The Tesla Model S 90D is the first electric car with more than 300 miles of range. The latest official figures from the EPA show the car has 302 miles of range on the highway. Yes, that is under fairly ideal conditions travelling at steady speed on level ground with the climate control system off, but as the fossil fuel crowd has been saying for decades, “Your mileage may vary. See dealer for details.” The EPA numbers are for a car equipped with the standard 19″ wheels and tires.
Unlike the city driving tests, the EPA highway protocol assumes the Model S will accelerate up to speed and maintain a fairly high speed, with only minor variations, throughout the entire test. The dual-motor configuration of the Model S is a big benefit under those conditions. Tesla has devised sophisticated algorithms that individually control the torque provided by each of the individual electric motors.
The Model S with the 90 kWh battery is only available with dual motors. In the standard car, both motors are rated at 193 horsepower. The mighty performance model, the P90D, has a rear motor rated at 375 horsepower. Even though both motors in the standard car have the same horsepower rating, they have different gearing. That’s where the sophisticated control software comes into play. It can select the optimum output from each motor individually based on power needs at any given moment. It samples conditions and makes adjustments 100 times a second.
Rumors continue to swirl about a 100 kWh battery waiting in the wings. Elon Musk has often said he expects battery performance to increase at the rate of about 5 t0 8 percent a year. If that is true, a Tesla with 350 miles of range may be available in the next few years. Coupled with its high-power Supercharger network, Tesla is working hard to make range anxiety nothing more than a distant memory.
Source: Teslarati | Photo credit: Tesla Motors