Tesla Model X Driven At 125 MPH For 40 Minutes – Video


It’s widely known that stock Teslas don’t perform all that well under the rigors of race track testing.

The problem is temperature control, which leads to restricted power, but that’s out on the track where all-out is the norm.

To test how a Tesla Model X would perform on the road at a high rate of speed (but not all out), Bjorn Nyland hit the German Autobahn.

He attempted to keep the Model X at a constant speed of approximately 125 mph. The result is that the X handles this type of driving rather well. It takes some 28 minutes at that speed before the X begins to limit power.

Tesla Model X At High Speeds

Video description:

Many people claim that a Tesla can’t drive at high speed for many minutes without overheating. This is not true. So I prove that it can be done. After 28 minutes, I started seeing dotted line. This is probably due to battery overheating. The stators would overheat much quicker if I did full accelerations.

After the run, I calculated a whopping 7 kWh heat loss that was not counted in the trip meter. This was due to battery and motors heating up due to high power output. So the real power consumption was actually 630 Wh/km, 1014 Wh/mi.

Based on past tests, it seems like the optimal speed to drive between superchargers with a Model X is 140-160 km/h. At higher speeds, air resistance and heat loss is too high compared to the supercharger speed. And it also means that you have to charge to higher SoC in order to reach the next supercharger (which is slow).

The supercharging speed right after the run was at normal speed. No reduction due to heat.

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27 Comments on "Tesla Model X Driven At 125 MPH For 40 Minutes – Video"

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So Bjorn finds the optimal X trip speed with supercharging and X is 87 to 99 MPH (in English units)? That seems higher than the S numbers and presumes you don’t Supercharge much. (See Loveday’s excellent insideevs.com article “Excessive DC Charging Of Tesla Model S, X Leads To Permanently Reduced Charge Rate” http://insideevs.com/excessive-dc-charging-tesla-model-s-x-leads-permanently-reduced-charge-rate/ ). In most of the USA, you can’t legally drive that fast if you want to keep your license. In Virginia, a few years ago, a cop pulled me over in a 70 MPH Interstate zone and told me that even going 80 MPH is defined as reckless driving, which is automatic loss of license, unless the judge gives you a break and lowers it. What will happen for autopilot speeding, when true self-driving comes along in about 2 years? When no human sits in the driver’s seat, how will “the greedy system” collect their huge fines? They can’t give a ticket to a car. I would love to hear the reaction to: “Sorry, officer, nobody is driving. Put “NONE” in the field of driver’s name.” 🙂 (The greedy cops near me in VA often set speed traps on I95 south of Richmond, to catch people who… Read more »

Virginia sucks, man. You should move to North Dakota. You can go as fast as your tires are rated, outside of town!

Jim, they are not English units they are imperial units, most English speaking countries use the Metric system just like the rest of the world.
But a 200kmh run is a good fast run in any country.

When you say ‘greedy cops’ – I don’t really understand. Are you suggesting the police gat a cut of the fine? No.. What you should be thinking is here are a bunch of police officers trying to stop me from killing myself (or worse, someone else) driving too fast on a known to be dangerous stretch of road. Your logic is is flawed and your ignorance great.

“After the run, I calculated a whopping 7 kWh heat loss that was not counted in the trip meter.”

Hmm. Anybody know the details of how to make this calculation??

Probably by filling up to 100% afterwards and seeing how much goes into the battery. Just like with ICE cars.

P.S. I forgot to mention the obvious, that Tesla’s autopilot will usually “know” the correct speed and prevent what the law says are reckless speeds. So speeding on Internets should be rare but possible. But sometimes they lower speed limits temporarily and Tesla won’t “know” this, unless it “sees” it and recognizes the sign. In my state, the speed limit is often lowered to 25 MPH for construction zones. The temporary sign is hard to spot among construction clutter, leading to speed traps. A Tesla or other EV would likely miss the temporary speed sign also.

The Bottom Line: A driverless Tesla or other EV WILL get pulled over one day soon, and make the news as “the system” tries to figure out who to gouge for the ticket.

What happened to automatic hi-beams?
This type of run is actually where you need it.

serial anti Tesla troll Thomas

Hmmm…Looks like that I still have to wait some years before I will buy a EV. When I drive in Germany I usually drive much longer than 28 minutes with 125 mph or more. So not much fun on German Highways with EVs.

Germany with their high speed driving is like American with their guns, everyone knows it’s dangerous, but they just don’t want to give it up

High speed autobahn travel is widely regarded as quite safe, with accident rates far below typical U.S. highway travel.

Except if you’re a law abiding suburbanite in US, you’re just as safe as anywhere in Europe despite the large number of guns. For traffic death, it doesn’t matter where you live or if you obey the laws, it could hit you with equal probability.

You’re just as safe unless you’re​ in a theater, school, church, mall, or have a spouse or mental health issue in which case your risk is higher.

Traffic deaths on the Autobahn are lower (crazily enough) than on us expressways.

Who are you kidding, Thomas. You will never buy an ev because you don’t like them not because some made up autobahn reason…not sure what you are doing here on this website….other than the obvious reason given by your user name.

When Bjorn recorded this Video, air temperature was about 2-5°C. This test was a best case scenario.
The question is, what happens, when you drive fast for a longer period of time with your climate control on etc at about 30-35°C.

High speed driving isn’t a real struggle for power train cooling. You get a ton of airflow when you travel at high speeds, and the heat rejection isn’t that high (~8 times higher when you double in speed, but still not that difficult of the car has a well designed cooling system).

Lower speed accelerations put much greater stress on the cooling system than high speed runs. That’s why the Teslas keep derating on the track. That this car derated on a 125mph highway drive in a cold climate is pathetic.

Exactly right.

Yes and no.
In the summer at 30°C the air above the tarmac easily reaches 50°-55°C (when tarmac gets soft), air flow suddenly works like a hair dryer (batteries need temperatures <30°C), not cooling anything, the faster you go the more heat is transferred, your radiator is not working well anymore, in passive mode it is heating up the system, so the whole system needs to be actively cooled by a second circuit via a chiller, which increases energy consumption. I am pretty sure Tesla has not designed that second to system for extreme weather conditions, so the question is, how much heat can it dissipate?

Good lord, someone else on this blog is beholden to physics.

That’s a very solid point you make, and it’s one of the limitations of EVs. Until (and unless, because some OEMs understand this better than others) the cooling systems are designed to suppport the high temperatures seen across the US and China, there’s a major issue with these vehicles and their use relative to a traditional vehicle.

It’s a good day.

The key here is the higher speed since extreme heat is something we definitely have in SoCal and thousands of Teslas with no problems.

A useful article for anyone in the USA who wants to go to jail.

Sure, that is the case now but in the future when autopilot will be the norm speed limits should increase greatly thus this will be a problem then if not addressed.

It takes 28 minutes at that speed and ambient temperature.

I hear this sort of thing is even more exciting, if you asphyxiate yourself while doing it.

There is no mention that heat becomes an issue. Looking at the battery SoC it appears to be more of an issue that the battery pack is getting low so power output is reduced due to that.

Also, I understand AP wouldn’t be available at this speed, but isn’t there any cruise control? It would be interesting to see how the Model X would perform is the cruise control was set to 200kph

Now, let us repeat this at 35 deg C…

Will that 28 minutes becomes 8 minutes?

I don’t care since I will never drive that fast. But it is nice to know what my margin is.