Battery Weight V.S. Acceleration Time

Battery Weight V.S. Acceleration Time

Is it safe to assume that there will be a weight difference between the 160, 230, and 300 mile range battery packs? If so, what will this do to the overall acceleration of the car? The website shows that the Model S will hit 60mph in about 5.6 seconds and can have a range of 300 miles. Could this possibly mean that if one were to purchase a Model S with the 160 mile pack that it may accelerate to 60mph closer to or even under the 5.0 second mark due to less weight? Or do you think that Tesla based their approximate acceleration statistic on the lighter battery pack?

Mycroft | December 21, 2011

Right. The 40kWh pack has much fewer number of cells available to draw from for acceleration. The 60 and 85 packs have the same number of cells, but differ in the type of technology.

Leofingal | December 21, 2011

Just wondering if this could be offset by a bank of capacitors (for short bursts of acceleration)...

Brian H | January 5, 2012

Now that the specs are out, the 160-mi. version is to have a lower 0-60 than the larger batteries because of limitations on power draw. Which, it now occurs to me, will be one of the things that will change with the next gen or two of batteries. With higher energy density and better charge/discharge stats, that would mean that the replacement battery for the 160 (assuming similar total kwh) would be able to accelerate faster. The same would apply to all battery sizes, of course.

So in, say, 3-5 yrs. you can expect the torque/acceleration advantage of EVs to surge!

jbunn | January 5, 2012

Something to cheer everyone up. While we usualy consider 0 - 60 numbers, most of us old enough to know better don't drag light to light because we already had the tickets as youths. It's far more likely I'm going to "race" within the legal speed limit light to light, say 0 to 30, or 0 to 45. My torque curve is very different than an ice car. By the time he's getting into a decent torque range of 3,000 RPM, I'm halfway to the next light, and by the time he's into his second or third gear, I'm alread on the brakes before the next light. The point is, with the electric torque curve compared to ICE, this car is going to seem much, much quicker off the line than the 0 to 60 numbers would indicate.

Robert.Boston | January 5, 2012

And, as far as anyone's been able to calculate, the 0-30 times for all the models will be very similar. The 40-60-85-P differences kick in at successively higher speeds.

The one place I can actually do 0-60 legally is coming out of toll plazas. I do look forward to that!

mwu | January 6, 2012

It's far more likely I'm going to "race" within the legal speed limit light to light, say 0 to 30, or 0 to 45.

My brother got pulled doing this once -- the police officer basically said it's dangerous to accelerate that quickly even if you don't surpass the speed limit. Only a warning was given, but especially with the quick accel the S can get off the line due to 100% torque from 0 I could see people getting pulled for the acceleration.

It's hard for a cop to quantify the acceleration (unless you're burning rubber), so you might be let off in court however the ticket couldn't be speeding since you didn't exceed the limit... it'd likely be something worse like reckless driving.

All of that said, I still think it less likely to be pulled for it in the S due to the fact that the cop won't hear a screaming engine. I'll definitely be guilty of doing it myself a few times.

Mycroft | January 6, 2012

Yeah, that silent take-off will practically encourage jack-rabbit starts. :-)

Timo | January 6, 2012

Increase torque enough and you don't see faster 0-60 times because loss of grip. You can use that torque for longer gear ratio and have higher top speed, like 200mph. In first gear.

Assuming also lighter weight 0-60 in 3secs, 120 in 7, 200 in 14. Something like that. 1/4mile in less than 9 secs.

Brian H | January 6, 2012

Yeah, unlike ICE technology, there's hardly any limit to how much power density and torque from an electric drive can increase. At some point there's a problem with drivers blacking out from accel! Imagine having to wear a pressure suit to drive a Tesla ...


Discoducky | January 6, 2012

Starting to think we'll need a new kind of rubber for our rear tires to handle all of these jack rabbit starts.

But I don't mind replacing every 2 years to have extreme silent take offs regularly!

Douglas3 | January 6, 2012

@mwu, I agree... I think one of the thing that really twigs cops to hard acceleration is the noise. Cops don't seem to pay much attention to my Roadster.

Robert.Boston | January 6, 2012

"Officer, really, do you think this massive sedan could really have launched as fast as you're saying it did? Why, it doesn't even have a proper engine; it's just a great big golf cart!" Open the frunk, open the trunk -- look, sir, no motor!

brianman | January 6, 2012

Make sure you don't get a vanity plate with something like '60in44'.

Volker.Berlin | January 13, 2012

Can somebody explain why you get better acceleration and top speed with the battery options? (Erik M.)

AutoblogGreen made an attempt of an explanation here: