Tesla Model S With 60 kWh Battery Rated at 208-Mile Range

By · December 10, 2012

Tesla Model S

The EPA last week released the officially efficiency and range numbers for the mid-level 60-kWh version of the Tesla Model S. Though Tesla was gunning for a rating of 230 miles, the EPA's test results assigned 208 miles as the official number. That's 57 miles less than the 85-kWh version of the Model S.

In terms of efficiency, the 60-kWh version of the Model S outperforms it's 85-kWh sibling with an official EPA rating of 95 MPGe versus 89 MPGe. The EPA says that the 60-kWh version uses 35 kWh to cover 100 miles, compared to 38 kWh for the 85-kWh Model S.

Tesla Model S 85-kwh versus 60-kwh

A side-by-side comparison of the 60 and 85-kWh versions of the Tesla Model S.

There's still one version, the base 40-kWh Model S, that has not been tested by the EPA. Tesla expects this version to return 160 miles of range, but judging by the previous discrepancies between Tesla's estimates and the EPA official figures, the official number will fall short by 10 miles or so.

The 85-kWh version of the Model S, starting at $69,900 after incentives, is available now. The 60-kWh Model S, with a base level price of $59,900, is expected to enter the production in January, with deliveries scheduled to commence about one month later. Finally, the arrival of the base-level 40-kWh version, beginning at $49,900 after incentives, is tentatively set for late March to early April. All Tesla pricing will slightly increase beginning in 2013.


· Spec (not verified) · 5 years ago

I wonder when they will start shipping this car? I'm guessing they are hoping that more people keep signing up for the high-end model so they can delay shipping this model and the 40KWH version.

· Lad (not verified) · 5 years ago

These ratings are so bogus and I think designed to be confusing on purpose; What is the range of the car at freeway speeds? I mean how far will the car go at the real freeway speed...70 mph.

When I accepted my Leaf from the dealer he suggested keeping the car under 55 mph on the freeway in order to max out the range. When you drive in the slow lane on the freeway at these speeds, even the truck drivers get mad at you.

I'm waiting for one,just one, of those announced batteries, that are in the labs, with double the density at half the weight to make it to production. I'm afraid my waiting time will be extremely long. Currently the 2011 Leaf battery has a density of about 140 kw/kg; make it 280..."how hard can it be" to quote Top Gear's Host.

· ThomasF (not verified) · 5 years ago

Range estimates are only confusing because there is no such thing as a reliable estimate of range at a "real" freeway speed. In real life hills get in the way, wind blows in your face, or you are constantly accelerating and decelerating in traffic.

Furthermore, in "real" life folks dont spend 100% of their time on the freeway. So to try to simplify the whole process the EPA does a mix of testing under various conditions and publishes their city/highway numbers along with the combined number. No vehicle in the world will consistently meet this number in real life, because real life is messy.

As to your specific question about how far the Model S will go, Tesla has published a detailed blog with a graph showing ranges of the 85kwh model at different speeds.

At 70mph on level ground, 1 passenger, no A/C and the windows up it will go ~240 miles. Numerous reports from actual owners confirm ranges of between 210 and 270 miles depending on how you drive, number of passengers, and use of A/C or heater.

Here is the Tesla site if you are interested -


· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

>"I'm waiting for one,just one, of those announced batteries, that are in the labs, with double the density at half the weight to make it to production."

GM Spark uses Envia batteries matching this description. However they chose to take advantage of these properties to simply use fewer batteries to achieve the same range rather than to extend range. This is because range is not the main factor holding back EVs in the marketplace, it's high price. A low price, low range EV will sell as a second car. A high price, high range EV will not.

· · 5 years ago

The Spark uses an A123 battery pack, not Envia batteries. GM has made a 7 million dollar investment in Envia, but their batteries aren't available yet.

· Spec (not verified) · 5 years ago

"make it 280..."how hard can it be" to quote Top Gear's Host."

Then why doesn't that Top Gear Host do it? Anyone that could make such a energy density battery AND AT A LOW COST would become a billionaire. It is just not very easy to do. Why don't those gearheads make a gas car that gets 100 miles per gallon . . . how hard could it be?

· · 5 years ago

"make it 280..."how hard can it be" to quote Top Gear's Host."

I'll give you a hint: It's not nearly as easy as driving cars and talking about them on TV.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago


Can you confirm your source for the start of production 60 kWh battery? I spoke to my rep yesterday and he said production of the 60 won't start until March. Did we get our signals crossed? thx!

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

Anonymous, you assert that a low price, low range EV will sell as a second car. I would say that dismal sales of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV demonstrate this isn't necessarily the case.

· · 5 years ago

I'm impressed that the efficiency on the 60 kWh version isn't much lower than the much-smaller LEAF. Actually, the highway efficiency is better than the LEAF!

That said, I appreciate my LEAF's generous ground clearance for driving in snow and on dirt roads. The relatively high clearance does hurt highway efficiency, though.

· Kristjan (not verified) · 5 years ago

There are very different figures about the range. I have a Leaf, where Nissan says it's a 100 mile range car and it has even shown me 130 miles range in the morning fully charged. Having had the Leaf now during warm summer and cold winter, the real range is for city driving 80 miles in summer and 60 in winter. At 55 MpH it drops to 65 miles in summer with no AC on. Thats for really normal driving, eco style you can pull out more of course, but thats not so interesting. I have seen for 85 kWh figures of 265 miles, 60 kWh here 208 miles, where the comments were that probably it will do 150 miles in real life. Can someone share their real experience with 85 kWh battery? Not how much it can do, but much it really does driving it like an average driver, no saving on climate control, keeping the allowed speed, passing slower vehicles etc? There is really many good specialists here and I would also appreciate if someone could advise me: lets say that after 8 years Tesla S with 85 kWh battery has left 70% of original range, after 12 years 40%. Does my car after 12 years still drive the 40% or it's somehow incapable of running anymore at all on that battery from certain time/capabilty of storing energy? Why I ask? After 8-10 years Tesla S is and old car in any sense altough it's the best achievement today of last 30 years of car production. Then I do not want to invest any money into it anymore, specially the battery. If my Tesla S would do after 10-12 years some 50-70 miles with 85 kWh battery it's still almost as good as my Leaf today and would serve well as one car in my family. After 10 years there is for sure different options to upgrade my Tesla S, technically, software, battery etc. I'm not interested in that anymore, because then I can buy Tesla A, B or C with better pricing, better technology, better range etc.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

Tesla model S drriver and his son drove 423 miles on a single charge the other day in Florida Tesla. I know of a LEAF driver, also in Florida, who routinely gets over 100 miles a charge.

· · 5 years ago

Those are extreme cases. I also know of people who can run a mile in less than 4 minutes but I doubt that Kristjan or anyone else in this forum could do that so that metric is sort of meaningless.
I look at the 80% rule to figure out about what the realistic expectation for range is, then look at the normal driving.
There is no doubt that you or I could easily drive a car the LA-4 driving cycle range (100 miles for a Leaf, 300 miles for a Tesla Model S).
However, to get towards realistic start with the EPA range, then ask yourself if you are used to getting the EPA mpg in your normal driving and start the 80% rule with whatever knockdown you usually get.
For example if you drive a 30 EPA mpg gas car but usually only see about 27 mpg, assume you get about 10% below EPA or 90% of EPA.
You then knock off:
20% to avoid full charge on a regular basis
20% to avoid discharging too deeply
20% for battery life in 5 - 7 years
The final equation is then:
EPA X 90% X 80% X 80% X 80% = planned daily driving range between charging daily.
Occasional usage would let you charge more fully and discharge deeper so the equation is:
EPA X 90% X 80%
This would mean a 73 mi/charge Leaf would get: 33 miles per charge daily. Of course, for occasional use, you could hope for 52 miles per charge in 5 - 7 years.
A 208 mile Model S would leave you with: 95.8 miles per charge daily (that's a lot of daily driving) or 150 miles occasional use in 5 - 7 years.

· Lad (not verified) · 5 years ago

Looks like there are a few of you took the bate and missed my point so I will state it plainly:

The tests that are performed to assess range performance do not emulate what is happening in the real world of driving. And, if you tell me you know a guy that got 130 miles range from a Leaf, I'll show you a hyper miler or a guy who drives 130 miles down hill.

I would like to see the EPA put the car on a spec dyno and run the car at 65 mph, with no other electric devices running, until the battery goes dead...that would be a good range test from which you could figure your decreasing or increasing range as the battery ages and the effects of temperature, turning on the heater, opening a window, measuring air resistance and all that other nit counting stuff.

· · 5 years ago

What was wrong with the data Tesla provided in the link ThomasF gave us? Is that the kind of data you're looking for? It seemed quite good to me.
Would you be happy if Nissan or the EPA gave that to you?

· Kristjan (not verified) · 5 years ago

Thanks ex-EV1! Seems that all estimations fall to same range after 7-8 years. Funny enough my Leaf broke down today after 6 months and 5000 miles. Can't get in the D or R, seems that brake pedal sensor stopped working, that it does'nt recognise that I have pressed the brake. Was towed away in the evening, let's see how good they are at Nissan to repair it.

· · 5 years ago

That sounds like in infant mortality problem. I'm sure Nissan will be able to fix it for you easily and, if it ends up being common, find a long-term fix.

· Kristjan (not verified) · 5 years ago

There was somekind of software bug related to preheating which burned down one relay at battery. Then need few more days to get the new relay, totally over a week.

· · 5 years ago

All new products have this kind of "Unknown Unknowns" problems early on. Its just that none of us were alive when the US auto makers were experiencing them and the Japanese and Koreans limited all of their new products to their own countries for several years before they started exporting them in order to find these issues.
One could argue that Microsoft products are still in their infancy.
Nissan will fix your relay, then beef up the design on future Leafs to it stops happening.

· · 5 years ago

ThomasF and Kristjan, I have been asking for real world mileages forever. You won't get them until real world drivers start buying them. The early adopter buyers and EV reviewers are more interested in hyper-mileing and bragging to their friends. One guy said to put a coat on if you are cold! Geez. Talk about going back in time. No thanks.

If Tesla will loan me a car to test, I would be glad to furnish this information. In fact, I'll even give you a worst case, low end mileage figure, too. I got a Prius down to 13 mpg.

· Kristjan (not verified) · 4 years ago

@ex ev-1
They confirmed that the problem was in software which caused one relay to burn down. The best part of the story is that they have now ordered it and my car will be fixed in first days of next year. Now I will be really green taking public transport as Nissan gave me replacement car for 3 days only while repair takes 3 weeks! Merry Christmas to Nissan...

· · 4 years ago

That's not too impressive of your Nissan dealer.
The long time to fix isn't too surprising though, given the newness of the product. Parts supplies probably aren't too good yet.

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