Tesla Model S P85 At 125 MPH For 12 Minutes – Video


Too fast for the camera to handle!

Too fast for the camera to handle!

Bjørn Nyland takes his Tesla Model S P85 on the German Autobahn and keeps it at a constant speed of 125 MPH for 12 minutes.

Nyland has driven his Model S on the Autobahn before, but this video is different.

Keep an eye on state of charge. Note the state of charge at the 1:26 mark and then at the 13:14 mark to see how much of the battery energy was consumed..

Bjørn’s video description:

“The autobahn stretch was 40 km which I covered in 12 minutes averaging 200 km/h or 125 mph. Consumption was 520 Wh/km (840 Wh/mi).”

Now, if only we have roads like the Autobahn in the US…

Category: Tesla

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69 responses to "Tesla Model S P85 At 125 MPH For 12 Minutes – Video"
  1. Warren says:

    “840 Wh/mi”

    Yeah, another 80 mile range EV. 🙂

    1. Brian says:

      Exactly what I was thinking.

      1. Bill Howland says:

        With the motor and pinion gear running at over 10,000 rpm (I’m unsure as to the ultimate reduction in the “S”‘s, it would be 14,000 rpm in a Roadster), and knowing that many in the states had problems with ‘murmuring gearboxes’ at much less traumatic speeds, I wonder at what “Teeth Per Second” he’s chewing up his gearbox at, even if the Motor Bearings could withstand this extended trauma.

        I guess the thing will eventually fold-back on ‘inverter overheat’, which, for the gearbox and motor bearing sake, is a good thing.

        1. Bill Howland says:

          Just wanted to mention that at this speed, the powerfactor of an induction motor (which all Teslas use) is horrible, therefore the ‘overheating inverter’ is to be expected, and is in no way a design fault in the narrow sense.

    2. flmark says:

      Yup, you do the math and you find out that going this fast on electricity costs you nearly as much as using GAS at regular speed. That speaks volumes about how ridiculous it is to fight the wind with your accelerator. As the old adage goes, like ‘kicking against the goads’.

      1. Mutwin Kraus says:

        Except Bjørn is using Super Chargers in this video. No matter how fast they drive, the owner still pays nothing for each charge.

    3. Scramjett says:

      Yeah, I’d like to see all of the other “80 mile EVs” do 130! 🙂

      1. kdawg says:

        Hey if a 1970 Dodge Charger and a Jeep Wrangler can hit 120mph, I’m sure a smaller/sleeker Fiat 500e could have done 130mph in this situation. 🙂

        1. Scramjett says:

          Well yes! Just about any car, including a Ford Pinto, could hit 120 by “jumping” out an airplane! Of course, the Pinto might explode on impact, even with chutes! 🙂

          1. Steven says:



      2. Speculawyer says:

        Many of them probably could go that fast but they are electronically regulated not to allow that. Driving so fast would
        1) Deplete your battery real fast.
        2) Much worse . . . Probably overheat and destroy your motor pretty quickly.

        1. Scramjett says:

          Well, if you removed the limiter, it would probably take half of the 12 minutes just to get to 120, and then, as you said, 1) drop the range to about 15 miles, and 2) burn our the motor when you got there.

    4. Speculawyer says:

      This brings up an interesting paradox on EV efficiency. They are so efficient that when you make them work harder, that extra work will cost you much more fuel.

      Whereas in a gas car . . . you are throwing away most of the energy anyway such that when when work harder, they tend to throw away a little less of the wasted energy.

      Hmm . . . I can’t find the right words but I think I know what I mean.

      BTW, this issue could probably be reduced by adding a transmission. But since driving 125 is illegal in most places, it really isn’t worth it. And I bet the ‘D’ Models do better at these higher speeds.

      1. Scramjett says:

        “I can’t find the right words but I think I know what I mean.”

        Lol, that makes one of us! 🙂

        I think the problem you’re referring to (if I understand you correctly) can be solved if you use a transmission so that you can have the motors RPMs lower with the higher torque and drive ratio.

        However, having said that, at these speeds the real problem is aerodynamic drag. Even ICE sports cars can’t escape that problem.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Sure . . . but your 30MPG ICE car does not drop to 10MPG at those speeds. The drop in range (or increase in fuel cost) is not as noticeable with ICE.

          At least I think that is true. perhaps I’m mistaken. Or maybe it really is just the transmission that makes such a big difference.

          1. EV-guy says:

            By doubling speed, the energy required to push the air out of the way quadruples. The energy requirement is proportional to the square of the speed. That is just physics.

            For example, the Hellcat can get ~20MPG on the highway (say at ~65mph). Full throttle fuel consumption at top speed (the car is drag limited to 199mph, not electronically) is 1.5 Gallons per Minute. A minute @ 199mph is 3.32 miles, so the MPG is 3.32/1.5 -> 2.2MPG!!!

            This empirical data is consistent with the math: by tripling speed (65mph -> 199mph) the energy consumption should be 9 times greater. So MPG should be divided by to reflect this: 20/9 -> 2.22

            A simple but accurate relationship. Of course there are some factors that are drivetrain, so one car may lose more or less energy than expected, but in reality air drag is the most important factor.

            1. EV-guy says:

              Can’t edit…
              But, in your example, a 30MPG car @ 60mph would be a 7.5MPG car @ 120mph.
              The only potential flaw with this is that there is a basic energy loss in an ICE just to idle the engine (and other loses in drivetrain). But in reality that is a small component of overall gas consumption at high speeds (even at 60mph). Simply applying the above formula is quite accurate for calculating MPG for speeds above ~50mph or so.
              Also note that while energy consumption rises with the square of speed, power consumption rises with the CUBE of speed.

              1. Scramjett says:

                EV-guy: Thank you for doing the math on that. I was going to do it also but I ran out of time last night. 🙂

                To all others: if you feel daring, you can try a fun little experiment. If you ever find yourself on a open highway with a suitable speed limit, roll down your window and stick your hand out at about 30 mph. Then, slowly speed up to about 50 or 60 mph (depending on how strong you are) and notice the change in difficulty it is to “push” against the wind.

                Mind you, this is at low speed where the effects are less noticeable to the car, but should be very noticeable to you. But it’s a good way to really “feel” the effects of aerodynamic drag.

            2. Lensman says:

              Yeah. I think gear-heads would be equally disappointed in the absolutely dismal MPG ratings a high-performance gas guzzler would get, running flat out. That is, they’d be disappointed if they actually cared about fuel efficiency.

              I’m reminded of the infamous case where Top Gear ran a Tesla Roadster on a track until it ran low on “juice” after about 55 miles, and they pretended it had to be pushed into the garage. As one comment noted, if you run just about any car flat out, full throttle, it will run out of gas or electricity or whatever within the ballpark of 55 miles or less.

              It’s hard to get around the laws of physics.

              1. Stephen says:

                Do you remember when they a just 1 gallon in each super car then raced around the track. Some didn’t even make it around 1lap, less than 2mpg.

    5. Rick James says:

      With conversion, that’s still nearly 40mpg at 125mph for a gas equivalent. Not too shabby.

      1. ggpa says:

        … dream on … the 33kWh/gallon conversion is a crock

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Uh . . . they 33.7 KWH = 1 gallon is a very good thermodynamic equivalency.

          The problem is that it is very difficult to capture the energy from gasoline such that we end up with cars that are only around 20% to 25% efficient at capturing the energy. Most of the energy ends up as waste heat & noise.


  2. David Murray says:

    Nice seeing the wind turbine farm too..

    1. Surya says:

      Oh, they’re all over the place in Germany. You can’t drive on the autobahn and not see them. And huge barns covered in solar panels, lots of those as well.

      1. Scramjett says:

        Nice! California is getting there but I think Germany is further along.

      2. Steven says:

        And we’ve got an entire political party that says they don’t work.

        1. Open-Mind says:

          Despite your stated bias, it’s mostly Republican states leading the pack when it comes to wind energy.


          Texas has the most capacity by far. And the top five states according to percentage of generation by wind in 2014 are:

          Iowa (28.5%)
          South Dakota (25.3%)
          Kansas (21.7%)
          Idaho (18.3%)
          North Dakota (17.6%)

          These are all Republican states.

          1. Unplugged says:

            Despite your stated bias for Texas, I will point out that the latest energy data shows that California is electrically powered by 6.1% wind sources, while Texas is powered by 7.7%. Not much difference, but still Texas is “better.”

            However, I note that Texas power is sourced from 22.5% COAL, while California gets 0.2% of its power from COAL. On that count, I would say that Texas fails in the political face-off. So what were you saying about Republicans and electric power?



            1. Unplugged says:

              I’ll also point out that Iowa gets 56.2% of its power from COAL, while Kansas gets 68.6% of its power from COAL, and North Dakota gets a whopping 71.9% of its power from COAL.

              And these are all Republican states.

            2. Open-Mind says:

              Why do you always SHOUT the word “coal”? It makes you sound more unhinged than unplugged.

              Your CA stats are flawed because you’re ignoring the 30% of electricity that’s imported from other states.


              More than half of CA electricity is from natural-gas and coal. And both are fossil fuels that generate CO2.

  3. kdawg says:

    Wow, what a lot of wind noise. Maybe another area for improvement.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Meh . . . not worth bothering with since so few will go that fast. And those that do certainly won’t be able to do it for very long. (battery will be empty or the car will overheat).

  4. Scramjett says:

    Wow, the Germans (Europeans?) are so polite! I would never get that many people to pull to the right lane on I5!

    Question for anyone here who is from (or has been to) Germany/Europe. Do those truck/lorry drivers get a speed limit even in the unrestricted sections of the autobahn?

    1. jensph says:

      Yes, trucks are limited to 60 mph. Staying right is part of the rigorous drivers ed — otherwise driving with such speeds would be dangerous.

      1. Scramjett says:

        Ah, nice! I wish we even had rigorous drivers ed here. But drivers ed in the US, California especially, seems to be about getting people into cars as fast as possible. Then you get the types of people who drive like they were granted the power to enforce their own interpretation of the law on everyone else.

        At least California has the 55 mph speed limit for truck/lorry drivers though. Can’t say that for the rest of the US.

        1. Mutwin Kraus says:

          Rigorous drivers ed is great, but it gets quite costly. Getting a license for driving cars and motorcycles (I did both at the same time to save some money) cost around €2000 in Germany when I did it 13 years ago and you need to take at least 20 driving lessons. Not sure if the prices have relaxed a little, I suspect it’s more expensive now.

          1. Scramjett says:

            Do you pay it all at once or is that over a period of time?

            In the US, drivers ed used to be a high school class that you took. It was when I learned but nowadays, because of constant cuts to education, most high schools don’t have drivers ed (my parents even used to get behind the wheel training in high school, I did not). It was only one semester out of the year and mostly scaring the s**t out of us with red asphalt. Not a whole lot of actual proper or practical training.

            I don’t think the cost would be as big a deal if we had a practical alternative like Germany’s sophisticated public transit and bicycle infrastructure. But we don’t so rigorous drivers ed would probably be DOA here.

            1. Mutwin Kraus says:

              Some upfront, but most of it is paid per driving lesson.

    2. Mutwin Kraus says:

      There’s actually rules for this stuff in Germany and most of Europe. When there are no other cars, you have to use the right lane, the middle and inner lanes can only be used if you’re going faster than the person in the lane to the right of you. This makes Autobahn travel a lot safer than Freeways even with the higher speed limits. Of course these rules don’t apply when there is a traffic jam, but otherwise it works really well and allows people to drive fast without much danger to trucks or busses for example (who should always stay in the right lane).

      1. Scramjett says:

        California has a law that says slower traffic must keep right (you see them on signs all of the time) but they are widely ignored and poorly enforced.

        Also, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been cut off by a trucker (their speed limit is 55 but they often are cruising between 60 and 65) who pulls into the left lane to pass another trucker…very slowly. I agree with you, they should always be in the right lane.

  5. miggy says:

    Nice run at 200km/h, the video shows the car at 200km/h not 125mph.

    1. Doug (dhanson865) says:

      Yes because 200 km/h is only 124.274 mph and we all know that is so much slower than 125 mph. How will we ever live long enough to get there if we go .726 mph slower?

      1. Joshua Burstyn says:


      2. miggy says:

        The point is there was no need to quote MPH at all.

  6. Ambulator says:

    I noticed Bjørn was never passed. Where were all those crazy German drivers I’ve heard so much about? Wait, is Bjørn the crazy driver, even though he’s not German?

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Despite the reputation of German sports cars and the large number of car companies, Germany is not actually a car crazy country. They use a lot of public transportation. They have only 588 cars per 1000 people compared to USA’s 809 per 1000 people. Their car owner ratio is the same as Japan and the less than much of western Europe.

      I think the Autobahn is more tourist attraction and PR for their auto industry than anything else.

      1. Scramjett says:

        And bicycles. Their share of trips made by bicycle is second only to Denmark and the Netherlands.

      2. Mr X says:

        Haha, sorry that’s funny 🙂
        No, the autobahn is actually not being seen a tourist attraction or PR tool in Germany. It depends when and where you go on the autobahn. There is plenty of people going 180 km/h and quite a few go even faster. There is also lots of people doing 130 km/h. No speed limit doesn’t mean you need to floor the pedal. Depending on traffic, it’s either not possible or dangerous. Depending on your car it’s not possible or simply expensive due to high petrol consumption (which in ICE cars still allows you to go more than 500km despite going very fast).
        The time you safe when going at 200-250km/h is well worth the money for some people.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Well it sounds like you agree with me actually. Many people don’t drive. And many people that do drive don’t drive super-fast cars. And many people that do have fast cars don’t drive them super fast.

  7. Ken Sherman says:

    Gasoline ICE engines are more efficient at higher throttle openings. It sounds backwards but the harder it works the more efficient it becomes. That’s why the gas cars fuel consumption is better at speed. It’s horrible at idle and low loading. That’s why best speed in a Leaf is about 12mph and best speed in a gas car (depending on gearing) is usually the slowest speed at which you can motor in top gear. Max loading and minimal friction.

    1. Lensman says:

      It’s certainly true that ICEngines work more efficiently (or rather, a bit less inefficiently) at full throttle, but that doesn’t alter the reality that wind resistance increases as the square of speed.

      Now, you would at least in theory get better MPG running at full throttle in a lower gear, but once you get up to highway speed, wind resistance becomes the primary factor governing fuel consumption. At 55 MPH, an average car uses half its energy just fighting wind resistance. Obviously that rapidly gets worse at higher speeds.

      1. Lensman says:

        Edit: wind resistance increases as the cube of speed.

        1. Ken Sherman says:

          Power required varies by the cube of the speed but drag increases by the square of the speed.

          I remember some reference to 70’s era cars that rolling resistance at 70 mph was only 5% of the drag!

      2. Steven says:

        Simple solution, drive in a vacuum. Oh, wait… Never mind.

        1. Raymondjram says:

          The Mode S is the only supercar that can drive 125 MPH in a vacuum. The driver does need a space suit.

      3. Brian says:

        “At speed” does not necessarily mean “Wide Open Throttle”. It is generally accepted that most ICE cars get their maximum efficiency between 40 and 60MPH. Below 40ish, the effects Ken refers to drop your efficiency. Above 60ish, wind resistance kills it.

        I have observed similar results in many of my own cars, which is why I try to keep my speeds around 60-65 on the highway when driving the ICE (don’t worry, I will speed up if I ever need to pass someone – I don’t want to be “that guy”). Although I bet Bill and Cote won’t believe me, seeing how I drive EVs 😉

        1. Bill Howland says:

          That I don’t believe you don’t pass anyone in an EV? Brian I have no problem in believing that.

          In fact, while Bjorn was doing his roadtest, I was wondering where you were, hehe. Bjorn passed everyone else.

          But both you guys proved that Teslas can get 60 miles of range.

          I probably got Clarkson mad with my EREV post.

        2. Speculawyer says:

          I think the optimal speed is more like 25 mph.

  8. MDEV says:

    Driving in the autobahn my BMW M3 above 200 Km/h I used 8-9 miles per gallon, regular driving I use to get 22 to 26 miles per gallon, driving agaist wind is a loss situation no matter is you drive ICE or EV.

  9. Martin T says:

    Nice Video, ah the German autobahn !
    and Japanese high speed train.

    Make private and public transport in the USA and Australia 3rd world class and slipping (Which is what they really are and don’t kid ourselves.)

    1. Scramjett says:

      Oh, I don’t kid myself. You are absolutely correct.

  10. Greg says:

    So, are you saying Tesla is not quite good enough for a German taxi?

    1. Raymondjram says:

      The Model X can qualify for a taxi.

  11. Jorg says:

    I have a Model S and love it, it’s the greatest car by far I’ve ever owned…

    But having said that, the lack of range at high speed is actually a big detraction for many German drivers I know. Their diesel cars are capable of going 200 miles or more at high speed. As one of them put it to me, “what’s the point of going 200km per hour in a Tesla, if you can’t actually do it for a full hour?”

    I wonder how far you can go, in a Model S, in one hour?

    1. 120 – 150 miles at 125mph
      193km – 241km @ 200km/h

  12. PVH says:

    I follow EV news almost on a daily basis for the last 5 years and as time passes I realize how tough it will be for EV’s to sale in substancial numbers. 100 miles EV’s are (to many) crippleware and 300 miles EV’s are useless if they cost EUR 100K. In the US it is hard to sell EV’s because fuel is cheap, in Europe it is hard to sell EV’s because of efficient turbo diesels and because of highway range issues (when driving at high speed).

    1. Blingslade says:

      Still, with the super-charging stations multiplying like rabbits their bound to gain a decent market share.

      For now the Tesla S is a toy for the rich. Maybe that will change but there’s no guarantee.

  13. Murrysville EV says:

    My Leaf eats energy like that on a winter day just driving around town.