Elon Musk Says 620-Mile Hypermiling Range Possible With Tesla Model S 100D

3 months ago by Steven Loveday 38

Tesla Model S

Tesla CEO Elon Musk thinks that hypermilers should be able to do better, especially with a Model S 100D and the right tires.

Hypermiling has turned into somewhat of a game or competition for some people. Basically, you drive your car as efficiently as you can to reap the benefits of longer range. Some people go as far as making modifications like removing anything possible to cut weight, not bringing any passengers along, turning off the climate control, and swapping out different rims and tires.

Musk said in the past that 600 miles (965 km) should be doable. Now he has updated that statement, saying that he believes a Tesla Model S 100D with the right tires could pull off over 1,000km (~620 miles).


Be careful not to confuse the Model S 100D with P100D. The “P” is the automaker’s more powerful, more expensive, “performance” edition, which shaves off a bit of range.

Back in the day before electric cars, we would see this sort of thing, especially with those driving vehicles with manual transmissions. You can limit revs and coast as much as possible to assure better efficiency. Today, the Tesla Model S is the longest range electric car on the market, so people like to see how far they can get it to go.

The most recent hypermiling attempt took a Model S P100D (yes “P”) about 560 miles (901.2 km). This is the new record, breaking the previous record set in a Model S 85D.

Joeri Cools and Steven Peters drove a continuous loop in Belgium. The closed loop was 16 miles (26 km) long, and they circled for just shy of 24 hours at 24 mph (40 km/h). This was the speed that they found to be most efficient, netting them an impressive and record-setting 54.7 Wh/mile (88 Wh/km). The two explained in a blog post (via Electrek):

“Our starting point was at a 22kW charger, which would also be our finish, to make sure we can get charged up again once we’re done with the challenge. From there we drove a small section of road that lead to our main “track”, being a 26km closed loop. Although it might be more beneficial to keep driving straight and preferable with a tail wind, our approach had the advantage that we could learn from each round. By the time we finished the attempt, we knew perfectly how to take every turn and roundabout to make sure we drove with the least possible consumption. And we also got to compare each lap at different temperatures, since we’d be driving through the night and the whole following day.

As time went by and we accumulated more and more laps of our “track”, we started to become extremely efficient at each and every corner. We managed to get an average efficiency over 50km below 100Wh/km and even had sections where the consumption over 10km dropped to 88Wh/km! We never thought it was even possible to get those values in a car that weighs 2.3 tons.”

Source: Electrek

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38 responses to "Elon Musk Says 620-Mile Hypermiling Range Possible With Tesla Model S 100D"

  1. Steven says:

    Conversion from Wh/km to Wh/mi is x 1.6 and not divide it. SO 88Wh/km = 140.8Wh/mi

    1. SparkEV says:

      88 Wh/km (7.1 mi/kWh) was only for “short section”. That means nothing. Average was “below 100 Wh/km” (6.25 mi/kWh). Musk claim of 620 miles with 100 kWh would mean 6.2 mi/kWh, about what the experiment found. Maybe not all 100 kWh is usable?

      While the efficiency is pretty good for 3 ton car, compared to SparkEV at 24 MPH (7.3 mi/kWh), it’s not that great. IoniqEV could be even more efficient.

      1. What is the weight of the tiny Spark EV compared to the Model S-100D?

        The Model S is far more efficient. I’d be happy to throw a trailer with almost one ton of sand bags behind your Spark EV and see what the consumption rate is then.

        1. SparkEV says:

          By your logic, every gas car is much more efficient than EV since EV charged using portable generators are less than 10% efficient.

          Fact is, SparkEV under ANY specified usage pattern would ALWAYS be more efficient than Tesla driven similarly. Had GM designed 3 ton car, I’m pretty sure it’d be more efficient than Tesla, too. As an example, Compare Bolt to Tesla S60, and Bolt is more efficient despite its lousy Cd.

          1. Nick says:

            My LEAF turns in about 35 MPG when charged from a 6500eu generator. Shockingly still better than most ICE cars! 🤣

        2. bro1999 says:

          Comparing apples and oranges.

          btw, why the hell is your JDapter Stub so expensive? Are you buying inlets from Tesla directly and getting raped on Tesla prices?

      2. randomhuman says:

        Model S weighs around 2,2 tons and not 3 tons. Get over your Spark EV fanboyism…Of course a lighter cars has a better efficiency.

        1. SparkEV says:

          iMiev is about 300 lb (~10%) lighter than SparkEV, yet SparkEV is more efficient. At 25 MPH, aero drag play little role for the two bricks. This is why I’m so impressed with SparkEV engineering and well deserved fanboyism.

          To be fair, Tesla is more efficient than 10% lighter Mercedes B class (which has Tesla drive train).

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Just because some other EV has really lousy energy efficiency for a car its size, doesn’t mean the SparkEV is all that well designed or built.

            As has already been said, of course the SparkEV is more energy efficient than the very much larger and heavier Tesla Model S. We can be sure if the Model S was as small and light as the Spark EV, it would be at least as energy efficient as the SparkEV… and likely significantly better, due to Tesla’s superior EV tech.

            It will be interesting to compare the Model 3 to the SparkEV. The improvement in Tesla’s newest tech, which will unquestionably show energy efficiency improvements over the 5-year-old Model S design, should blow the SparkEV away!

          2. jim stack says:

            The SPARK EV is a perfect size and weight. It’s real efficient and has great batteries that don’t lose capacity like some others. It even DC Fast Charges to 100% with almost no slow down at the end.

            It’s my favorite EV.

  2. Bob says:

    Do note that the next post from him reads:

    “Must remember that irony and social media are not friends. Keep forgetting. Dammit.”

  3. Alaa says:

    At this speed if you glue flexible solar panels on all the body of the car, then it will be possible for the car run indefinitely without charging

    1. Mark.ca says:

      Throw in a sail on top just to be safe…

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        And mount miniature wind turbines all over the car, to make sure your perpetual motion machine is provided with plenty of power. /snark

        Okay, to be fair, it’s possible to have a “car” powered solely by solar energy, so long as it’s driven only in direct sunlight. But it’s more of a 3- or 4-wheeled bicycle with a plastic fairing than what most of us would consider a real car. Certainly it’s not possible with any car as heavy as the Model S!

        Honda Dream: An actual solar powered “car”

    2. Alaa says:

      Another possibility is if the whole car is covered with high efficiency solar cells then it is possible to drive this car for 10,000 miles per year without ever needing to charge it. The large battery will act as a buffer. When the car is parked half of the time it is night and the other half the cells, like the solar roof will top up the battery making it ready for a full days drive. Remember if you drive 10,000 miles per year then the car is parked nearly 90% of the time. Half the that time will be sunny here in Cairo Egypt. That sun is enough to top the battery daily as I said.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Sorry, Alaa. It’s great that you’re so optimistic, but once again the real world fails to live up to… I wish there was a more gentle way to say this… your all-too-often naive beliefs.

        In the real world, the lightweight, 3-wheeled SolarTaxi prototype vehicle, covered with expensive high efficiency solar cells and much lighter in weight than a Tesla Model S, pulled behind it a large trailer for more than double the surface area covered with solar cells, yet it still got only about half its energy from sunlight for its rather leisurely “tour” of Europe. It got the other half of the energy from plugging in at night. (See photo gallery linked below.)

        Sadly for your wish for practical 100% solar powered cars, sunlight simply doesn’t provide that much energy per square foot/meter.


        1. Alaa says:

          Because you like me so much and you feel sorry, I will try one more time to make you feel less sorry. The key word here is “Buffer”. Think of the battery of the car like your hot water tank. You take a shower and the new cold water gets in the tank while you are having a shower. You do not feel it and you still have your shower. It could last for hours before you feel that the heater is not strong or quick enough to heat the cold water that you are using to shower. So let us say that your shower lasts for 30 to 45 min. The heating element or heat pump starts to work to heat the tank. Then comes your wife to take a shower like you. She takes 30 to 45 min like you. By now the tank has enough hot water for say 2 more showers. But you do not take any more showers until next day. So the heat pump or the heating element slowly brings back the temperature of the whole tank to the max setting. Ready for another day. Now the 100 kWh battery can drive you 1000 km if you drive slowly. Let us be practical and say that you will drive 15000km / 365 = 41 km per day. Let us be more practical and say that your average consumption will be 200 kWh per km. So in total you would have consumed 41 x 200 = 8.2 kWh from the massive battery. Now let us work out the maths here and see how long it took you to consume 8.2 kWh. Shall we say 60 minutes? You agree? If not let us double that if you want. 120 minutes. Happy now? Here in Cairo Egypt there are 24 hours per day. 12 of them are sunny. That is on average. So you see if we can generate 8.2 kWh from the sun and we put them in the battery then by next day we will have a full battery. Now if there are 12 hours of sun and we used 2 of these hours driving than we are left with only 10 hours. I will ignore the 2 hours of production that we used while driving. Now 8.2 kWh / 10 = 820 Wh! Now let me see, how many cells do we need to make .82 kWh in 1 hour? I am not sure if it is easy for the average reader to follow that maths but let us just say that the surface area of the Model S is more than 3 x 250 w solar panels. One on the roof, one on the frunk and one on the back door. We also have the sides that we can populate with solar cells that will produce electricity if the sun is hitting the car from either side. So can we make 8.2 kWh in 10 hours from such an area? The answer is yes. Now do you drive 15,000 km per year? I do not know. I do. Some days I do not drive at all. Some days I drive 100 km or more. So you see the 100 kWh battery here is nice because I can derive 100 km per day or ever 300 km if I travel to Alex. Then I rest for a few days and the good old sun will top up the battery with out me doing anything. Was that hard to follow? I hope you are less sorry now than before.

          1. Whoops! “Let us be more practical and say that your average consumption will be 200 kWh per km.” – That would give a 0.5 Km range to a Tesla Model S 100D!

            I think you meant 200 Wh per Km, not 200 kWh per Km!

            My ‘Electricfly’ Pontiac Firefly EV Conversion average 137-140 Wh per Km at 100 Km, a very low ‘Go to Work’ consumption test, showed about 77-100 Wh/Km, and a high consumption driving crazy and aggressive to & from work, got 279-285 Wh/Km.

            So the driving energy variance, from gentle driving to aggressive driving, can range from 77 to 285 Wh/Km, or a factor of almost 4X!

          2. First point, per the article linked below, you get about 2600 hours of usable Sun time for Solar Power per year. Math says 2600÷365
            = 7.1232876712 Hours per day Average.


            So, that 10 Hours you used is now just over 7 Hours. A Solar Roof, Hood, or Trunk Lid, are not on tracking mounts, so that reduces your overall efficiency. So let us consider that maybe a good 5 Hours a day are able to produce good dependable Solar Power, on average.

            So for your daily need of 820 Wh Averages, suggests that your 3 x 250 Watt Panels, might deliver some 2.5 kWh to 3.375 kWh to your Battery, optimally.

            Since each such Solar Panel needs about 1 x 1.5 Meters, you need a space of 4.5 Sq. Meters! Can you get that much space from a Tesla Model S? Without compromising too much in aerodynamic drag, weight, window space, etc?

            1. Alaa says:

              Well thanks for correct me. Yes I meant 200 Wh per km. And yes the driving style makes a difference. As for the number of hours it varies from one place to another. Egypt is more lucky than say Sweden. I lived in both so I speak from personal experience. Also you are right about the efficiency of the panels and if they are directly facing the sun or not. That makes a big difference. Having said that I see it possible that if I drive gently and use the car just an hour a day, and use new high efficiency cell it might work. Now I am sure that Tesla and others are working on this idea. Maybe the power to weight ratio is not suitable just now but it will come eventually I suppose. The main point that made me write what I wrote is the 100 kWh battery. I think the example I used about the water tank is a good one. That large battery can be used in the way I described, maybe not just today but I suspect soon. I also think that most people drive 40 to 50 km per day. There is a percentage that drive 100s of km a day. Not many though. At any rate the 100 kWh battery is good. I also predict that the cost of the kWh will be between $50 and $100. This will make my idea even more usable to many. So thanks for correcting me. Let us hope that we live in a better world in the future.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                The reason why your analogy fails, Alaa, is because your hot water heater can replace the hot water you and your wife use when showering in something like an hour, or maybe less. The energy provided by the gas or electric heater is much more than sufficient for your home’s daily hot water needs.

                Contrariwise, the amount of energy output by the solar cells on your car is limited by the amount of energy in sunlight, the amount of surface area on your car, the angle at which sunlight hits your car, and the efficiency of the solar cells. That all multiplies to considerably less energy than what is needed to drive the type of vehicle we call a “car” for a distance approaching that which the average driver (or at least the average American driver) drives per day.

                Annually, that distance is about 14,000 miles per year, which comes to 38.33 miles per day. If you average about 15,000 km per year, then your car can get along with somewhat less energy.

                We’ve seen several posts recently here on InsideEVs from people who say their commute is just a handful of miles per day, or even less! Well, that’s fine for them, but they don’t represent a large segment of car owners. Most people who use a car to commute are going to be driving far more distance in a day than their car would get even if it sat outside in the sun, with no shade, all day long.

                I think it’s pretty foolish to deliberately expose your car to that much sun every day. Far better for the car to be in shade, or better yet in a garage, as much as possible. As Elon Musk said, the proper place for solar cells is on the roof of your house, and not on the roof of your car! Even for apartment dwellers, as someone pointed out in a very recent post, it would be far better to put a portico over the parking stall, and put solar cells on that. That would both provide shade for the car and provide surface area on which solar panels can be mounted and angled properly. It would also be more surface area than can be provided by the upper surfaces of your car.

                Putting solar cells on your car is largely a waste of money.

            2. Alaa says:

              By the way, I did not mean to put the 250 w solar panels on the car and destroy the aerodynamics. No; I just used them to illustrate the idea. It is possible though to have the frunk etc covered with cell. Even the glass can be made to generate electricity. As for the numbers you mentioned; if we can get 2.5 kWh per day, that is still not bad!

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                2.5 kWh is enough to drive the original Model S85 about 7.78 miles, per EPA ratings. Color me unimpressed.

                Put a portico over that car’s parking stall, cover that with solar panels properly angled toward the sun, use that energy to charge the car’s batteries, and you could go a lot farther.

  4. anon says:

    Why isn’t miles (or KM) per kWh the standard? That seems so much easier for people already used to miles per gallon. It’s also the standard used in the Leaf for energy economy.

    Especially when explaining economy of electric cars to people who drive gas cars, miles per kWh is much easier to understand. The kWh is the gallon, the miles is how far you drive. The miles per kWh is lower than MPG, but the kWh costs a few cents instead of dollars like a gallon.

    Seems MPK should be the standard…

    1. bro1999 says:


      I thought the watt hours/mile may have been a European thing, but even the i3 displays economy as “miles/kWh”. I guess Tesla just wants to be different.

    2. Toni says:

      MPG is not standard but rather a exception. Only some Countries that use gallons use it. I guess it is used because a gallon is a fairly large volume. Using miles (or km) per liter would not be practical at all since the numbers would be very small and not informative for most people. So most of the world uses liters per 100km. The same is true for KW per mile (or km)

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I’ve seen arguments that the equation should be reversed; that the metric should be liters (or gallons) per kilometers (or mile), not the other way around. With higher MPG ratings, a slight amount of difference in energy efficiency results in a large difference in the mileage rating. Reversing the formula, using LPK (liters per km) or GPM (gallons per mile), the ratio wouldn’t show such extreme differences for more energy-efficient cars.

        Similarly, it might be better to use kWh per km/mile ratings, rather than miles/kilometers per kWh.

        I confess, though, that when I report EV energy efficiency ratings, it’s in terms of miles/kWh.

        P.S.– I’d love to see the ridiculous and inconstantly applied crutch of “MPGe” be discarded in favor of any metric that actually uses kWh.

        1. Since the issue seems to stem from general bad math skills being predominant, and lack of understanding of formulae, why not have an incusive display?

          It could show everything: MPGe, L/100 Km(equivalent), Miles/kWh, Km/kWh, Wh/Mile or Wh/km, etc!

  5. Warren says:

    This is an entirely pointless stunt. At least I can ride my electric assist bikes at these speeds without blocking the road, and with a CO2 footprint that is a tiny fraction of a Tesla’s.

  6. Roy LeMeur says:

    Most people don’t have a clue as to what a kWh or a kW is. It’s like a car salesman not knowing the difference between horsepower and how much fuel the fuel tank holds.

  7. DJ says:

    I bet if he launched one up in to orbit on a Space X rocket and then jettisoned it and let it fall back to earth he could get it to travel even further…

    1. Well, that is one way to get a Supersonic, Vertical Take Off, Electric Jet!

      Go Elon! ‘Worlds Highest Flying Aircraft, Evever!’

  8. Sonya Wiley says:

    Hey Elon
    Great to have you back, Bill, Mark and Warren thinks it’s a great idea for you to be with us and I agree!

    My question is: Which President was Johnny Depp talking about? You and President Trump I can find out,

  9. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “Joeri Cools and Steven Peters drove a continuous loop in Belgium. The closed loop was 16 miles (26 km) long, and they circled for just shy of 24 hours at 24 mph (40 km/h). This was the speed that they found to be most efficient…”

    I think it would be hard to come up with any human activity more pointless than driving a car alone on a closed loop just to set a distance record. At least with those setting distance records driving cross-country, there is a bit of challenge in picking the right course and dealing with traffic, stop lights and stop signs, etc. That’s just a stunt, but at least it is some kind of achievement, however small.

    Contrariwise, doing it solo on a closed course will of course give you greater range, because you never have to slow down or stop, except to switch drivers. But it turns the stunt into nothing but a rather easy endurance test. Frankly, who cares?

    1. DJ says:

      But that’s why they do it in a Tesla right? Because they don’t need people in the car to do it since it can supposedly drive itself.

      Not to mention you’ve got weight savings not having occupants inside.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        I’m guessing your post was a (not terribly successful) attempt at a joke?

        The article says there were two drivers.

  10. wavelet says:

    Hypermiling (as opposed to efficient normal driving) isn’t an interesting use case. In fact, people who experiment with it are environmental offenders, since the hypermiling trips are typically made for record-breaking only (the one mentioned here, done on a closed loop, is a good example); they’re far typically too slow to serve any real useful purpose, and frequently clog other road users.
    Even if the trip demonstrates half the energy usage of a standard trip of the same length, half the energy is completely wasted.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I find boasts about hypermiling to be, frankly, annoying. They always talk about the achievement as if it was some sort of indication of how efficient the car is (or can be), when in actuality the differences between energy efficiency in normal driving and the energy efficiency of hypermiling has far more to do with the abnormal driving techniques involved than it has to do with differences between cars.

      When you start doing things like alternating between accelerating and coasting in a gasmobile for much or most of the distance, or when you start removing useful things like the back seat or the passenger’s seat from your car, just to lighten it for hypermiling achievement…

      Well, that has nothing to do with real-world driving, and such reports certainly don’t help the average person choose which would be the best car for them.

      I’d find it far less annoying if these reports were presented as “What I achieved using extreme hypermiling” rather than “What it’s possible to achieve with this car.” It seems strange to me that people who use hypermiling techniques tend to downplay them. In fact, I specifically remember reading one driving review of an EV, in which a surprisingly high range was achieved. Early in the report, the writer said the range was achieved “without using any hypermiling techniques”… but then later in the report, he proceeded to describe exactly what hypermiling techniques he had used!

      I wonder just what psychological quirk of the human mind makes hypermiliers reluctant to admit they are using hypermiling techniques? I find it strange, very strange.

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