Tesla Model S

60 kWh Tesla Model S rated at 208 mile electric driving range by EPA

Quietly released today was the EPA certification of the 60 kilowatt-hour Tesla Model S, showing it to be more efficient than the 85 kilowatt-hour model.

On Friday the EPA quietly released the EPA certification of the 60 kilowatt-hour Tesla Model S, giving the middle car in the Model S range a 208 mile electric driving range and a combined fuel efficiency of 95 MPGe. This certification was one of the gating factors before Tesla would begin production of this model, as announced on Tuesday the 60 kilowatt-hour model production date is expected to begin in Jan. 2013.

The Tesla Model S is that company’s second electric car, and the first car it has completely designed and manufactured on its own. It is a full size luxury sedan, with an all electric drive train. In November, the Model S was named Automobile of the Year by Automobile Magazine, and named Car of the Year by Motortrend. Unlike the other automakers Tesla plans to offer the Model S in three varieties: 85 kilowatt-hours ($77,400), 60 kilowatt-hours ($67,400) and 40 kilowatt-hours ($57,400), providing different driving ranges.

Last summer the 85 kilowatt-hour Model S received a rating from the EPA of a 265 mile electric driving range, energy consumption of 38 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles (combined or city), 37 kilowatt-hours/100 miles (highway), and fuel efficiency of 89 MPGe (combined), 88 MPGe (city), and 90 MPGe (highway).

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The specs for the 60 kilowatt-hour Model S are 208 mile electric driving range, energy consumption of 35 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles (combined or highway), 36 kilowatt-hours/100 miles (city), and fuel efficiency of 95 MPGe (combined), 94 MPGe (city), and 97 MPGe (highway).

From these numbers it is clear the 60 kilowatt-hour Model S is a more efficient car than the 85 kilowatt-hour model. That’s likely because the 60 kilowatt-hour model will be lighter (the 60 kilowatt-hour battery pack will weigh a lot less), and additionally the drive train power is a little different between the two. The 85 kilowatt-hour model has a 362 hp (270 kW) motor, 325 lb-ft (440 Nm) of torque, a 0-60 time of 5.6 seconds, a quarter mile time of 13.7 seconds, and top speed of 125 miles/hr. The 60 kilowatt-hour model is a little lower, 302 hp (225 kW), 317 lb-ft (430 Nm) of torque, 0-60 time of 5.9 seconds, quarter mile time of 14.2 seconds, and top speed of 120 miles/hr. The slightly lower power levels will have contributed to the greater efficiency of the 60 kilowatt-hour Model S.

How does the 60 kilowatt-hour Model S stack up in terms of cost per mile of driving range, a comparison proposed by Coda Automotive last March?

The 85 kilowatt-hour Model S, $77,400 for 265 miles range, or $292/mile of range. The 60 kilowatt-hour Model S, $67,400 for 208 miles range, is $324/mile of range. The other electric cars cost a lot more per mile of driving range.

Tesla’s website still claims a 300 mile driving range for the 85 kilowatt-hour Model S, and a 230 mile driving range for the 60 kilowatt-hour Model S. Why so, when the EPA ratings are so much less? A post on the official Tesla blog last summer explained that the EPA changed the test procedures from a 2-cycle test to a 5-cycle test. The 5-cycle test is more stringent and conservative than the 2-cycle test, and the EPA believes that test better represents real driving range. Tesla’s blog post didn’t explain why they would continue to post the 2-cycle test result, when the EPA certification is a for a much shorter driving range.

The 40 kilowatt-hour Model S has not yet received EPA certification, and is expected to go into production in March 2013.

Originally published at TorqueNews https://www.torquenews.com/1075/60-kwh-tesla-model-s-rated-208-mile-electric-driving-range-epa

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

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