Real world numbers

Real world numbers

Hey all. I drive about 25-30k miles per year. Can anyone provide me some real world numbers please. I average 24 mpg in my 2011 AWD Ford Edge or 2010 Mustang GT. What kind of range can I expect on the S I have ordered with the 85 kWh battery? What about when the car has 30k, 60k or 90k miles on it? Will performance and/or range suffer?

kent | 29 november 2012

I can give you my experiences to date. I've driven 1511 miles since November 2nd and used 584.5 kW/h with an average of 363 Wh/mi.

With the 85kWh pack your normal is said to be around 78 kWh in normal charge. 78,000 / 363 = 214 miles per charge.

Now I'm in Ohio and using heat every time I get into the car. I've made a lot of short trips which raise my numbers. Longer trips will do much better because everything will be warmed up. I've seen on the highway driving 70-75 MPH usage of 302 Wh/Mi which would give 258 miles. You can always charge in range mode for another 10 percent of capacity.

Hope this helps,
Sig #121 - Performance & 19" Wheels

dahtye | 29 november 2012

Here's my stats for the first 31 days of driving my Model S 85KW battery, 21" wheels:

Miles driven: 1800
Average Energy Used: 350 WHr/Mile
Total Energy Used: 630KWhr ($75.60 at 12 cents/KWHr)
Gasoline saved: 72 gallons of premium gasoline based on 25MPG on a similar performing car ($288.00 at $4-/gal)
Net savings in fuel bill = $212.40

I'm in California, so temperature is mild, but still need the heater in the morning.

I don't have a clue as to how the battery will degrade over time. I imagine there will be some degradation in range, but doubt that performance will suffer (my opinion...not based on any facts).

I expect to drive about 20K miles per year.

Oaktowner | 30 november 2012

dahtye - where in CA do you live?

12 c / kWH seems low to me. I'm on a standard residential rate in PG&E territory. I know my *lowest* block of power every month starts about there, but my highest block is over 30 c / kWH. As I evaluate my purchase, realizing that any electricity I use charging my Tesla will be above and beyond what I'm already using, that means in effect I'll be paying 30 c / kWH.

Still cheaper than gas, but definitely making me investigate solar.

sergiyz | 30 november 2012

How do you manage to pay 12c/kWh in CA ?
All the charging is pushing me into tier4 that is 34c/kWh.
1,800mi at 378Wh/mi average, so 650kWh or $231.
Not all of it was at 34c, but most, plus once you're in tier4, you're paying 34c for *all* energy you're using not just for charging (E1 rate).

sergiyz | 30 november 2012


Same here (you beat me to it).
Someone driving an ICE car with 30+mpg at $4 a gallon will probably spend less on fuel than we on electricity.
If the price goes up again to $5 a gallon, you need a 40mpg car.
That's a bit harder to find, but doable with good diesel engines.
Solar definitely makes sense, but only if you can produce enough to stay in tier1/tier2 pricing.
Given the PGE baseline usage, that translates into an 9kw (or larger) PV system...

Timo | 30 november 2012

nitpicky: it is kWh. Not KWhr or kWH or KWHr or kW/h.

It is not an acronym, it is an unit of energy. kWh. Kilowatt-hour. k as in kilo meaning thousand, W as in Watt and h as in hour.

kW is unit of power. Battery pack is not 85kW, it is more like 400kW.

village33 | 30 november 2012

OK, the post on CA electric prices was shocking enough to get me out of bed to check our bill. What does 30 and 34 cents refer to? We pay 7.19 cents per kWh in CT locked in from Dominion for a year (similar current offers below) for zero up to our max 400A/240V service plus 6 or so cents per kWh transmission/etc, no tax. Are we talking different units of measure?

Stark | 30 november 2012

Wow, I used to complain about my electricity bill, now I’m thankful!!! Here in Burlington Ontario we’re on Time of Day billing. We just went into winter rates:
- 11.8 cents per kilowatt hour for on-peak usage (from 7 am to 11 am, and from 5 pm to 7pm weekdays);
- 9.9 cents per kilowatt hour for mid-peak usage (from 11 am to 5 pm weekdays); and,
- 6.3 cents per kilowatt hour for off-peak usage (from 7 pm to 7 am weekdays and all day on weekends and holidays).

According to the Charge Calculator, a 300KM charge at off peak will cost me $3.71 (at $0.07). I can’t wait!

Nexxus | 30 november 2012


I thnik that's what they'er paying per kWh in Cal. PG&E has probably got the highest rates in the US. That's another reason PV systems make real good sense in CAL., not just because of all the sunny days they have there.

Personally, we only pay .069 - to .087 cents/kWh here in VA., depending on the time of year, not day or night time (Peak or off Peak).

Nexxus | 30 november 2012

Sorry, it's 6.9 - 8.7 cents. The way I wrote it, should have said dollars.

dstiavnicky | 30 november 2012

Hey Stark,

I'm in Toronto and noticed the same thing. We really get a great deal in Ontario. This will cost me about 1/10th of what I'm used to spending on fuel...
Can't wait also!

CraigT | 30 november 2012


Time of day billing is the best option for charging our cars. In BC we are charged based on usage tiers, $.068 and $.102. That means that you will always pay $.102 for charging unless you live like a hermit!

Stark | 30 november 2012

I admit, I was against time of day billing when it was announced. My wife runs her business out of our house and I thought our bills would go through the roof. Turns out that by adjusting our habits a bit (program the dishwasher for off peak, do laundry on weekend etc.) our bills have actually gone down a bit. I'm still looking to put in some solar though. There are few companies around now that I'm checking out that will lease your roof and pay for the install and maintenance of the PV system. They sell electricity to the power company at a fixed rate. Seems to be a good way to escape the upfront costs of a PV system.

Sudre_ | 30 november 2012

In the late 90s when I calculated the cost for solar it was around 25-30 cents a kWh including maintenance over 20 years. Since I pay 5-7 cents in MO I never bothered to get them. If you are paying anything over 25 cents per kWh then I would recommend calling Solar City.
My late 1990s actual cost calculation has probably dropped quite a bit.

Oaktowner | 30 november 2012

Sergiyz has it right for PG&E.

Your first kWh is about 12 cents, but before you know it you're paying 34 c / kWh.

sergiyz, have you looked into the special EV rates? They allow you to get a second meter just for charging your EV, and it would be on its own rate schedule (that is, starting down at 12 c / kWh). Trick is, you might have to pay to install a second service to the house, which I've read could cost up to $2,000.

bjm | 30 november 2012

I live in Northern California and put in a 5 kW system in 2004. We have E-7 time of use metering from PGE and my electric bill went from $4000/year to $200/year. The system paid for itself in 5 years. We pay 7 cents/kWh off peak when I will be charging. PGE pays me 34 cents/kWh during the day when I am producing excess electricity.

The price of solar panels has come down dramatically in the past several years and the payoff period for most systems will likely be even less.

As mentioned above you can also put in a dedicated system for EV and pay 4 cents/kWh for charging. Unfortunately PGE requires a one time meter fee in addition to a dedicated line. If you have the roof space and enough sun, solar is the way to go. You can also sleep better at night knowing that your electricity is coming (mostly) from the sun and not from burning fossil fuels.

nwdiver93 | 30 november 2012

I'm in the process of installing an 8.4kw system in New Mexico. I'm doing the installation myself and the total cost is $14000. Less than $10000 after the fed tax credit. My cost per kwh will be ~$0.03 over a 20 year life.

jchangyy | 30 november 2012

I live in Santa Clara, CA (just 20 minutes from Freemont, CA) and I pay 8 cents/kwh during off peak.

wrcrusaders | 1 december 2012

Thanks for the initial input kent, dahtye and volker. Funny how my request on the battery and it's range performance turned into a comparison of electricity bills/costs.

Mark22 | 1 december 2012

Crusader, where are you located?
Your Watts/mile depends a lot on both driving conditions and driving habits.
We live in Minnesota and have been testing real world range on a standard charge. With ambient temps around 70-80, we get an estimated range of 237, on full range charge it is right around 265. In the short time we had temps like that we were able to get that easily and could probably beat it.
With temps in the 20s we tend to get around 380W/mile or about 2.6 miles per kWh. Or estimates of 180-190 on a standard charge, which would probably be 200-210 on a full charge.
This is running the HVAC on full auto at 70. We basically are looking for worst case taking no energy saving tactics (such as using seat heaters rather than cabin HVAC.
But again, if you don't need the heater, or have to deal with the higher air density of colder air or the higher rolling resistance of snowy roads, the real life range will be much better.

Mark22 | 1 december 2012

Oh, and to your second question, no one knows for sure. However, our Roadster experienced less than a 3% range loss over 27,000 miles and about 27 months.
And just so you have a data point, we have had the Model S for 7 weeks and have 3000 miles on it.

wrcrusaders | 1 december 2012

Thanks Mark. I live in Denver, Colorado. I have a 85kWh model S on order. As of January 1st, about 90% of my driving is under 225 miles. If it's snowy on the roads I drive my 4x4 truck as my Mustang isn't a great snow rig. I rely heavily on my ride for work so the range loss, or lack thereof, on your Roadster is encouraging. Time and miles will tell. I was told my S won't be ready for 12 or so months. I will just have to watch these forums and see what happens and make the best decision I can.

nickjhowe | 2 december 2012

@wrcrushers - what res # are you? Even if you ordered today you should get your car around next July. There should be no more 12 month waits if you are in US.

wrcrusaders | 2 december 2012


Christopher3 | 2 december 2012


Is it possible for me to get some info from you about your PV set up. I'm in the process of building a house and would like to add this to the construction process. Thanks

DrJohnm | 2 december 2012

With regards to "Now I'm in Ohio and using heat every time I get into the car. I've made a lot of short trips which raise my numbers. Longer trips will do much better because everything will be warmed up. I've seen on the highway driving 70-75 MPH usage of 302 Wh/Mi which would give 258 miles. You can always charge in range mode for another 10 percent of capacity."

I thought that you could pre warm/cool the car while its still plugged in so that the cost of bringing the car up/down to temperature is not an issue. I understand that this is controlled by an smart phone app that may not be available yet, but I also recall something about the car learning your driving habits and doing the warming/cooling thing automatically if it knows your going to work every day at 7:30

Does anyone have any experience with this?

PS, I am not on the reservation list as I am living in Europe and would very much like to see one physically and know the price point here prior to committing (I hope its not going to be like Apple products that are quite a bit more expensive here in Europe even considering the tax differentials and the inclusion/exclusion of tax on the advertised prices).

Brian H | 2 december 2012

Seems there will be wild differences all over Urp; Denmark, Finland, Norway etc. find the MS to be an econobox in price because of taxes. Your Mileage Will Definitely Vary depending on where you live.

TM's policy has been to avoid profiteering, and to mark cars up only 1:1 for transport and exchange and local taxes. E.g., it marked cars for Can. up only after a long battle to have import duties excluded under NAFTA had failed.

Joshua Burstyn | 2 december 2012

I think here in Mississauga we get TOU billing in the Winter during recharge hours (overnight) at 6.3 cents per KwH:

To top it off I am trying to convince my workplace to let me use their test solar installation to recharge when I park.

We can't wait. Hopefully the wife and I will be riding the Model S train in March. :-)

TikiMan | 2 december 2012

Last night I charged my S to 270 rated miles. My trip was 190 miles round-trip. My average speed was 75 MPH. It was raining, so I was using my wipers and front defrost most of the trip up and back (as well as sound-system, front lights, and fog lights). It also sat for about six hours without any charging.

I was able to keep my projected range within ten to twenty miles of my rated range, and made it home with 45 miles of charge left. Thus I lost about 30 miles of total range. This was a good test for me, as I now know how much loss is accumulated in a long trip without traffic, at night, and using the majority of my electronic features.

shs | 2 december 2012

The rate one pays for electricity will obviously very much effect the economy of driving an EV such as the Model S. (We can hardly wait to get ours). We live in the Sierra Nevada Mountains/Foothills of California, near Yosemite, and have a 7.2 KW solar array providing electricity for our all electric home where we heat/cool with a geothermal heat pump and cook with an induction cook top.

We are PG&E customers, and generate more electricity than we use in the summer with afternoon rates of $0.27/ kWh. In the winter we use more electricity than we generate, but as we are heating our home with a rate of $0.10 a kWh, we come very close to breaking even on our electrical bill for the year. In all months, the electricity generated by the solar panels keeps us within our baseline allowance and thus at the lowest rates.

With an electric vehicle, PG&E offers a (single meter) plan E-9A, where the off peak rates, when we would charge the S, drop to $0.037/kWh in the summer and $0.047/kWh in the winter. Thus since having an EV combined with solar will not only allow very low cost charging, but will also likely LOWER our overall electricity bill! This E-9A rate schedule will cut in half the cost to heat our home in the winter and also slightly raises to $0.30/kWh the summer afternoon rates where we generate most of our excess power. Thus in California at least, the combination of solar and an EV seems to be a real winner.

mbarontseff | 2 december 2012

@dstiavnicky , @Stark.

I'm in Georgetown and looking forward to getting my Tesla soon.
How long have you had your car for, and how does the car handle our icy roads?

Have you noticed any change increase in charging costs during the winter months? (I would expect it to take longer to charge due to a colder battery, and hence use more electricity)


murraypetera | 10 december 2012

Thanks for those that input data so far.

While the sample set is small so far, the avg W/mile is 340 for about 6500 miles driven. All three cars are 85 kwh batteries with one non-performance.

As more people enter their data it will be interesting to see how options such as wheel size plays out on these numbers.

Here is the form:

ColonyGolfer | 10 december 2012

I checked with FPL for rates in Florida; however, they do not make sense. You can get on a program with lower rates for off-peak hours when you charge your car, but in doing so, you have to agree to a higher rate during the peak hours when you are running an AC system for your house. Cost doesn't warrant the change in SWFL unless you drive 2.4 million miles a year,LOL.

shs | 10 december 2012

Our situation is a bit different in that our heating costs (electric) are much greater than our summer AC costs because of our elevation and the insulation in the house. Our solar panels generate far more electricity than our house uses during the high $ summer hours so a rate system where juice is more expensive on a summer afternoon and cheaper on a winter night will work well for us. Now I just need my Model S to make it all work!