Actual real life range

Actual real life range

My wife and I have placed our deposit and our waiting for our new model S. I would like to know from the people already driving the car. What is your actual range in everyday drivin driving conditions, with weather, terrain, traffic. With a full charge. Thanks

P85D | 30 mars 2014

It's a hard question to answer since we all have different lifestyles. it's like asking each person how much gas they you'st to use.

Dramsey | 30 mars 2014

In a couple of weeks I'll be driving from Reno to Portland; the first leg of the trip, to the Mt. Shasta supercharger, is 228 miles. I think I'll make it if I drive at the speed limit.

With a full charge, driving from the Vacaville supercharger to my home in Reno (177 miles, 3000 feet of increased elevation), I arrive with about 40 miles of rated range left if I drive at 70 mph.

jsulymajunk | 30 mars 2014

I know it is difficult. I am not asking what I will get I asking what you get

Bighorn | 30 mars 2014

Between 200 and 250 miles on a charge on a recent trip, mostly dependent on elevation gain. On level ground, exceeding 260 miles is plausible, especially with lower speed limits.

Nuts4MS | 30 mars 2014

I have a heavy foot and I get about 260 miles on a charge but that's keeping my avg energy in the 350-370 range. I I didn't punch it off the line at lights and move through traffic like a ghost on the interstate I would probably get more.

Bighorn | 30 mars 2014

That sort of energy consumption wouldn't get you close to 260 miles--you'd need to be under 290 wh/m or thereabouts.

jsulymajunk | 30 mars 2014

Thanks I forgot to tell you that we are purchasing the 85kw model

Bighorn | 30 mars 2014

P likely has a lesser range than not. 19" tires are also more efficient.

Mireille and Conan | 30 mars 2014

Only have used full range a few times on trips. But if it's any help, we have an 85, charge to 90% daily, and don't even think twice about 200 miles. That's driving about an even mix of freeway & town.

Mathew98 | 30 mars 2014

Drive like a nut job during daily commute of less than 150 miles.

Drive like grandma during long trips involving superchargers visits.

They can both be achieved in harmony. Drive the car whichever way that give you the biggest grin. Unless the wife is sitting next to you...

PhillyMomof4 | 30 mars 2014

I've had my S85 for 2.5 weeks and get pretty poor mileage. But I have a lead foot and drive in a lot of stop-and-go traffic. And it's been in the 20s at night, 30s during the day (except past two days). I've been averaging about 350-400 Wh-mi, but since the 5.9 update two days my mileage has worsened. I'm hoping it's a bug in the software.

I charge to 90% every night and leave the house with about 235 miles. I plug in every time come home.

SCCRENDO | 30 mars 2014

Have range charged for a couple 200 mile trips. On one I got 234 miles driving cautiously. Did a security charge of 67 miles and returned home with 67 miles. Did a 198 mile trip and returned with about 40. These trips involved elevation changes. In general if you go 65 mph you can probably achieve parity if no elevation involved.

Gadfly | 30 mars 2014

I have an 85, 3 mos old. 3300 miles, average 304. Two road trips, 1000 and 400 miles, both with dramatic elevation change. Always set the cc to 5-7 over. Love to leave audis and Porsches in the dust from stop lights but otherwise take it easy on the jackrabbit starts.

Normal daily is 10 to 100 miles. Typical is probably 30. A lot of that is freeway at 70 mph.

As many have pointed out, keep the average around 300 on a trip and rated range is a piece of cake.

LMB | 30 mars 2014

(LMB spouse)

We often drive from south-east of Boston to west of Philadelphia. It's about 195 miles to the Darien CT Supercharger, with no net elevation change but lots of hills in between. In summer, driving mid 70s, no problem, typically arrive with 20+ miles after a range charge. In winter, not so easy: drive mid 60s, heat cabin to 65F, range-mode; last time we arrived at Darien with six miles left. It's not too scary, because we can always bail out to the Milford SC if too little remaining range. Car is an S85 with 19 inch stock tires, and about 12,000 miles on it.

P85D | 30 mars 2014


I hardly drive my Model S, so I cannot give you a good example. However I can tell you that the 21" wheels ruin any good range. However for me the sexy look of the 21" verses the dorky look of the 19" is worth it.

CharlotteOmoto | 30 mars 2014

I normally charge to 85% and don't recharge until my range falls below 100 miles and I get ~230+ miles with that. When I plan on a road trip, I charge to 85% the night before and then charge to 100% on the morning before departure. With that I get ~260 miles of range. This is not in the summer time, when I expect the range to increase since batteries do not need to be heated and I won't have heater on.

Ugottahaveit | 30 mars 2014

My wife and I have had our 85 with 19" for three weeks now. After several short trips we have racked up 1,500 miles. We have had no rage issues at all. If you resist the urge to open it up and drive 65 most of the time ( which is hard to do) you will find your mileage driven is very close to actual although you will need to allow for terrain.

dleidy | 30 mars 2014

Cold weather range is significantly worse than the ideal outside temperate of 70 degrees. If you drive aggressively in cold weather, don't expect much more than 150 miles. If you drive "normal" in good weather, 224-250 is realistic. If you drive like my Grandfather, 300 miles is possible in good weather. So the answer is somewhere between 150 and 300, depending on those factors. It truly is that big of a swing.

robert | 30 mars 2014

My lifetime average (incl. both summer and winter tires) for half a year's driving is 166 Wh/km = 266 Wh/mile.

Assuming 81 kWh capacity means 304 miles range, but I have already made over 320 miles on one charge, in 35 degrees weather.


Red Sage ca us | 30 mars 2014

I wonder why there is so much concern about range in particular... Why not just set the system to report percentage of battery instead? Drop below 20% battery, it's time to look for a Supercharger. Drop below 10% battery, it's time to look for any outlet you can find.

Basically, the same as you'd do with a gasoline vehicle. Under 1/4 tank? Look for a gas station. Under 1/8 tank? Pray for a gas station.

The truth of the matter is that the range of the Tesla Model S is equivalent to, or better than, most vehicles that historically had a 0-60 time under five seconds and a 1/4 mile time under 13 seconds. They were usually gas guzzlers with a fuel tank under 20 gallons and often got nowhere near 25 miles per gallon. Put your foot in it, and you'd be refilling the tank after only 75-125 miles. On the highway, you'd be lucky to get 250-300 miles.

Brian H | 31 mars 2014

It's "used to". Honest.

chrisdl | 31 mars 2014

I drive in my normal style and I get about 320 km with a full charge. That's 200 miles. YMMV (had to say that ;-)

romainiacWV | 31 mars 2014

Id say driving aggressive (75-80mph) highway speeds, 170-200 miles depending on terrain and conditions. But as others have said, you can go slow with cruise and stretch it. Farthest for me, 238 miles on single charge in 30 degree weather. Drove that leg at cruise of 60mph.

mgboyes | 31 mars 2014

I'm a UK reservation holder (hopefully the car is coming at the end of June) and I have to say it's motorway (highway) range that gives me the most concern. My average cruise speed on any long journey is at least 90mph (and on UK motorways at that speed I'm often in the middle lane being overtaken by even faster drivers).

I know Tesla released some graphs showing range vs speed, but are there any e.g. German drivers on the forums who can talk about real range at say 100mph on an Autobahn?

The only regular long-distance journey I make is about 230 miles to my parents, so once there's a supercharger somewhere in the middle it won't be a big deal at any speed - I'm just curious as to how bad it will be at high cruising speeds, and also how slowly I'd have to drive to be comfortable about going the whole distance without a planned stop.

tes-s | 31 mars 2014

I get between 190 and 260 depending on temperature, conditions, and speed.

Mark22 | 31 mars 2014

Winter, 200 miles.
Summer, 300 miles.

Mix of highway and city streets, typically driving within 5mph of the speed limit.

AmpedRealtor | 31 mars 2014

I live in Arizona where it's nice 6 months out of the year, then freezing for a week, and then hot another 6 months. I've had my car since August of 2013. My lifetime average is 290 Wh/mi. I usually drive 5 MPH over the limit on city streets and around 70 MPH on the freeway. Based on my lifetime average, my actual driving is 293 miles per 85 kWh (full 300 mile battery). That is essentially ideal range.

jsulymajunk | 31 mars 2014

Thank you all. I appreciate your response my wife and I cannot wait until we get the car

SamO | 31 mars 2014

In the most adverse conditions (wind, low temps, climbs) I usual can manage about 175 miles.

In the most favorable conditions (~70 ambient temps, flat, still) I usually can manage 200 miles.

Longest distance traveled on a single charge: 227 miles.


Gadfly | 31 mars 2014


Haven't been through the AZ summer yet. Do you have any advice regarding running the AC overnight, when the power comes off the grid at four cents per hour and not from the battery, to cool the battery in our 110° garages?

Mathew98 | 31 mars 2014

110 F degrees garage? Do you park your car inside a steel mill?

The car will use shore power to warm/cool the battery pack when it is plugged in.

mgboyes | 31 mars 2014

OK but from research done under and the excellent summary within there's actually about 76kWh available from 100% down to the car showing 0 miles range, so any "real life range" calculation should be using that figure not the full 85kWh, shouldn't it?

Remember that the EPA 265 mile rating is based on draining the battery completely (i.e. they don't stop when the display reads 0; they stop when the car actually won't travel any further).

So for example @AmpedRealtor's lifetime average of 290Wh/mi is 262 mi of real life range, not 293.

262 is still a great number though - I can't think of any occasion where I've wanted to drive further than that without a decent rest stop.

Red Sage ca us | 31 mars 2014

I believe that with ICE vehicles, the EPA tests vehicle range two ways at least... First, by draining a full tank until the vehicle stops. Second, by adding exactly one gallon of fuel, and checking to see how far the vehicle goes using that. Both results are used in calculations determining range.

With the Tesla Model S, they may have: 1) drained the battery completely; and 2) then filled with ~34 kWh of power to check the 'equivalent' of one gallon, as a direct comparison.

Red Sage ca us | 31 mars 2014

Oh, and the EPA seems to publish a range number that is roughly equivalent to 90% of what they actually achieve, for any vehicle.

chrisdl | 31 mars 2014

That's correct. I have calculated that from full charge to 0 on the range meter I have 73.9 kWh available.
The rest is there to keep you from breaking the battery by fully discharging it, among other reasons.

AmpedRealtor | 31 mars 2014

@ Mathew98,

Ambient temperatures in Arizona during the summer can be over 115ºF. I'm not sure if a garage will reach 110ºF, but it's certainly not an issue for the car or its battery management system.

P85D | 31 mars 2014

I actually said you'st to....what a dumbass.

AmpedRealtor | 31 mars 2014

@ Go Long TSLA,

I really don't know the answer to that question, unfortunately. I am on the 7-12 TOU plan from APS combined with solar net metering. Because of how my rates are calculated, the difference between peak and off-peak is not that much. I've had the car since August but my APS bill has been zero for the months of November 2013 through March 2014 even though I plug-in without much regard to the time of day.

If you don't have solar, APS (maybe SRP also) has a special EV rate plan that might save you some money.

Gadfly | 31 mars 2014


Not concerned with cost, de minimus at my TOU of 4 cents. I'll use the ios app to cool it for comfort before driving, but was wondering if it would be better for battery life to cool it overnight. If so, how bad would it be for the A/C unit. I'm sure the SC has a view on that.

Matthew- not a steel mill, an oven. It is paradise here October - April, but there is a price to be paid. It's called "August". I don't know if garage heat actually hits 110, but it sure exceeds 100. But it's a DRY heat! Just like your oven.

MitchP85D | 31 mars 2014

I have the MS60. My round trip commute to work is 75 miles. I charge at 90%. This gives me 189 miles to start out with. When I get back home, I usually read between 110-113 rated miles left. 75 from 189 is 114. So, it seems pretty spot on to me. And this includes occasional punches to get around Houston traffic.

alohasara | 31 mars 2014

I have the 85KW with 19" tires. My commute to work is 85 miles each way. I 85% charge over night, then set it to full charge when I wake up. When I walk out to the car, it reads 260. After driving to work, letting it sit all day and driving home, I usually have around 50 miles left. That's when I'm driving with the speed of traffic (usually 75ish), with A/C or Heat, Stereo and includes sitting in traffic if there is any. There is a fairly substantial hill that eats up about 10 and another 10ish for sitting outside all day, so the rated range is fairly accurate.

Gadfly | 31 mars 2014
Sudre_ | 31 mars 2014

I have a 60. My average watt/mile for the last 16,000 miles is 335. Coming out of winter that is a high number. I am already starting to see 280-290 watt/mile trips. That's just driving the car with some effort to conserve.

On 9 degree days I was getting about 150 miles at best on a trip back from Florida to Missouri. That 150 miles was with nothing left. Actually one time I was plugged in at -2 miles. I was also conserving power as best as possible.
On a perfect 70 degree day on my way back from Arkansas I got 192 miles with 30 miles of range left.

Typically I can average 180 miles on a 90% charge.... or whatever a standard charge really is now. That will leave the car with about 10 miles left of range. The largest effect I have seen is when temps get into the single digits.

After a while you stop thinking about it in terms of miles and watt/miles. Like a gas car you just know how far it will go on a tank of electrons base on weather and elevation gain.

SamO | 31 mars 2014

+1 Sudre_