How Far Will A Tesla Model S Go? One Owner Did 405 Miles

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Back in May, Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] released range estimates for the 2012 Model S.

While the company predicted that 250-300 miles would be typical for the largest, 85 kilowatt-hour battery, and the EPA confirmed this with an official 265 miles, insiders at Tesla had a sneaky feeling that 400 miles would be possible.

That estimate has now been confirmed by Model S owner David Metcalf, and his 12-year old son, Adam.

After a 405-mile journey through Florida, the father and son team is the first to break 400 miles in the Model S. That distance is now being verified by Guinness World Records, and could become a benchmark for other Model S owners as the car goes on sale around the world.

The trip ended with a congratulatory call from Tesla Vice President, George Blankenship, followed by a tweet from Tesla CEO and founder, Elon Musk. Musk may now be looking for a prize for the record-breaking duo, as promised for the first owner to pass 400 miles on a single charge.

According to David's twitter feed, much of the journey was relatively flat, and done at constant speed on rural roads. There were few stops over the 400 miles and to eke out a little more range, the duo rolled down the windows a few inches rather than using the climate control. The car's tires were also inflated higher than standard.

The car actually managed 423.5 miles before the duo finally stopped, ready to be towed home.

There's another significance to the 400-mile record--it comfortably beats the maximum range attained in Tesla's own Roadster, when two Australian owners hit 313 miles back in 2009.

It's also a greater proportion above the official EPA ratings. The 313-mile record was set against an EPA rating of 244 miles--a 28 percent increase. The new drive is over 50 percent greater than the Model S's EPA range of 265 miles.

Green Car Reports offers its congratulations to both David and Adam!

[Hat tip: Brian Henderson]


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Comments (17)
  1. To the rest of the auto industry building EVs, compete with that suckas! Wooow!

  2. Fantastic distance on one charge for a battery powered car. Goes to show that your mileage may vary rather drastically when it comes to battery powered vehicles.

    I Wonder though why its says 405 miles in the title if "the car actually managed 423.5 miles".

  3. 405 seems to have been the owner's official halt, and to where the record was being measured. 423.5 is apparently where the car eventually stopped working. Either way, it's over 400!

  4. For a car of that size, it is an impressive achievement.

  5. Really? Even at 25mph average speed?

    I guess you really choose "efficiency" over "speed"...

  6. I am unable to see where the average speed was 25mph?
    A vehicle suffers from aerodynamic effects over about 50mph so I am not sure what purpose would be served at travelling so slowly. Maybe it was elapsed time - including the breaks in travelling - i.e. the recorded speed reflects stationary periods?

  7. I'm surprised that it was achieved via constant speed instead of stop and go driving that favors electric drive with regen breaking. Very very impressive.

  8. Constant speed is more efficient. Regen only recovers part of the energy used in slowing down, it's still a loss.

  9. Not to take away Tesla's achievement, but that is exactly 4.98 miles/KWh (423/85) and with "no performance" expected for those 400 miles.

    Many other "EVs" have been proven to get that kind of numbers/efficiency already if you try to "hypermile" it. To put it in perspective,

    In a Leaf, it would be 119.52 miles.
    In a Volt, it would be 52.29 EV miles.
    In an I-MIEV, it would be 79.68 miles.

    The Leaf number might be rare, but the Volt number and i-Miev number are certainly fairly Popular with owners who "hypermile".

  10. Actually I believe only 80kWh's are available for use, so 5.29 miles/kWh.

  11. Some Miev drivers have come close to if not surpassed 100 miles on a charge, believe only about 15 kwh of 16 is usable for a 6.67 miles/kwh rating.

  12. Even @ 5.29/KWh,

    Leaf: 127 miles (with full 24KWh)
    Volt: 55.5 EV miles (with full 10.5KWh)
    I-Miev: 86.64 miles (with full 16KWh)

    Those are NOT "unheard of" numbers. It is still great for a 2 Ton+ sports sedan. But Tesla is certainly trading off some of that efficiency for range and performance. And I am totally okay with it. It is just that 400 miles + number isn't as "surprising" as the title sound...

  13. One major fact omitted here is that the 400 miles trip "averaged" about 25mph.

    Well, @ that speed, it is an useless number.

  14. Still cannot see in the article, jpgs or links where you found the average speed to be 25mph. That means the total trip took 16+ hours not including breaks. I can't see that anywhere either.

  15. Tesla Model S is the only EV were you do not have to worry about range anxiety. Every other manufacture of EV's range is the seemingly agreed upon range of 75 miles or so. Looking forward to the $35,000 Blue star Ev which will be released in 2015. Hopefully it will be able to get about 200 miles range on a charge and can be sold for about $35,000.

  16. Just to be clear, you mean the Tesla S (85KWh/60KWh) version.

    The Tesla S (40KWh) version have only about 150 miles at most (Potentially EPA rated 130 miles), with winter discount of 20%, it would be about 100-120 real world miles...

  17. I already started saving for the so called "blue star" $35k Tesla.

    If it is true that it has 200 miles range and cost $35k. I will be the one of the first few people buying one.

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