Last Minute Model S Research

Last Minute Model S Research

I'm planning on ordering a Model S next week and just need answers to a few more questions.

1. I just read the consumer reports article, which says winter range is about 180 miles and summer range is about 225 miles. EPA puts range up to 265 miles. Are these numbers with or without using energy savings mode (turning off all unnecessary electronics)? In other words, am I still going to get 225 - 265 miles in the summer with the air conditioning on and the music blasting?

2. If I'm stuck in stop-and-go traffic is the battery going to deplete while I'm sitting there or does it deplete based on distance travelled?

3. The Tesla website says you get 265 miles out of the battery if you drive at 55 miles/hour. I drive at about 80 miles/hour. What will that do to my expected range?

4. When Tesla comes out with a battery that has more range than the current 85kWh will we be able to swap our 85kWh for the new ones or will you need to buy a new car?

5. I'm assuming Tesla will eventually come out with sensors for lane departure warning, smart cruise control and backing up. Will we be able to install these on our cars or will we need to buy new cars?

Objective1 | May 12, 2013


ChadS on the Tesla Motors Club forum has put up some detailed answers to your questions about range:

Sudre_ | May 12, 2013

As fare as question 1. I have a 60kWh battery and I was getting about 170-180 miles on a max charge in 25-35 degree weather. If you are in a colder climate that would be less.

2) The car gets worse range in stop and go traffic, at least for me. I think it's because my foot likes to rest on the floor whenever the traffic moves :-) The car does not loss much charge just sitting in one place in a traffic jam.

3) I don't know about. The speed limits where I live are 65-70 and the police actually like to line the highways to make money on speeders so I don't push it.

4) NO. Tesla has officially said it can not happen.
Most of use think they are just covering their asses in case it's not possible. If it is I see no reason why they would turn down the extra revenue.

5) It has been mentioned somewhere that the wiring is already in place for some of the upgrades you have mentioned. Again I don't see why Tesla would turn down the extra revenue by not allowing us to add hardware. Actually the service package states, "Hardware upgrades".

sk1656 | May 12, 2013

If you want, you can wait a couple more years for a third gen Model S; it think it's going to be much more luxurious and sporty.

Drymr | May 12, 2013

sk1656, if I wait a couple more years I'll be driving a steering wheel and a seat! My current car is falling apart. I can't wait a few years.

Kleist | May 12, 2013

Sk1656 - 3rd gen Model S is not even in the product plan... so you will be waiting 10+ years. I had the same question for myself... wait for what ? Another cup holder ? And waist another 10+ years in the ICE !

Kleist | May 12, 2013

Demur - question 4 and 5... Besides if there is also how much. New car could be the better deal then upgrade. Without a price I wouldn't how to answer ( for myself ).

noel.smyth | May 12, 2013

1. in very cold weather figure a 30% reduction in range to be safe. the CR folks have done their homework it seems. I suspect Tesla will make adjustments to reduct losses but plan for that for now. at moderate temps the range is actually pretty close to advertised when driving at normal speeds of about 65 and flat roads.
2. the battery does not deplete when sitting other than to power the heat/air and radio, etc.
3. at 80 MPH, your range will be reduced same as it would in a gas car. I think tesla has a graphic that shows expected ranges for different speeds.
4. Don't know but would not count on it.
5. I hope so too, in fact I am hoping that the maintenance plan would include the upgrades as included. ( I know - probably wishful thinking!)

Drymr | May 13, 2013

Thanks for all your input guys!

joshuaeven | May 13, 2013

You will adapt to the car. All the research in the world will not change your frame of reference from an ICE to the EV until you drive one. Unless you drive 285 miles one way as your regular commute, you will have ZERO range anxiety with the 85 kWh Model S. And really, you will LOVE driving it, you will LOVE looking at it, you will LOVE washing it, you will LOVE talking to people about it, etc. Get one... don't look back. Join the revolution!

EVTripPlanner | May 13, 2013

Lots of good info above and no disagreement.
My tools/calculations/review at
(provides range-vs-speed, real-world energy cost calculator, and other useful stuff)