German Autobahn Cruising at a calm 110MPH driving: Projected Range?

German Autobahn Cruising at a calm 110MPH driving: Projected Range?

Hello Guys,

I just moved from San Francisco to the German Border region of Belgium. Wonderful twisty country roads here like in Marin county which I love, but `I also love to test the maximum speed that my vehicles are rated by doing some white knuckle driving on the German autobahn. I also use just to get places just about every other day. Curious what range is like when you drive like Jeremy Clarkson on a track as that is the way the Belgians drive.

Anyway, cruising at say a calm, 100 to 110 MPH without unnecessary playful acceleration, based on your experience, what might the range be? I want to know if I can get to Dusseldorf and back from my home nearby Verviers, Belgium. Checking on Google Maps one route has it at 120KM away. Let's assume my house is a little further away and I will drive around the town upon arrival. That makes say 150KM or 300KM roundtrip. Now at 250 miles of range that converts to 400KM which gives me an extra 100 KM, however, with autobahn speeds averaging a large part of the time at 100 to 110 mph easily almost as if keeping up with most of the faster traffic, well most but not all, some are cruising closer to 200KPH, will I be able to make it without charging in Dusseldorf?

That would be great news by the way, then I could make it to other cities like Antwerp and Brussels and the Nürburgring :-p as well as they are in the same range. Excited about my first test drive this weekend in Antwerp!

By the way, anyone tested the top speed?

ArieK | 8 februari 2013

Range on German autobahns has been discussed quite a bit in this thread:

Somewhere in that thread is the following graph which only goes up to 80mph and projects 200 miles of range at that speed under ideal circumstances (flat road, no wind, no AC, etc.)

Hobart | 8 februari 2013

Great, is there a search function for these forums? I can't seem to find it apparently.

Norbert.Vienna | 8 februari 2013

just use

GeirT | 8 februari 2013

This link should have been available on the Vilker Berlin fid the job:

Brian H | 8 februari 2013

Actually, Volker.Berlin had nothing to do with setting up that page. He used to "find" things and cross-reference threads for people, using that kind of search function. Someone put together the site in his name, as a gesture. You can duplicate it yourself with any search engine by including the string along with your search terms.

GeirT | 8 februari 2013

@ Brian H

Thank you for correcting. I guess the link works anyway?

gregv64 | 8 februari 2013

The summary on that thread was that at 130mph the range would be less than 100 miles. So probably at 100-110 you could make it one way, but that would be it. You would need a full range charge to return home. High speed and electric vehicles don't go we'll together.

nickjhowe | 8 februari 2013 was my contribution to the forum. I also tried to extend the official TM graph to guesstimate what the range might be at higher speeds:

nickjhowe | 8 februari 2013

Slightly more readable version:

Uploaded with

Brian H | 8 februari 2013

Yeah, the whole Autobahn needs to be wired for inductive charging, so MSes can go flat-out all the time! >:)

L8MDL | 8 februari 2013

Haven't seen an official top speed but a Model S Performance did the 1/4 mile in 12.371 secs @ 110.84 mph:

Brian H | 8 februari 2013

Supposed to be limited to 130 mph, but AWD might increase that by putting lower reduction gears on the front motor.

jkirkebo | 8 februari 2013

Lower reduction gear for the front motor won't help if you don't put the same lower reduction gear in the rear diff too.

Brian H | 8 februari 2013

Yes, if the PEM supplies more power to the front, at highway speeds, it will.

Jackie425 | 9 februari 2013

@Hobart: I'll let you know later in the year when I have mine as I live about an hour from the German border and I like to take my cars for a spin once in a while ;-)

Mark E | 10 februari 2013

@Brian, no it won't if you are reaching the max revs of the motor. Over revving is never a good idea, even if you don't have pistons, conrods or valves to worry about.

alexeybekin | 10 februari 2013

Hi Hobart,
Did you bring your Amercian Model S to Europe or will you buy it in Europe? In the contract it is written that your waranty is void if you leave the north american zone with your north american Model S

Who will help you to fix bugs in Europe ?

I'm in a similar situation. I will work for a certain time in Europe and it looks like that I can't bring my brand new Model S with me. Without loosing support from Tesla.

Vall | 10 februari 2013

Seems like you have a choice: Drive at 75 mph on the autobahn and do the round trip, or drive at 110 and do less than 100 miles. Which means you should charge before düsseldorf. Probably twice. Or just don't do high speed trips on the autobahn in a model S.

Brian H | 10 februari 2013

TM sez the load will be moved preferentially to the front motor at highway speeds. Better let them know it's impossible!

nickjhowe | 10 februari 2013

@Brian - load is not equal to revs. The current to the motor will allow it to take a higher load, but both motors will spin at the same speed.

Brian H | 10 februari 2013

Yabbut -- do higher revs under low loading harm the rear motor? IAC, it's what TM sez they do. Short of disengaging the rear at hwy speeds, permitting hi-rev lo-load spinning is the only possibility I can see.

Timo | 11 februari 2013

Just reduce reduction gear in both of them. Easier and just as effective.

Mark E | 11 februari 2013

@Timo: Thankyou. Sanity prevails.

Anyone who has built modified vehicles will agree that you can improve acceleration by changing the gearing at the expense of top end. If you increase the power available with the same gearing you get to vmax faster but that's it. To get a higher top speed you need to increase the power *and* change the gearing.

In most cases the vmax is determined by the stresses of keeping engine components together. Even bikes with 15,000 rpm redlines or turbines have this problem. With modern engines having electronically limited ignition it is very difficult to over-rev but it still happens when the driver shifts down to the wrong gear. Putting an ICE vehicle from 5th to 3rd close to vmax will ruin your day, and engine.

Even electric motors are not immune.

Brian H | 11 februari 2013

Costs low-end torque. TM sez the dual motor X will be able to use the front motor preferentially at highway speeds. There is no other way to benefit from that than different reduction gears, AFAIK.

fischca | 11 februari 2013

Riding with 110 or 130 miles per hour sucks the energy out of the battery like hell. Even with the best aerodynamics there is no way to avoid physical rules. My guess for the range at top speed with 85kWh is around 40-50 miles and you will overheat the batterys.

In my country the people are crazy about the unlimeted speed on the autobahn. The unlimited speed makes no sense at all, very hectic all the time and a huge waste of energy. As a young man it was nice to speed up to 140 miles/h with my old Audi but it was very dangerous. My view changed over the last years.

Whity Whiteman | 11 februari 2013

Fischca----hmm, if this is the case- I must step out. 40-50 Miles is to less to be true. This car is a huge investment- I would buy the performance, but if I can't make it from Duesseldorf to Frankfurt on an open road- without heating up the accupack... I'd stay one generation longer on my 5-series Touring. Sorry Tesla, I'm on it since 3 Years and a big fan- but this would make no sense.
Yet there is no video out there with a Model S driving more than 110MPH... we will see.
Will Tesla find a way for the German-Autobahn-Prob...maybe a second gear could help?

Whity Whiteman | 11 februari 2013

100KWh-pack and a second gear, right?

fischca | 11 februari 2013

The thing is that elecric cars like the Model S are not made for extended high speed travelling. It is better to realize that before you are disappointed after buying an expensive car.
Maybe you change your driving speed. On the autobahn in germany there is not a common speed limit but there is an recommended speed maximum of 80 miles/h (= 130 km/h). And in most cases there is to much traffic for speeding in daytime. With a speed of 80 miles/h the Model S would be a good choice for your route Duesseldorf to Frankfurt.

fischca | 11 februari 2013

Duesseldorf to Frankfurt is a distance of 140-150 miles

Timo | 11 februari 2013

@Brian H, double the motors, double the potential torque. If the acceleration is traction-limited you can quite well drop that torque a bit and still get same or better acceleration.

However battery can't deliver double-power, so maybe all that there is in this is application of which motor gets more torque.

Brian H | 11 februari 2013

Right, it's a matter of allocation.