Big-Battery 2012 Tesla Model S Gets EPA Ratings of 89 MPGe, 265-Mile Range
Tesla’s 2012 Model S rolls off the production line and into customer’s hands tomorrow, and we now know that those customer cars will get the equivalent of 89 mpg and have a 265-mile range on one battery charge.
The 2012 Model S had already been crash-tested and cleared for public sale, and we were waiting for confirmation from the EPA. Now we have it: top-spec Tesla Model S electric sedans with an 85-kWh battery will get the equivalent of 89 miles per gallon. That may be 10 fewer miles than the combined 99-MPGe figure of the 2012 Nissan Leaf, currently the country’s most popular battery electric vehicle, but the Model S does have a bigger interior and a lot more power: it hits 60 mph within 4.4 and 6.5 seconds, depending on specification, compared to the Leaf’s 9.7 second sprint.
While Tesla has long said that it was shooting for its 85-kWh models to travel a full 300 miles on one charge, the final EPA-estimated range is 265 miles. As we previously reported, Tesla says this is the result of differing testing methods: Tesla’s range estimates are at 55 mph, while the EPA’s methodology combines city and highway driving and is much more rigorous.
With the 85-kWh Tesla Model S getting an estimated 265 miles of range, it’s still anyone’s guess as to what less-expensive models will do. The Model S’ initial 1000-car production run will all be 85-kWh Signature Series models, but later models will have available 40- or 60-kWh battery packs that will allow the Model S to go a Tesla-estimated 160 or 230 miles, respectively. Neither Tesla nor the EPA have released those numbers, but expect EPA testing to temper those estimates a bit.
Still, the Model S easily takes the crown of the electric-only car with the furthest range, dwarfing the Mitsubishi i and Nissan Leaf, up to a respective 98 and 100 miles.
By Ben Timmins