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.