is free. For example, I have a parking garage immediatly on the other side of the street from my appartment garage. On the weekend, I can pull her in and get a complete charge. Tonight I needed 173 miles to get to full. Free charing, just pay the parking of 7 bucks weekend rate. Much cheaper than gas. There are a number of places where you can charge for free and it's kind a town project to provide more of them.

Brant | April 20, 2013

I got solar PV on the roof last year (in anticipation of getting thrown into higher tiered pricing with PG&E)
Currently generating around 27 KWh/day
Keeps me under baseline usage most of the time
Cost me 15K but should pay for itself in about 5 yrs; then it's all gravy

Docrob | April 20, 2013

With rates of 25c/kwh the incentive to go solar is enormous. At those rates you are talking about a 4-5 year payoff followed by 20+ years of effectively free power.

Brian H | April 20, 2013

Yeah, that's new. It didn't usta be like that. At least BCHydro uses the excuse of "new sources are more expensive" than their legacy dams, etc. At least the "Step 2" is only 50% higher than base, not multiples.

It's only about 10¢ max, and is averaged across the whole billing period, not in "real time". Still pretty reasonable, considering the dividing line is 22kWh/day, which is about 160% of the provincial average of about 14kWh/day, IIRC.

Brian H | April 20, 2013

Also note that the 10¢ rate applies only to the excess over the allowance: "customers pay 10.34 cents per kWh for the balance of the electricity used during the billing period." It is not retro-billed for all usage. It's not "punishment" for "over-use".

Brian H | April 20, 2013

Those, btw, are residential only. Commercial and industrial are structured very differently, and are much lower, AFAIK.

Here's an excerpt from the Business user pages:

"Minimum Energy Charge

$0.0285 per kWh applies when the Energy Charge (Part 1 and 2) divided by the total kWh is less than $0.0285 per kWh". The bulk of the difference comes from a $0.25/kWh credit for taking hi-voltage feed and using their own transformer(s) to knock it down.

dbourne | April 21, 2013

So I've had my Model S for just over 6,000 miles now and I've observed that when I charge it in Standard mode it charges to about 238 miles of rated range. It used to charge to 242 miles of rated range in Standard mode. This is not due to overnight drain or whatever. I've actually watched it on the mobile app and noted the range when it changes from Charging to Charging complete.

Tesla says it's normal for the Standard charging mode to hit values range values inside a 10 mile range but it was a little disconcerting. I'll keep an eye on it to see if it starts degrading more.

I'm sure that over time the range will decrease a little but I wasn't expecting it to start showing up after 6K miles.

noel.smyth | April 21, 2013

5500 miles and no degredation noticed.. still getting right around 242 daily.

DrJ | April 21, 2013

Had mine now for 6 months, 4000+ miles, still 242-243 on standard charge, no appreciable degradation.

scottch | April 21, 2013

@ Brian H "CA wants to discourage electricity use, apparently."

Absolutely true. Whereas most utilities are incentivized to sell more electricity, in CA they are not. Per capita electricity usage in California has been flat for 30 years, while the rest of USA consumption has increased 50%. This is known as the "Rosenfeld Effect" after the UC Berkeley physicist and California Energy Commissioner who pioneered energy conservation policy. California ranks 48/50 in per-capita energy consumption. Another reason for high price of electricity here is that CA does not have much cheap coal nor abundant hydropower. | April 21, 2013

3500 miles -- still exactly 242 at completion of standard charge

tommy-tesla | April 22, 2013

I've gone 4000 miles and I only see about 237 mi after a standard charge. Note, I have babied the car, charged nearly every night, never charged in range mode and I'm in mild climate (North CA). I've been waiting to hear others questions this, but it sounds my car is an outlier :( (P85 FWIW).

tommy-tesla | April 22, 2013

Post Scriptum: this decline has been steady and predictable across my mileage. I hope it'll stop soon, but I'm glad that I'm under warrenty.

cablue | April 22, 2013

I will say that we do wish we had gotten the 85 rather than the 60, but only on occasion. It really depends on where you live and how you drive. We are in the foothills outside of Sacramento; therefore, trips to S.F. Napa, Stockton area are doable but not comfortably. We have to plan for charging where we're headed. Whereas with the 85, we would be able to travel without babying it and/or spending time charging. It really just depends on where you live and where you want to go. Of course, the 60 is great, we just end up taking another car when we'd really like to take the Tesla.

Tesla-Dave | April 22, 2013

What I noticed from my Tesla Roadster, std charge range varies from 187-191 (that's equivalent to Model S: 237-242 - std charge). Yes mine goes up, down, up etc. In fact, I purposely go a couple of days to use up the battery (low SOC) and then charge and usually the std charge goes back up to 190-191. I've got 9500 miles on my roadster.

I don't know if Model S will react the same way. Though you might want to give it a try and report back to the forum.

jason_freedman | April 23, 2013

3000 miles: 240-242 miles depending on day (it doesn't seem consistent at all). I did have one at 236, but that was an outlier.

procarl | April 27, 2013

What is happening on a fix for the "vampire" effect? Is that still in the works, or has Tesla abandoned it? Does anyone have any info???

Brian H | April 27, 2013

Awaiting the return of sleep.

procarl | April 28, 2013

Understand; but does anyone know when the long awaited sleep will occur?

Brian H | April 28, 2013

Before the Euro cars arrive in July.

cloroxbb | April 29, 2013

Would it be too much to opine that there could be a couple of less than stellar battery cells in the almost 7000 that make up the battery pack?

I mean even just 7 cells being "bad" would only be a tenth of a percent of failed cells (if use the 7000 number)... Its not unheard of...

cloroxbb | April 29, 2013

and that's why you could see "a little less" range after a charge...