Tesla has officially become the first electric vehicle manufacturer to offer an EV with 400 miles of EPA-rated driving range, as Tesla announced that the Model S now has a 402-mile EPA range rating. I suppose it isn't a surprise since we know Elon wouldn't have been happy if another brand had beat him to it. 

When Lucid Motors brings its first vehicle, the Air, to market later this year, it's expected to also have an EPA range of greater than 400 miles. That fact most likely added pressure on the Fremont team to make sure the Model S met the 400+ mile rating before Lucid could begin customer deliveries. 

Ever since Tesla came out with the Roadster, it has been the industry leader in long-range electric vehicles, and it doesn't appear as if it's ready to give up the crown anytime soon. There will be challengers, like Lucid Motors for example, but Tesla isn't resting on its accomplishments. The automaker is constantly increasing efficiency and improving battery technology in order to stay in front.

Tesla was hoping to get the 400-mile EPA rating earlier, but when the EPA tested the Model S, they arrived at a 391-mile rating. That caused Elon Musk to accuse the EPA of leaving the keys in the Model S overnight, resulting in a 2% battery drain before the testing began. The EPA later denied that claim. Nonetheless, Tesla didn't give up and it now appears that the Model S will indeed have the coveted 400+ mile range rating.

Here's a quick look at the longest range EVs available today.

The top 6 electric vehicles listed by EPA-rated range:

2020 Tesla Model S 402 miles 
2020 Tesla Model X 351 miles 

2020 Tesla

Model 3 Long Range 330 miles 
2020 Tesla Model Y  316 miles
2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV 259 miles
2020 Hyundai Kona Electric 258 miles
Model S 402 mile range

Below is Tesla's full announcement from its website:

The freedom to travel anywhere is critical to Tesla’s mission. Since the introduction of our 265-mile Model S in 2012, we’ve continued to revisit every aspect of the design to deliver the longest-range and highest-performance electric vehicles on the road.

Starting today, all North American Model S Long Range Plus vehicles have an official EPA-rated range of 402 miles, representing a nearly 20% increase in range when compared to a 2019 Model S 100D with the same battery pack design.

This significant achievement reflects Tesla’s obsession with efficiency and energy frugality and is realized through several changes, both iterative and transformational, in core hardware and system architecture development by the Tesla engineering, design, and production teams. These changes went into production earlier this year when we first started manufacturing Model S Long Range Plus at our factory in Fremont, California. All Model S Long Range Plus vehicles will receive the new 402-mile rating.

Here’s what’s new:

Significant Mass Reduction
Mass is the enemy of both efficiency and performance, and minimizing the weight of every component is an ongoing goal for our design and engineering teams. Several lessons from the engineering design and manufacturing of Model 3 and Model Y have now been carried over to Model S and Model X. This has unlocked new areas of mass reduction while maintaining the premium feel and performance of both vehicles. Additional weight savings have also been achieved through the standardization of Tesla’s in-house seat manufacturing and lighter weight materials used in our battery pack and drive units.

New “Tempest” Aero Wheels and Tires
Our newest 8.5 inch-wide aero wheels reduce aerodynamic drag compared to the previous wheels on Model S Long Range, and when paired with a new custom tire specifically engineered to reduce rolling resistance, add a 2% improvement to overall range.

Increased Drive Unit Efficiency
In our rear AC-induction drive unit, we replaced the mechanical oil pump with an electric oil pump that optimizes lubrication independent of vehicle speed to reduce friction. Further improvements to the gearbox in our front permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motors shared with Model 3 and Model Y have resulted in a further increase of 2% more range while driving on the highway.

Maximizing Regenerative Braking
Our newest drive feature, HOLD, blends the motor’s regenerative braking with physical brakes to bring our cars to a stop by easing off of the accelerator pedal. To bring the car to a stop smoothly, regenerative braking now works at a lower speed and deceleration rate, sending more energy back to the battery pack while simultaneously enabling a driving experience like no other car.

Continued Investment in Supercharging
The freedom to travel anywhere is enabled by both range and charging, and our Supercharger Network now encompasses over 17,000 Superchargers worldwide. We’ve deployed V3 Supercharging on three continents, enabling up to a 50% decrease in charging times compared to V2 technology. Tesla owners can travel incredible distances – from the Everglades to Vancouver, the Arctic Circle of Norway to southern Portugal, Hong Kong to Harbin, China – all for a fraction of the cost of gasoline. Put simply, families spend less time than ever charging.

While each of these changes are relatively small in individual impact, our unique ability to introduce them into active manufacturing lines enables significant gains in efficiency, range, and overall value when combined.

Model S Long Range Plus has also recently received a price reduction of $5,000. Paired with these range improvements and gains in efficiency, customers now receive more value than ever when purchasing a new Tesla, and as with our other products, all of our vehicles will continuously improve over time with over-the-air software updates. Order today at Tesla.com.

Thoughts? While we expected this, it's still pretty big news. Reaching the 400-mile range goal is a great accomplishment especially since Tesla didn't have to use a bigger battery to get there, it just made the current vehicle more efficient. Let us know what you think in the comment section below.

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