Tesla 60 kWh Mid-Grade Model S Gets 208 Mile Rating From EPA

DEC 7 2012 BY STAFF 16

60 kWh Tesla Model S Has Been Given An Official Range og 208 Miles By The EPA

True to their word to release more  electric range ratings this month, Tesla and the EPA  have announced that their mid-grade 60 kWh Model S has been officially rated at 208 miles of range.

Much like the 85 kWh version that was estimated by Tesla to get up to 300 miles of range before the EPA officially pegged it at 265 miles, the 60 kWh Model S had a Tesla-pegged range of 230 miles.

In the electric car world, only being off by 22 miles or about 10% is pretty good.  

When the Nissan LEAF was first announced, 100 miles of range was heavily promoted by the company before the EPA rated the car at 73 miles.  The Chevrolet Volt was pegged at 40 miles by General Motors before getting a 35 mile range when it first came out.

Side By Side Comparison Of EPA Rating Specifications 60 kWh vs 85 kWh

As for efficiency, this is where the 60 kWh actually outperforms its premium sibling, getting 95 MPGe versus 89 MPGe.  Total energy used to cover 100 miles is 35 kWh versus 38 kWh.

The entry level 40 kWh will not enter production until March, with first deliveries expected later that month or in early April.  Tesla says rating on the vehicle will be out closer to its launch. 

Given the increased efficiency of the 60 kWh over the 85 kWh, we would expect the trend to continue in the 40 kWh.  Tesla estimates 160 miles of range for the base Model S, so an EPA range around 145 miles does not seem unreasonable to us.

Check out Tesla’s 60 kWh Model S listing on the US government’s fuel economy website here.

Interesting note:  Current reservation holders on the 40 kWh car will be asked to firm up their reservation (make them non-refundable) to assure current pricing before it goes up January 1st, 2013, which will be before actually seeing, driving or knowing the EPA ratings on the car.

Categories: Tesla


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16 Comments on "Tesla 60 kWh Mid-Grade Model S Gets 208 Mile Rating From EPA"

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Excellent. My hope was that the 60kW model would get a 200+ mile EPA rating and the 40kW model would achieve 140 or better. Very good news.

Yes I agreed, good result here by Tesla.

Just looking at the curve, I would say that it will get over 140 miles on the 40kWh version…doing the math striaght assuming the same efficiency as the 60 kWh it looks like 142.

Of course as the pack gets smaller, there could be some kind of DoD creep into the pack affecting capacity as a percentage. The 60 kWh could very well get the most bank for your kWh buck, as I don’t think there will be much more additional draw need between the 60 kWh and the 40 kWh.

Also consider, they may not use the same kWh/kg cell (due to cost) in the 40 kWh as they do in 60 and 85 kWh packs. That would mean not the same weight savings and efficiency gains in the 40 kWh packs.

Just a guess though.

Yes Josh,
Last time I was studying the packs the cell chemistry was different between tne 40 and 85kwh packs (The more advanced chemistry was int the 85 kwh pack but not in the 40 kwh packs.

I have been waiting for this data because it will give us a sensitivity coefficient for mi/kwh as a function of wt. (1% in wt should improve range by around 0.6%)

However it looks like Dave R that the wheel sizes will cloud the results. so maybe it will be 1 to 1. I will have to go away and figure out what the wt difference is between the 60 and 85 kwh packs so I can do the calculation.

I will post again later.

Get rid of the MPGe! The new technology deserves a better efficiency value. Miles per kWH is the best. In Europe they are using kWH per 100 miles but that is hard to apply if you don’t travel 100 miles. Even better, let us all convert to the Metric system and use KM per kWH or meters per watt-hour.


Yes! MPGe is useless.

kWh per 100 miles is ok but even that should be kept to the fine print Two piece of information is really what the public needs to see on the sticker ELECTRIC MILES and EXTENDED RANGE MPG if it is a plugin hybrid

In Europe, we are using l/100km and it’s as easy as MPG to use. Usually I know desired distance to travel and I want to compute how much gasoline it will take…

lets say for 5l/100km and traveling 46km it is just 46*5/100 = 2.3l.

liter per km (instead liter per 100km) would be easyer to use of course, but the number would be more difficult to memorize (like 0.05 l/km). However I like MPG too.

And I like MPGe because it allows me to compare it with standard MPG. If they would use m/kWh than it would be much more difficult to compare since nobody remember that 33.7kWh = 1galon of gas.

The higher efficiency of the 60 kWh S compared to the 85 kWh S must be because they tested the 85 kWh car with the 21″ wheels and the 60 kWh car with the 19″ wheels.

There is no other explanation since the total battery pack weight is supposed to be nearly the same between the two.

So it sounds like the 40KW model will get a real world range of about 125 miles….


You would think the car with the more expensive 21 inch wheels would be more efficient than the 19″ goodyears… Maybe the 19″ goodyears were Low-rolling-resistance… The mileage on my TESLA Roadster went up when I put LLR tires on the rear.

Everything else being constant I would think you’d get better efficiency out of the 85 kwh model than the 60 or 40. Anyone suspect what is really going on?

OK I finished the numbers.

Looks like a 1% drop in wt results in a 1.2% increase in mi/kwh. That is a pretty strong wt influence which does not surprise me.

Based on these numbers I agree with Jay that we should see about 148 miles of range for the 40 kwh model S.

With the reduction from 21″ Wheels to 19″ also comes a narrower rim
and tire. Less wind resistence = greater mileage, as does lower ride
height. The adjustable air ride height of the S helps indeed, but
I’ve always contended EVs/PHEVs/EREVs should have automatic
ride height reduction over 40 mph where wind resistence makes
the biggest effect.

If I win the lotto and buy a Tesla – I’d opt for the 60kwh pack and
narrower rims + LRR tires like Michelin Energy Savers (quietest tire),
or Bridgestone Ecopias. Truly, you’ll lose some lateral g, but I’m
not gonna drive it like a maniac anyway. Perhaps with more lotto
winnings I’d just opt for the 85kwh Performance and take it
to the track once-in-awhile.

I agree James the 60 kwh version sounds like a nice compromise. I just wish they would give the option for a quicker version of the 40 and 60kwh cars vs 85 perf model. seems like with the lighter wt it should be a simpler problem statement to get quicker 0-60 times.

Here’s the 0-60 times vs model:

40 kwh….6.5 sec

60 kwh——-5.9 sec

85 kwh……..5.6 sec

85Sig………4.4 sec

The wt difference between each battery pack is roughly 300#

The other nice thing is that you can get the twin chargers (and super charger) on the 60 but not on the 40.

Twin chargers (20 kW) are available on the 40 kWh car. However 90 kW supercharging is not available with the 40 kWh battery, so that is an advantage for the 60 kWh car.

Also, don’t forget that part of the problem statement for acceleration is that, for a given cell design, smaller capacity batteries have less power available.


The strategy being adopted is to cancel the reservation and book another one before Dec 31st. This way they get kicked back to the queue, but they get the needed time to finalize – but no price increase.

Yupe, that makes a lot of sense.

Of course, if you have an early reservation you are probably converting a April delivery ahead of the summer time into possibly a August-September delivery. I know everytime I have bought a nice/sporty car (or convertible) it has always been in the spring.

Only time I’ve pulled the trigger on a sports car in the fall is when I got a ridiculous sub-dealer invoice, 15k off the msrp-type deal. That certainly isn’t happening here.

I think if I only wanted to pay up to the retail price of a 40 kWh and would also be willing to wait until fall of 2013, I’d hold out for a slightly used 60 kWh flipping back onto the market.