Range Loss--Anyone else

Range Loss--Anyone else

Two weeks ago I had to take a 260 mile round trip so I max charged my S85 to an expected 270 miles. When I opened the garage in the morning the dash read 259. Since I needed every mile and was going to use every trick to make it without charging I was bothered by the 11 mile loss. On the way out I called Ownership and was told that my car only charged to 95.3%, not 100%. There were some explanations which were less than convincing to me, but I thought it might be a glitch.

After I returned I supercharged to max again and got to 261. Again, I called ownership and was told they had investigated, and everything was fine, but my green bar still had about an eighth of an inch of gray. No one was able to explain this discrepancy.

Today I have a 260 mile round trip and supercharged last night to 262 and full. When I got home I plugged in to a 220 outlet. I woke this morning to a disappointing 258. The ideal was 292 in stead of 300. I unplugged and plugged in again. It immediately went to 297. It now tells me charging is complete with 294. I have 12,000 miles on the car. If the ideal range is 6 miles short, have I lost 2% of the battery in 12,000 miles? I know there is supposed to be some over time degradation and it's part of the deal.

Anyone else experience similar problems (choose your word: event, happening, occurrence--because it may not be a problem.

shawns | August 21, 2013

Sorry this isn't helping you, but just curious what speed you drive on your 260 mile trips?

dtesla | August 21, 2013

On longer trips I always use the Max Range mode under the controls (I'm going from memory so it may be called something else). It doesn't help much... but sometimes on a long trip every watt saved helps.

More to the thread my max range after charged has changed slightly with some reversions of the software... Just Tesla trying to give us a more accurate estimate of range.

TikiMan | August 21, 2013

Are you accounting for 'vampire loss' after you charge?

The range will immediately start to degrade after charging is complete, unless you start driving right after the charge is complete (up to the minute).

The best thing to do if you want a full max-charge upon leaving, is to give yourself an extra ten to thirty-minutes to re-charge to full, right before you leave. Otherwise, you will lose a few miles the longer you wait.

Hopefully the next firmware upgrade will help solve this problem.

archibaldcrane | August 21, 2013

Well, isn't 265 the supposed max for a range charge?

If you're getting 262, you've lost 1.145% of your battery capacity...which isn't outlandish since you've already put 12k miles on the battery.

If that's all people lose - less than 1/10th of a percent per 1000 miles (or less than 10% after 100,000), I think we're in pretty damn good shape here right?

Bob W | August 21, 2013

@info, First, it's pretty hard to get 260 actual miles of range out of a Model S for a long round trip, no matter what the rated range says, unless you are driving below 65 mph over flat roads. Chances are very high that the meter will reach 0 several miles before you return home. If you have a 20 mph steady headwind, you're just not going to make it.

Second, your battery degradation is quite normal, maybe even better than normal. I only have 7.3K miles on my Model S and a 100% charge goes to no more than 261 rated range.

Of course you should time your extended charge to complete about 1 hour before you leave, no more than that, to minimize vampire loss. The 1 hour of idle time allows the battery to cool at the cost of about 0.5 miles of range. The most stress you can put on the battery is to use it at high temperature at full charge and then floor it.

I think you should look for a way to charge for an hour or two at your destination, before returning home. Even if it's only at 120V, it could make all the difference between getting home and getting stranded.

AmpedRealtor | August 21, 2013

Judging by the behavior of another Model S that I saw (I don't have mine yet), once the car achieves the requested state of charge, charging activity stops and the vampire drain begins. The power connection does not feed the vampire drain, but the car will top itself off when the charge falls below a certain level. I noticed that I could force a charge by unplugging and re-plugging the connector to get back those few miles.

bt77057 | August 21, 2013

I just gonna go out on a limb here (sarcasm)...EV range in NOT an exact science.

Your range is your range. The calculation however scientific it might appear, is still just a SWAG.

Calculating to the tenth of a percentage point on battery loss seems a bit excessive...

I lose range (not calculated) quite often because I love the rush of the acceleration I get.

Like everyone else, I would love to know the exact amount of battery degradation I am incurring, but I doubt the range calculation on the dashboard is the correct instrument for that.

It's an awesome car, even if I lose 10% per year, I hope I don't, but I won't complain here about it.

AmpedRealtor | August 21, 2013

If I lose 10% per year, you can bet I will be complaining. That is 40% loss in 4 years, which would be completely and totally unacceptable. Imagine 10% of your gas tank disappearing every year on your regular car. That's not something many people would tolerate.

bt77057 | August 21, 2013

My statement was about how i love the car, not meant to be taken literally...

quite similar to the Rated Range display on the dashboard, which is a guideline...if taken literally might lead to unnecessary anguish like on a random forum or along the side of a road, 4.3702 miles from home.

yobigd20 | August 21, 2013

you're not seeing any degradation at all. it's just a factor of battery pack balancing and small vampire loss from electrics that are on 24/7 while the car is 'off'. thats it. it'll probably nver climb that high again from the 1st time you charged due to the way battery pack balancing works. you'll see some drop, a little more drop, then a month later you'll come out and it'll be back up again. i'll say it again, it's battery pack balancing, not degradation. period.

bonaire | August 21, 2013

Get firmware 5.0 to help with the new sleep mode.

info | August 21, 2013

Thanks for the ideas, guys. It gets weird from here. I left at 6:30 for Indio, 131 miles away. I tried not to go over 63, drafted some trucks and wound up in Indo with 147 miles left from the 261, using about 270 kwh. I stayed about an hour and had 131 mile trip home. This meant that I had 16 extra miles. Within 30 miles I was even. I then went down 12 miles, but coming down from Beaumont (elevation 2650) I got all 12 back + another 5. I arrived at my office with 17 miles left and had covered an actual 262.

This means that I could have gone 280. And I was concerned? The first time I tried this Indio round trip, I was way short, but I went 75. Someone suggested slowing down and making it without charging and he was a genius. The elevation had a lot to do with it. Indio is 100 feet below sea level and Long Beach is at sea level so you are going to lose and gain mileage with the hills but the losses and gains will even out. Another factor was the lack of wind. Now why I got such good mileage is beyond me--but I'm happy about it.

mdemetri | August 21, 2013

At 55mph on flat ground you should get 300 mile range. This is the 'Ideal range' of the 85 pack, with ideal being 55mph on flat ground. This has been achieved by others and thus your range is not far from that.

J.T. | August 22, 2013

@Amped 10% a year would not be 40%. It would only be 34%. Feel better? :-)

yodasminion | August 22, 2013

I would love to lose 10%/year, as Elon has declared anything above 30% would trigger a battery pack replacement. Can we say new pack three years in? Given the motor is supposed to last 30-40 years, I'm happy for 3 more years of life on the Model S.

Brian H | August 22, 2013

Unfortunately, you'll probably lose only about 7.325% in 3 years. Give or take. So you'll be stuck with the battery. ;)

c.bussert67 | August 22, 2013

Well, I have been seeing an INCREASE...
Call me crazy, (just don't call me collect) but when I first ot my S I was getting just over 300Wh/mi. Now I consistently get under 300Wh/mi.
Come next month it'll be 1 year old and have about 8000 miles on it.
Just drove it down town and back yesterday with 98 deg temps. A/C on the entire time. Logged 112 miles 98% on the freeway at 70+mph and averaged 282Wh/mi. That's my new personal record.
My next test is coming up when we take it to Vegas again and I'll see for sure if my run this year beats the 318Wh/mi avg for 640 miles with a 64mph avg I got initially...

DJay | August 22, 2013

I finally did a full charge after many months of watching my 90% rated charge miles decline. For this charge I started at 53 rated miles and ended up at 252 with no vampire loss. This is a 4.9% loss on a car delivered the end of January that has 10,000 miles on it. I have been running the car mostly between 50 % and 90% charge. One interesting observation I noted and recorded is that when I arrived at my destination, the rated miles were 150. 30 minutes later I check the car on my iPhone and the rated range jumped to 156. I've never had this happen to me in the past, i.e gaining 6 miles after sitting for 30 minutes. I wonder if a recalibration might have taken place after I parked the car. If this is true, is it possible that if I fully charge the battery the miles might end up higher this second time. Any thoughts?

Dr. Bob Reinke | August 22, 2013

Since Head-wind accounts for much of the range loss, I have wanted to get an inexpensive wind speeed meter for mounting on the rearview mirror support. Soesn't have to be accurate, just close enough to provide an intelligent guess whether it is possibl to drive at the current traffic speed or not. The second request I have for Tesla in this regard is; When is the reactive cruise or smart cruise coming to make it easier to safely draft a truck, so I don't have to keep wishing for the somewhat promised super chargers for the midwest.

DJay | August 22, 2013

Dr Bob, If you have a targeted amount of AMPs you need to draw per mile, then you can always look at your energy graph and then adjust your speed to achieve your goal.

GReese | August 22, 2013

Once you've had the car for a while, you'll notice that when you get in after a "full charge" (range or otherwise), it has varying values.

This is because it charges to a certain point and stops. Vampire drain kicks in. And it eventually drains down to a point where it starts charging again.

In my 60, the values range from 175 to 185 depending on where I catch it for a standard charge.

Mathew98 | August 22, 2013

@GReese +1

My S60 has 180 - 185 after a standard charge as well.

Peter7 | August 23, 2013


Yes, I have seen my battery need to balance for up to 6 hours a couple of times, which then showed a higher range after, and in subsequent charges. I've seen 246->251->255 and 251->254.


Fordy | August 23, 2013

A wind speed indicator would be cool information. Problem is whether to slow down or speed up. Speeding up means spending less time into a headwind. Slowing down mean less power usage. Any pilots in here????

derek | August 23, 2013

@fordy - no question here. Wind resistance is a function of the square of vehicle speed, so energy loss to wind is exponential. Here's the formula for the force of drag:

F(D) = 1/2 x P x v^2 x C(D) x A

Your drag force is proportional to the square of the velocity of the car with respect to the wind.

In contrast, the time savings from going faster has a purely linear relationship with velocity.

If you have a linear force working in your favor, and an exponential force working against you, you maximize range with a lower velocity.

You might, however, speed up if you have a tailwind. Speeding up will still cost you range, but you'll exceed the rated range meter on the car anyway.

Brian H | August 23, 2013

Rig a pitot tube under the nose cone?

chrisdl | August 24, 2013

You can drive 388 miles (625 km) with one charge (at "realistic" speeds... Not sure what those are).
A Dutch University tested this: (In Dutch, so use Google translate if required)


DJay | August 24, 2013

@Peter I'm curious are these rated miles with a full charge?

"Yes, I have seen my battery need to balance for up to 6 hours a couple of times, which then showed a higher range after, and in subsequent charges. I've seen 246->251->255 and 251->254."

bent | August 24, 2013

The Roadster has a "top up" button on the screen you can push, to make it charge that last little bit. You can use this when you come out to the car after it's been plugged in for a while and you notice it's not 100% full because it's a few hours since the last charge cycle ended and charge has been slowly trickling out since then.

Is there something similar on the Model S? If so then using this can take away some of the uncertainty in the measurements. It doesn't resolve the balancing variations though.

My5bAby | August 24, 2013

34,800 miles Max charge is 261.

I rerely max charge but I'm currently headed to Key west and had a Lang leg between Williamsburg VA and Florence SC so I max charge.

Yes we will be keeping our batteries after 8 years :-)

My5bAby | August 24, 2013

Sorry type o

rarely Max Charge

My5bAby | August 24, 2013

Another type o

Sorry I'm a little distracted called KOA in Key W est Sugarloaf and how shall I put it, they were less than interested.

I have 34,800 miles on my car. I rarely max charge but am currently headed to Key West and have a long leg between Williamsburg, VA & Florence, SC so I max charged and got 261.

I think we will all be keeping our batteries :-)

Peter7 | August 25, 2013


Those are Rated Miles. My Rated Miles are about ~306.5Wh/mi on my car. Of note should be that the displayed mileage did not update until many many hours after the balance took place. So, Range charge, leave plugged in after Range charge completes, balancing takes place drawing some current over a couple hours, completes, and then car still needed to sit for a couple more hours until the displayed range was updated.


hpoe5 | August 25, 2013

"(DJay | AUGUST 22, 2013) One interesting observation I noted and recorded is that when I arrived at my destination, the rated miles were 150. 30 minutes later I check the car on my iPhone and the rated range jumped to 156. I've never had this happen to me in the past, i.e gaining 6 miles after sitting for 30 minutes. I wonder if a recalibration might have taken place after I parked the car. "

Batteries will "recharge" if left to rest and regain molecular equilibrium. Batteries in a flashlight will do the same thing in a spent flashlight. It is good to remember this if your car is dead on the side of the road.

tes-s | August 26, 2013

Did my first range charge yesteday. 273 miles.

Jewsh | August 26, 2013

"The range will immediately start to degrade after charging is complete, unless you start driving right after the charge is complete (up to the minute). "

Indeed. I am also told that leaving the car (overnight, for example) for long periods of time with a high charge is more damaging to the batteries than charging it to 100% and leaving straight away.

Brian H | August 27, 2013

The batteries aren't as delicate as many think. A month, definitely. Overnight, not so much.

rhbohl | April 17, 2015

I would be happy to receive, from Tesla, a guide on "Managing Battery Life." We've all had experience with other types of rechargeable batteries and have heard advice about discharging and keeping on a charger.

The battery is the heart of our Tesla. It's technology and internal charge/use management are impressive, but a total mystery to me, even though I have an engineering education.

I'd like to know how to participate/cooperate in getting a reasonably long life out of the battery. Also, to what extent paying attention to the gauge numbers has any role in my participation. Tesla surely knows more about this than any outside observer.

With an unknown "black box," observing a reduction in miles shown after recharge is of concern*, but not panic. The aforementioned guide would certainly alleviate my concern.

* To distinguish between these two states, a former boss explained, "Concern is the first time you can't [perform certain marital duties] the second time. Panic is the second time you can't perform for the first time."

J.T. | April 17, 2015

@rhbohl The guide is everywhere on this website. If you don't need more keep your car charging between 50-62%. Avoid temps below -20 degrees. Avoid keeping car fully charged for any length of time.

and the most inportant tip A plugged in Model S is a happy Model S so always have it plugged in when possible, whether it's charging or not.

Oh, one more thing: don't worry about it.

jordanrichard | April 17, 2015

rhbohl, at what point do you think the battery will no longer be useful? It's not just you that asks this question and no one actually comes out and defines what determines the end of the battery's "life". Some say 70% of the original range. I look at it this way. When the car can no longer be a road trip car, meaning it can't reach the next SC, then she is done. Based on my range loss (24,000 miles/1%), that will take 989,000 miles.

We are all part of a really big real world beta test. Tesla is constantly collecting data form the cars. So, even they don't have an exact number yet. A perfect example of Tesla monitoring things and making adjustments based on experience/feedback. The "comfort" setting for the pano roof used to be 80% opened, but with one of the software updates, they changed it to 75%.

Tesla does clearly state that constantly charging to 100% and running it down to 0 will kill the battery in relative short order. Charge daily to 90% and don't worry about.

reitmanr | April 17, 2015


How did you find the charge direction of 50-62%? I thought 90% was ok.

Mathew98 | April 17, 2015

Default setting when the cars are delivered is 90%. Drive the car each day with room to spare after each daily commute.

50-60% charge is great for long term storage. It's really up to each owner to decide on what level is comfortable for them.

Like Jordan said, set it to 90% daily and forget about it until you next long road trip.

jordanrichard | April 17, 2015

There are some that say you should only charge for what your daily needs are. I disagree. If you only charge to what you routine is, then you are "stuck" if something comes up that requires you to do more driving. Since Tesla considers 90% as "Daily", I charge to that as insurance.

PBEndo | April 17, 2015

I think it was recommended by JB as the sweet spot, but the difference up to 90% is minimal.

AmpedRealtor | April 17, 2015

@ rhbohl,

Tesla's design is worry-free. You don't need to do anything to manage battery life. Some owners, including myself, keep the car at 50%-60% and charge higher before we drive out for the day. There may be a tiny benefit to keeping the car at 50%, although Tesla's official recommendation is to not worry about it and to charge as much as you need.

Gadfly | April 17, 2015

18,500 miles, 15 mos old 85. I have never, since day 1, gotten a full charge over 262 miles. Ever. Is this normal? OP got over 290?

borodinj | April 17, 2015

Gadfly: Ideal vs. rated. I never look at ideal, only rated.

My S is 2 years old, 35K miles, and my max charge is never above 250ish. Hasn't been over 250 since 3 months after I got it. That said, I rarely max charge...I charge to 90%, which for me is low 220's. I've been seeing low 220's for over 18 months now.

Initially, I was bothered by the loss, but since I've consistently been getting low 220's for so long, it's just normal to me now, and now that supercharging is so much more accessible, it's really not an issue for me.

sorka95032 | April 17, 2015

I have it set to charge in the early morning so that the battery is warm when I leave. It means the MS sets overnight anywhere from 30 to 60% before it starts charging. I only bring it up to 80% for daily driving right before I leave. Same on a long trip but in that case I'll probably charge to up to 90 or 100 depending on the trip.

If you charge the night before and leave when the battery is cold, your wh / mile efficiency will be a lot lower at first and you'll lose range quickly.

Brian H | April 18, 2015

Battery OCD is endemic among owners. Don't sweat the small stuff. You'd have to work hard to damage the battery or shorten its very lengthy useful lifespan. Cellphones, laptops, and Leafs do not provide relevant info, as they lack thermal control, the magic sauce.

SCCRENDO | April 18, 2015

Battery OCD????
In general charge your battery as much as you need. However if you charge above 90 % try time it that it doesn't stay at that level too long. I time my full range charge to finish 30 mins before I'm ready to leave. Car will send a warning if you leave it at a greater than 90% SOC for more than a few hours. Probably not a good idea to leave the battery at a low state of charge for a prolonged period but if it happens don't sweat it.