Model S Owner Tops 423 Miles on a Single Charge

By · December 11, 2012

Model S Record Holders

David Metcalf and his son Adam are the first to drive a Tesla Model S more than 400 miles on a single charge.

A University of Central Florida researcher and his 12-year old son have become the first ever to pilot a production electric vehicle over the 400-mile mark on a single charge. David Metcalf and his son Adam achieved the feat this weekend after a 423.5-mile journey through Florida lasting nearly 17 hours.

The duo started out in Merritt Beach, driving their way down I-95 through the night, before crossing west through the Florida Panther Preserve and Alligator Alley and rounding up back north toward Lake Okeechobee. Metcalf preserved maximum charge by averaging a not-so-brisk pace of less than 25 mph—though one might argue that the beauty of the Everglades is worth slowing down for regardless of any world record attempts.

Back in May, Tesla CEO Elon Musk issued a challenge to early Model S owners to become the first push the car beyond the 400-mile mark. According to Musk, no one from the Tesla team had yet even attempted the feat, and there would be an unspecified prize awaiting the first owner to do so. Metcalf took up the challenge in the name of the University of Central Florida’s Haitian relief efforts, encouraging those following his record-setting attempt on Twitter to text a donation in support of the cause.

Model S Route

The Metcalfs travelled 423.5 mile over almost 17 hours.

According to Metcalf, he and his son weren’t the first to attempt the challenge but had a geographical advantage in choosing Florida for their push. “Others have tried the challenge in different parts of the country, but hills and other factors have made it difficult,” he said in UCF press release trumpeting the effort. “Florida is flat, which worked to our advantage.”

Guinness World Records is currently working to verify the accomplishment, which surpasses a previous record set in 2009 by an Aussie duo who piloted a 2008 Roadster 313 miles through central Australia.

While 400 miles in a Model S is far from attainable under normal driving conditions, the EPA last week announced official range for the 60-kWh edition of the car at 208 miles, meaning that for the first time, drivers will be able to achieve more than 200 miles in an electric vehicle starting at just over $60,000 MSRP.


· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

@ 25mph average speed?

Well, it is an useless number then.

· · 5 years ago

Ok, now we need a Tesla with a DuoDecar (double 85 kw ) battery (170kw) that can go like 800 miles on a charge.

· · 5 years ago

It just came to me, why not buy another battery pack for Tesla's listed price of $12000 for the 85 kwh pack and attach it to the existing pack , get 170 kwh, and drive 800 miles?

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

"why not buy another battery pack for Tesla's listed price of $12000 for the 85 kwh pack and attach it to the existing pack , get 170 kwh, and drive 800 miles?"

1. Weight. The significantly added weight will reduce efficiency and performance.
2. Price . $12,000 is NOT the actual replacement price but rather a pre-paid price for replacement few years down the line.
3. Space. Where are you giong to put it?
4. Most people don't need 800 miles range. It will take you forever to charge that thing back up...

· · 5 years ago

@Bill Howland,
They don't attach nicely for one thing. You'd have to find a place to put the other pack, then do some software hacks to make it work. Then connect the cooling - if you are going that far.
Also, that $12,000 is the price now for a battery in 7 years, not another one now.
It could probably be made to work but would be a lot of effort and money for questionable gain.
It is interesting to hear of these stunts even though, as Modern Marvel Fan points out, they aren't particularly useful.

· · 5 years ago

The $12,000 replacement pack is actually only valid "after the end of the eighth year" of ownership, so if you get a Model S now you won't be eligible to get the new pack until 2021. I would imagine if you did something terribly negligent now and somehow ruined it, a new replacement 85kW pack would probably cost you $45,000 to $50,000.

· Paul Scott (not verified) · 5 years ago

Maybe some of you consider this a "stunt", but I find it useful since it proves that hypermiling gets results. It's always good to know the upper limit of a particular technology, and knowing that batteries will only get better means that, in time, this range will be attainable within reasonable cost parameters. If nothing else, it shows that 300 miles is easy to attain.

· · 5 years ago

@Modern Marvel Fan - Dual Chargers and a 70-100amp service will charge the Tesla Model S @ 20kWh. with a 170kWh battery thats roughly 8.5-9hrs (with power balancing) Not unrealistic, however your right, it would take forever to charge when most individuals have a 40-50amp EVSE which reduces the charge strength and extends the charge time.


Id like to see this guy do this in a LEAF. see if he could push close to 150miles (or more) out of the small 24kWh battery. That would be interesting.

· · 5 years ago

@Justin H and Paul Scott,
It would be nice if Nissan would post a spreadsheet like Tesla did of expected range at different speeds to challenge their drivers accordingly.
The Tesla spreadsheet pretty clearly lays out exactly what Paul Scott is pointing out about the affects of speed and other influences on range.
I put hypermiling in the category of desperate measures that is really only useful in extreme, desperate cases. Like wilderness survival school, self-defense, and stall-recovery in an airplane, it can be useful to know how to do in a pinch.
Similar to eating raw rat-meat though, I hope to never be in a position where I have to drive 400 miles at 25 mph though.

· · 5 years ago

Then they endup with a totally depleted battery after driving at 25 mph for 17 hours and far away from a fast charger stuck somewhere on the road. This is suggested dangeurous miserable drive. The article don't say what they do to get back home and how they did it and how long did it take. Normal consumers reading this ridiculous report will decide to stick with their gasser, LOL. Only if they did this ride at 60 mph with a quick refill at the end of the range in a 22 000$ car that normal consumers will get interrested to buy this car.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

Today, regardless of car maker, we can all pull into any gas station and fill our gas powered cars. If the electric car makers would "standardize" the battery and exchange systems and distribute them out existing fueling stations, we could then drive the the plus/minus 100 mile limit, pull into any station and exchange the battery for a fresh one ...for a predetermined fee of course... and be on our way. Until the car makers get over their greed and this happens, the public will never widely accept electric vehicles.

· · 5 years ago

I wonder if the cruze control comes on at 25mph? I assume the 17 hours includes a certain amount stops to eat and bio. But hey 400+ miles is still an accomplishment. What the average car (gas) is about 350 to 400 miles.
I was thinking the other day to match today's cars you would probably need a 100kwh battery and be able to charge in 1 hr when you pull over to eat. Tall order, but then you could travel the country with ease given charging stations.

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

@Justin H,

"Dual Chargers and a 70-100amp service will charge the Tesla Model S @ 20kWh. with a 170kWh battery thats roughly 8.5-9hrs (with power balancing) Not unrealistic"

Well, it is "possible". but highly unlikely. That is 83A /240V. Most older homes only have 100A service. Newer homes only have 200A services. Most homes certainly don't have SPARE 83Amps, especially NOT for 9 hours...

83Amps/240V for 9 hours is an "eternity" for most household charging.

I believe most holdhold can "spare" 40A-50As.

· · 5 years ago

@Modern Marvel Fan

Limitation is 80 amps. Tesla calls it 20 kw for marketing purposes but few of us have 250 volts. I suppose you could try a boost transformer, but I forget what brand EVSE Tesla is using now...I know I've seen that Shape B4. Be interesting to see its maximum allowable input as well as the car charger's MAI. 264 volts maybe? Many new homes incidentally have 200 amp services when really a 60 amp service would do. They just built a new subdivision near me where the homes are so small they couldn't possibly use 60 amps in normal use. So that home could charge 2 model S's with dual chargers, the big problem would be shoehorning them into the '2 car' garage.

My post about 2 batteries was a bit tongue in cheek but not much... They are not that tall. and I bet you could almost stack them. As far as the $12000 goes I was just seeing how flexible Tesla was on pricing, I'd guess not very. I declined the $12000 option on the roadster since the contract didn't actually say they had to do anything for me.

· · 5 years ago


I share a similar frustration. I would not be averse to purchasing another alternative fuel (CNG) vehicle. Problem is the $500 home refuelers are a few years away, if ever, and so far, the only CNG car is a honda civic.

These posters on here saying a big battery can't possibly be done ever remind me of the GM engineers who stated it was impossible to ever make money on an EV.

· · 5 years ago

@Bill Howland - This is true. I was only able to spare a 40amp in my home and its 25years old. My BLINK Evse would run at 30-32Amps to push a max of 7.2kWh (maybe slightly less 6.6-6.8) Still I couldnt resupply the "S" in record time, but the individuals who are gifted by having a large power feed "could" be pushing 20kWh...and yes this is highly unlikely for most Tesla S owners.

· · 5 years ago

@Justin H

Yeah the point of my post was Tesla rates its 'charger' at 250 volts, but then does NOT give a spec sheet as to the allowable voltage range on the EVSE light switch ($1200 + tax), nor the car charger itself ( $1500 + tax for the second one).

If you happened to live in Brooklin, NY for instance and had to suffer along with 200-210 power, the cheap way to get another 20% charge rate would be to use a buck/boost transformer wired for boosting the voltage ( 4 kva required per 'high power connector' ), and a current draw from the wall of 96 amps (80 for the HPC, 16 for the autotransformer primary). This would be fed from a standard 125 amp CB, and #1CU or 2/0 AL (cheap, about $2/foot). The result to the car would be around 240 @80 amps or 252 no load, assuming Consolidated Edison's typical drops.

· Anonymous (not verified) · 5 years ago

@ Gorr

They were w/in a hundred miles of their home so they got a free tow from AAA. It wasn't dangerous at all. They took all back roads through the Florida Panther Preserve, Alligator Alley, Shark Alley and the Miccosukee Indian Reservation. Slow, but scenic and on very rural roads. They saw approx. 300 cars the entire time. The challenge was issued, they thought it would be great father/son experience to try. They did it. :)

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

Bill wrote:"They just built a new subdivision near me where the homes are so small they couldn't possibly use 60 amps in normal use"

Typical A/C unit draws about 35A-50Amp. An Electric oven is rated for 40A (on NEMA 14-50). Electric Dryer is about 28A. If you have electric stove, that is 15A each burner.

So, I guess I won't be charging my Telsa if it is summer, I am baking a pie, running a load of laundry and cooking some dinner. I would have to wait until after dinner before I can start the 9 hour charging system.

Plenty of the house that were built in the 80s and early 90s have only 100 Amp service. Of course, I am sure anyone who can afford a Tesla can pay extra few thousands to get their electric panel upgraded.

· MikeG (not verified) · 5 years ago

When I installed a heat pump system at my home this summer, the utility needed to know what the LRA (locked rotor assembly) current draw was for that compressor to ensure that the lines and transformer was capable of supplying that much current. The LRA for my new heat pump was 73A.

· · 5 years ago

@Modern Marvel Fan

Your statements are so unbelievably wrong its hard to know where to begin.

This is a brand new 1100 sqft ranch. 200 amp service. Gas Stove, clothes dryer, water heater. Only 240 volt piece of equipment is the whopping big 2 ton air conditioning condensor (SEER of 13, the minimum allowed in NY State). This unit has a minimum circuit ampacity of 14 amps (MCA). So they fed it with a double pole 15 A CB and ran 14/2 romex to it. Actual current draw will be more like 10 amps tops.

As far as my own house goes, its 2200 sq ft, air conditioning condenser is a 10 SEER (8 yr old unit) 2 1/2 ton which has a minimum circuit ampacity of 17.8 amps. Most of the time during the summer it drew about 12 amps. ON the very hottest day of the summer I was curious so I measured it and it was 12 1/2 amps, partially due to the hotter outside condensing temperature but also due to the brown out conditions of my incompetent (per our Governor Mario Cuomo) utility National Grid. (Around 218 volts at the service with nothing else in the house on).

"Typical AC unit draws 35-50 Amps". The very largest 5 ton (60,000 BTU/Hour) units dont draw anywhere near this at their listed rating of 95 degree outside temperature. Please come up with documentation to back up this ridiculous statement. Some of the Goodman Mfg 5 ton units (really more like 4 1/2 ton ) typically use 22-24 amps. I assume you live in a state where the minimum SEER is 13.
Lets take the definition of SEER. A full 5 ton (60,000 btu/hour) / 13 seer would be 4616 watts. At anywhere near unity powerfactor that's under 20 amps. But I'm not talking about a 5 ton unit in this house. The house I talked about had a brand new 2 ton unit.

Been to Home Depot or Lowes lately? They sell window air conditioners (LG) with 15000 btu/hour and draw 1440 watts. Thats including the inside circulator fan.

· · 5 years ago

@Modern Marvel Fan

One last thing. The typical 30" electric range in USA has a nameplate rating of under 12kw. Per NFPA 70,NEC or national electrical code, one electric range with rating of 12 kw or less may be supplied with conductors rated at 8kw. That's 33.6 amps. That is why 35 amp fuses for the typical electric range were perfectly legal. I'm not going to argure this point further. I passed my Master Electrician's License years ago, and facts haven't changed.

But this has nothing to do with the homes I was talking about, again, the only 240 volt consumer was the 2 ton condensing unit.

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

Bill wrote: "This is a brand new 1100 sqft ranch. 200 amp service. Gas Stove, clothes dryer, water heater. "

Okay, maybe I should read your example more carefully. That is certainly a VERY SMALL house with MOSTLY gas services. I have seen many homes in my area that has electric everything. That includes electric water heater, stove, oven, A/C etc. Even with 200 A services, it doesn't have the spare 83Amp that would for Tesla to charge. Those electric water heater are power hogs...

Sure, in your example of 1,100 sq ft house, it is possible such a small A/C unit would work. But all my life, we have always had large dual A/C units (1 for upstairs and 1 for downstairs). They are powerful enough to cool down the entire house (3,000 sq ft) for less than 15 minutes. Those system are rated for more than 35A combined (usually the larger system as a RLA of 20.9 and the smaller system has a RLA of 14.5. They are typically Lennox system). I don't remember the exact size, but I am pretty sure the larger ones were aroudn 5Tons. Also, those could be the less efficient units than today's system. That is definetly the case when I lived around Atlanta which is a hot area. Even in my current California area, there are many large homes with dual units. Maybe the 3,000 sqft homes aren't "typical", but it is sure popular in the South...

Even with 200 Amp service, if the major appliances aren't gas, then you still have the same issues. Even at 22 A A/C, 30 A oven, 28A dryer, 15A per burner, you are still darn close of NOT meeting the 83A requirement of the dual Tesla charger with 200 A service. Not to mention that many older homes have only 100A service. The point is that 83 Amps is a major draw for most homes that will NOT have the spare amps. Not to mention that you generally want to leave some room for derating to prevent excessive heat from build up.

Sure, if you have gas everything, then it would certainly work for you. But NOT all homes have all gas appliances.

"They sell window air conditioners (LG) with 15000 btu/hour and draw 1440 watts. Thats including the inside circulator fan."

Windows units are usually "useless" and noisy in my opinion. Okay for a small room but for a larger homes, it is "useless"... I don't even look at them...

Also, I haven't seen a single family house that is smaller than 1,400 sq ft. When they are smaller, they are usually either a condo or older homes (which usually don't hae 200A services). Maybe that is just me...

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

Volt is far more "useful" than Leaf after few years. GM warranty the battery capacity. Even if the battery degrades, Volt is still a hybrid after the battery becomes limited in range.

I wonder if there will be suppliers that make replacement battery for the Leaf.

· Ernie (not verified) · 5 years ago

@Marvel Fan:

So what you're saying is that you'd have to charge the car at night? Oh no!

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago


"So what you're saying is that you'd have to charge the car at night? Oh no!"

Well, that limits my charging time from "anytime" to just "nights". That is 83 Amps/240V for 9 hours.

· · 5 years ago

@Modern Marvel Fan

You live in an area more prosperous than I do. My first house was a 1927 2 bedroom 736 square foot ranch. These 1100 sq ft homes are what we call Patio Homes, and they sure aren't cheap but they are small.

I was looking at an 8,800 sq ft house the other day, it had a 400 amp service. For all the appliances and appurtenances in the house, 300 or 400 amps would not be considered excessive. Apples and Oranges. But you are correct it would be handy if you actually read what I said before you start shooting down straw men that don't exist.

· · 5 years ago


"Window units are usually useless".

Of course, thats why every big box store you see has them stacked half way up to the ceiling in the spring and summer months because, per you, no one must buy them since they are useless so the inventory keeps stacking up.

Window air conditioners have their place. And they are very energy efficient these days. In my current 2200 sq ft house if I had something other than forced air heating, I'd have 2 - 15000 btu/hour units, and that would be the same capacity I have now, (2 1/2 tons) along with cheaper operation (2880 watts including the evaporator blowers)

"...83A requirement of the dual Tesla charger ...."

Sorry, Wrong again. The chargers draw 40 amps apiece.. Two times fourty is Eighty. Usually.

I had mentioned that 208 volt customers could have an easy 20 % increase in charge rate with a boosting transformer, and the resulting load would be 96 amps, but Im the only one who is likely to bother with that kind of complication anyway. Every other EVSE I have seen has used what ever happens to be available right then and there. Changing it requires thinking, engineering and design. But that is what I would do.

· Modern Marvel Fan (not verified) · 5 years ago

"Of course, thats why every big box store you see has them stacked half way up to the ceiling in the spring and summer months because, per you, no one must buy them since they are useless so the inventory keeps stacking up"

People sometimes buy things with a "short term" impulse buy. To cool one room sure, but to cool a house with 8 room, doesn't make sense. Plus, it is noisey, block out your window light..etc. Just b/c consumers buy Britney Spears Or Bieber CDs, it doesn't make them good singers...

But we are digressing on the topic. I am sure each Tesla S owners can afford to upgrade whatever they need for those charging requirement. But just don't expect average Joe's house to do it.... Then again, I don't expect average Joe to buy a Tesla S either...

· · 5 years ago

Ok, well I've been picked on here for spending $109k plus tax for a tesla then chinsing on the charger dock, or not buying it with any options.

Sometimes we can afford things but just don't feel like paying for it on general principles, plus doing some things out of the ordinary has been educational. In my own case I know much more about the car's charging quirks than I would have known if I had just done the standard solution.

In my own house, I have the original 100 amp service. Electricity is a bit pricey here so I've converted everything except the Central Air conditioner and Sauna to Gas.

That said, I have simultaneous use of, washer, dryer, dishwasher, cooktop, double over, water heater, huge 8 ' x 10 ' hot tub with 3 - 2 hp jet pumps, roadster charging, volt charging (on 120 volts in this scenario, since the prefered 240 volt charger dock is being used by the Tesla), and Sauna. Gasoline is still at least 3 times the price of the electricity being used to drive. I'm not limited at all, and my 52 year old BullDog Brand Loadcenters are cool running (colder than brand new Square - D, for instance), even at 100 amp drain.

I realize anyone else would have enlarged this to a minimum of 200 amps, and I would NEED a 300 amp service if I had no natural gas service. But like many North Easterners in urban areas, I do have economical gas service (lately, 3 1/8 cents / kwh by heat content), therefore, hopefully there will also be a CNG car in my future as well, but now there are far more interesting and fun choices with EV's. The "Funnest" car brand in my opinion so far, has been Tesla.

· · 5 years ago

Why does everyone have to rain on their parade? It was just for fun! It was a nice father-son endeavor.

· · 5 years ago

"These posters on here saying a big battery can't possibly be done ever remind me of the GM engineers who stated it was impossible to ever make money on an EV."

You can tell this statement is not credible. Engineers design vehicles. They have no idea what the overall cost of the vehicle's development, manufacturing, and marketing is. Talk to the Finance Department.

Give us a hint on the company that is making money building and selling EV cars...and then back it up with financial statements.

· · 5 years ago

I have to disagree with you assessment that " engineers design vehicles.". Many of the more valuable engineers design with cost in mind and are aware of design tradeoffs for cost.
It is way too early to expect any car companies to be making money building and selling EV cars. We can probably expect Tesla to be the first to do so but I wouldn't expect them to start breaking even for a couple more years, given that they started with nothing. They will hopefully take a lot longer since I hope they continue in the tradition of the Roadster by reinvesting their earnings into making the affordable Gen3/Bluestar.
Nissan and GM have made too many missteps on their first generations so I expect it will take them both a long time to actually make money. Nobody else making them today is taking EVs seriously enough to ever make money on them. Compliance EVs will always be money losers.

· · 5 years ago


Not sure what particular universe you are talking about. I and several other posters think its great that he's made an over 400 mile trip. As a matter of fact, all my posts want to just continue his good work and with a much larger battery in the future, will make such trips at more common speeds and conditions common place, I hope.

Your other statement, excuse me, is quite silly. Watch "Revenge of the Electric Car", and memorize Bob Lutz's statements (I believe, although not really a degreed engineer, his title was "Head of Engineering", a good choice, in my view).

· Ramon Acosta (not verified) · 5 years ago

What happened to the concept Vehicle to Grid V2G proposed few years ago by a member a University of Delaware if my memory is right? Well now that the car bateries are going into 85 KW balancing the grid will be a lot simpler.

· · 5 years ago

@Ramon Acosta,
Unfortunately, the power company isn't going to pay for the battery degradation caused by the extra charging cycles it will go through in order to help balance the grid.
It works in academia but isn't economically viable for the real world until battery cycle life gets a whole lot cheaper.

· · 5 years ago

I wonder if anyone sees the irony of V2G. Another abreviation to make it seem more important than it is.

First they put Microscopic batteries in the cars, they don't have any range to begin with... Then they want to suck more juice out? No body will do that unless they don't own the battery. The owner won't want to pay for the wear and tear. And its such a trivial amount of juice anyway.. Unless you want something strictly on an emergency basis. THAT'S Different. Most V2G stuff was to lighten demands, which is silly, since time of day metering accomplishes much more demand reduction totally voluntarily. Commercial / Industrial customers also have Load Shedding Agreements.

Harbor Freight has $89 900 watt generators. I bet they sell a heck of a lot more of these things then trying to hook something up to the car.

For those who want a battery solution, they have up to 5000 watt inverters. But I think I'm the only one who likes big batteries, and that inverter needs it.

Seriously though, Via Trucks has (so they say, I'm going by their Web Site, and absolutely none of their numbers add up) 15 kw, and 50 kw options of a V2G nature, but for use on an emergency or jobsite basis, which is the only reasonable use for such a facility.. They don't say how much Ca$H they want for them.

· marco loglio (not verified) · 5 years ago

I am still quite surprise how plug in cars cannot review and give documentation of the real world range reord for homologated EV that has been achieved in China on November 13th 2012. Two Zotye M300 EV have run 801,3 from Shenzhen to Nanning at highway speed and at the end of the road show there was still a 13% of the SOC in the battery.
The battery technology is coming from Vantage Power global that has a pack with 250 wh/Kg energy density, the double of Tesla S.
The event was follow by more then 40 media people and the news has been covered worldwide ( but not in the US).
If somebody is interested in know more about this battery technology you can contact with MarcoLoglio.
I can offer all the techical specification as well more informations and pics of the world range record for EV.

· · 5 years ago

@Marco Loglio

Sure!! Let's hear all the specs on all your various models, including internal resistance, self-discharge rate, battery capacity vs temperature, estimated longvity, etc.

What would REALLY be illuminating is if you could compare this to Tesla's 16550's. (I believe they are manufactured by Matsushita (Panasonic), but that's just a guess).

· Marco Loglio (not verified) · 5 years ago

the internal resistance is very low around 2,0 mOmega, as well the self discharge . We have battery in stock since more then one years that still are perfectly usable .
About the temperature the range of use is from -20 C to + 60 C .
The exteimated longevity of the pack is over 500.000 km .
The cells used by Tesla are Panasonic 18650 that are very performing, but when we come to the pack , here VPG has a big advantage .
The battery pack of the Tesla S has an energy density of around 125 Wh/kg while the battery pack of VPG has an energy density around 250 Wh/Kg

· William Howland (not verified) · 5 years ago

@Marco Loglio

Ok, since youve got double the capacity,
please price a Tesla Model S style battery 170kwh , and assume pretty high volume. I wont hold you to the price, but make your best 'seat of the pants' guess.

by 2,0 momega do you mean 2 / 1000's of an ohm? What size / capacity cell is that?

Thanks in advance.


· William Howland (not verified) · 5 years ago

@Marco Loglio

I appologize, I gave you the number of an old USART. This is very interesting... Do you have any English Language information of your double capacity battery on the WEB?

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