EPA Rates Tesla Model S At 89 MPGe, 265-Mile Range


It’s hard to believe that of all the major automakers around the world, it took an upstart known as Tesla to build and sell a viable electric car. Sure, the Tesla Model S starts at $50,000 after tax breaks, but the EPA rating now certifies the mileage claims from Tesla itself. The EPA has officially the Tesla Model S with the 85-kWh battery pack at 89 MPGe with a range of 265 miles on a single charge. Not bad Tesla, not bad at all.

Again, it is important to note that this rating is for the top-end model with the largest battery pack, which has starting price (after the $7,500 tax credit) of $69,900. That is more than double the average transaction price for a new car, though Tesla claims to have already sold out of its initial run of 6,500 vehicles.

Ths 265-mile range falls short of Tesla’s own 300-mile estimate by just 35 miles, a difference of about 12%. If that figure holds true for the 40 and 60 kWh battery packs, that would give the cheaper versions of the Model S a range of about 123 miles and 202 miles, respectively. That’s still way more than any other EV on the market, though so is the price tag. For comparison, the next-closest EPA-rated EV is Tesla’s own Roadster at 245 miles, followed by the Coda Sedan with an 88-mile range. The Mitsubishi i gets just a 63-mile rating, with the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric which gets 73 and 76 miles respectively. The lease-only Honda Fit EV gets an EPA rating of 82 miles. So yeah, the Tesla Model S really stands out in terms of staying power, speed, and just about every other regard, including horsepower, performance, and every storage capacity.

Still, given the fact that Tesla’s first car was a $100,000 two-seat Roadster, the Tesla Model S is both more affordable and more practical. At this rate, it will only take another ten years for Tesla to build and sell an electric car that regular people can afford, despite what Elon Musk says about falling battery prices.

Source: Tesla

About the Author

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.
  • I think their 120 mile real world EPA rated range for the smaller battery version will be the new standard to beat. 73 to 80 miles with the current EV’s just doesn’t cut it. They have to clear the 100 mile hurdle….


  • ziv

    I don’t know, Tesla’s 265 mile range with the big pack is around 210 miles of range if you recharge fast up to 80%. And 210 miles is around 3 hours of driving, so the 265 mile range would work well for a lot people the 2 or 3 days a month they actually drive that far.
    But the cost is simply too high for most people to even consider it, so far.
    3 years from now it may be different. Batteries will be cheaper and lighter. Gas will be more expensive.

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  • Sparky

    You may think model S expensive, but compare. Buy a $30k sedan. Pay, lets say $500/month for the loan. Add in $300/month for gas. Then add in oil changes every 3 months at $50 each. Then add in Smog checks, tune ups, more frequent brake shoe replacements, and I’m sure a host of other extra costs to owning a gasoline powered car, you have over $800/month for that run of the mill $30k car. Instead, get a 7 year loan on that entry level Model S and pay only an additional $30/month for electricity and you ride in the carpool lane for $630/month, but in much more style, with much more luxury, and in total silence (unless you play the 500w stereo). I’m on the waiting list for Model S. You can keep your tail pipes Detroit. Oh and did I mention that Model S is designed to last? That electric motor will probably never fail. The batteries will probably be good enough to keep using for some 20 years by my estimation (guaranteed for at least 8…).

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