Tesla Model S achieves 400 miles of range in new test — but there’s a catch

The Tesla Model S Long Range has achieved 400 miles of range in a new real-world test, as Elon Musk has been claiming, but there’s a catch.

Earlier this year, Tesla released a new “Long Range Plus” version of the Model S with an EPA-rated range that was later updated to 391 miles on a single charge.

The new version of the vehicle was achieved through several small changes over the last year, and Tesla needed to change the name in order for the EPA to give it new rating.

Around the same time, CEO Elon Musk claimed that Tesla is close to having a 400-mile electric car.

During Tesla’s Q1 2020 results, Musk claimed that they already achieved it because the EPA made a mistake when testing the new Model S Long Range Plus.

The CEO claimed that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) left a door open with the key inside the vehicle during their cycle test — resulting in the electric car not going to “sleep” and draining the battery a little too much.

The EPA has denied that, but Musk believes that the Model S is currently able to achieve an EPA range of 400 miles, and it will officially get it once the EPA resumes testing.

YouTuber Bjorn Nyland, who often performs range tests on electric vehicles, decided to take a recent Tesla Model S Raven on a range test to see if the vehicle can achieve 400 miles of range on a single charge.

He posted a video about the results:

With 617 km and still about 4% of the energy left in the battery pack, Nyland extrapolated the range to 644km, or 400 miles on a single charge.

However, he performed his range test at 90 km/h (55.9 mph), which is not a real-world utilization for most people.

In the video, you can see Nyland often drive 20 km/h below the speed limit.

While the test is still a useful point of comparison for efficiency, it’s not a great example of real-world use.

Electrek’s Take

Again, while I don’t think the test represents real-world use, I appreciate Bjorn doing it anyway because we still get some interesting data points that can serve as good comparison points.

For example, he achieved an efficiency of 145Wh per km (232Wh per mile) and he performed the same test with the Porsche Taycan, which achieves 172Wh per km (275.2Wh per mile).

It was a bit colder when he performed the Taycan test, but the conditions weren’t different enough to justify such a big difference.

While it doesn’t mean that Tesla can achieve 400 miles of range on the EPA test, it does highlight that range is highly dependent on speed.

You can achieve 400 miles on a single charge if you are willing to slow down to 55 mph.

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