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High-end Tesla Model S could be the most efficient EV in the land

Tesla is set to put its Model S all-electric sedan on the market a few months ahead of schedule, with the first customer deliveries taking place next month. Another bit of good news for Tesla and the people who are waiting for their Model S to take up residence in their driveway has surfaced. 
Motor Trend reports that the top-of-the-line (85 kWh) Model S is expected to earn a window sticker rating from the EPA showing a 265-mile driving range.
There has been confusion on the driving range for a fully charged Model S, mostly because multiple numbers have been thrown around since the vehicle was first unveiled. The driving range has been at different times said to be 160-miles, 230-miles, and 300-miles depending upon the size of the battery pack installed. Tesla also recently noted that the car was able to achieve a 320-mile driving range on a full charge in the EPA's 2-cycle driving test.
The new 265-mile range for the window sticker is based on the EPA's new five-cycle test. If Tesla is able to land that 265-mile driving range on the EPA's new test, the Model S will be massively superior to other electric vehicles, such as the Nissan Leaf, which was only able to muster a 73-mile driving range on the same test. Granted, the high-end Model S is much more expensive than the Leaf.
The real world driving distance will likely vary significantly, depending on where the vehicle is operated and how heavy the driver's right foot is.
The Model S is also available with smaller 40 kWh or 60 kWh battery packs. The base Model S will sell for $57,400 and range up to $105,400 for higher end versions with an 85 kWh lithium-ion battery. Tesla has 10,000 orders in hand for the new Model S EV.
Word that the car may come early sent shares of Tesla stock surging.

Source: MotorTrend

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RE: Need some Keeir math
By Samus on 5/15/2012 9:34:35 PM , Rating: 1
Considering it is a luxury car, comparing it to a 20k car is foolish.

And in the segment it competes in (60k-100k) it is substantially faster and more fuel efficient than anything. The only other car that can outperform it is a Nissan GT-R for 86k and it gets 15MPG, requires carbon-ceramic brake service every 20,000 miles (thousands of dollars) and requires a $2,500 set of tires. No need to mention it is a nightmare to maintain elsewhere.

The Model S is almost zero-maintenance. Nothing. The first thing that needs service are tires and brakes at 50,000, unless of course you find yourself in need of windshield wipers or a turn signal bulb (all of which are LED, so unlikely.) This is proven with the Roadster which uses a similar power train and so has a similar maintenance schedule.

The Model S can't be compared to anything else. For the price, it's untouchable in performance alone. Then you consider the Jaguar-like ride quality, interior, and amenities, and the ridiculous 'fuel' economy is just icing on the cake.

I don't think they'll have any trouble selling thousands of these a year the same way Mercedes, Audi, BMW, Lexus and Infinity have no trouble selling cars in the 60k+ territory. The only hurdle comes after the 8-10 year period when you need to replace a $20,000 battery pack.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By Mint on 5/15/2012 10:09:51 PM , Rating: 2
The problem is that $60k-100k is a lot for a car with a 50-130 mile tether on it (except when you happen to find a charger near your route AND have the time to recharge there).

I don't think pure-EVs are the way to go. A 50-mile range Model S with a tiny 50HP engine/generator (maybe $2-3k?) will let me save 80% of the fuel, save $10-40k up front on the battery, but let me drive 10x as far or more.

Of course, there's enough people out there that won't mind having a $100k luxury car sit in the garage when they go on a road trip, as they have another one that runs on gas, so Tesla will find its niche.

For many people, however, a car like the Fisker Atlantic is infinitely more appealing, assuming it gets built.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By Samus on 5/16/12, Rating: 0
RE: Need some Keeir math
By FITCamaro on 5/16/2012 8:31:41 AM , Rating: 3
A 130 mile range gets me to the next major city and back. Not enough for a road trip.

I don't care that people want to buy this car. I care that every American tax payer has to help them buy a luxury car.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By lelias2k on 5/16/2012 9:11:19 AM , Rating: 2
And I care that every American tax payer has to "help" Big Oil through tax breaks in the order of billions of dollars. As if they needed any help.

Exxon Mobil alone had $41 BILLION in profits AFTER taxes. Do you really think they need ANY break? :|

RE: Need some Keeir math
By FITCamaro on 5/16/2012 10:37:02 AM , Rating: 2
False. They get largely the same "breaks" that every other corporation is eligible for. Why shouldn't they be able to write off things just like every other corporation?

And I'm far more concerned with a company like GE making the billions it does and paying absolutely NO taxes for the past 2 years. And even getting money back.

Now since you say you feel that way though, how about you tell your senator to support Jim Demint's bill to end all breaks and subsidies entirely. Nothing for anyone. But surprise, Democrats are fighting it because it would make many "green" energy businesses no longer feasible since they only survive due to the massive amount of money the taxpayers give to them.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By lelias2k on 5/16/2012 11:45:22 AM , Rating: 2
Let me start by saying that I never talked about other corporations not getting breaks, so there's nothing "false" about my statement. We cool there?

Now, I know you are an oil lover, but even you have to have two working brain cells and realize that, although a fantastic source of energy, the consequences of its use are extremely damaging to our planet, be it environmental or economical.

So I really don't see why somebody would give incentives to a problem and not to those who are looking for a solution.

But hey, that's just me.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By FITCamaro on 5/16/2012 1:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
Ah so now we're on to insulting people and saying they're brain dead unless you believe in man made global warming. And your comment on oil being bad economically is founded in what exactly? That we get a lot from foreign sources because people like yourself stop us from developing it here in the US?

I do not "love" oil. I love being able to freely move around this great country to go where I want. Gasoline allows me to do that cheaply and effectively. Batteries do not.

You offer no solution. You offer a heavily subsidized fantasy. Even if electric cars could do the job, the fact remains that you are moving from one relatively rare resource to a larger set of much rarer resources. The materials required to make batteries are in short supply globally and we have far less of them here in the US than we do oil.

In case you try to say we have none, yesterday the GAO itself testified to Congress that in oil shale from the south west states alone we have more oil than all the rest of the worlds known oil reserves. And they estimate at least half of it is recoverable with existing technology.

Now I've said multiple times that I support a true solution like diesel made from algae. But eco-nuts don't want anything that burns period. Nevermind the thousands of jobs that market would create and the highly efficient, fun to drive, and practical cars we could drive as a result. And it would require very little change to our existing infrastructure to implement.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By lelias2k on 5/16/2012 2:36:36 PM , Rating: 2
Did I say anything about global warming? Why in hell do you keep putting words in my replies?

I'll go with something much simpler: lock yourself in your garage and turn on your car. We'll talk tomorrow. No? :|

And do I really have to explain the economical consequences?

Everything is a freaking fantasy until someone comes and shift paradigms. That's the history of the world.

We have a bunch of things being researched, but unfortunately without money it is hard to revolutionize the world.

I love the idea of solar roadways (, especially because it is something designed to fit into a process already in place (repaving our crappy roads) and presents so many more benefits while costing (theoretically) not much more. That is not a heavily subsidized fantasy, just a possible solution that needs investment, like almost anything else that we have out there today.

There's is so much more going on out there, not just freaking EVs. That's the topic of THIS article, but not of the whole renewable energy movement.

The real problem is that what most people care is "to move freely around this great country" while doing that "cheaply and effectively". Who the hell cares if we could sacrifice a little in order to maybe provide a better future for ourselves and our descendants? Nah, I'll just take the easy and cheap route. With a coke to go, please. :|

RE: Need some Keeir math
By FITCamaro on 5/16/2012 4:42:19 PM , Rating: 2
the consequences of its use are extremely damaging to our planet

That implies you believe that the burning of fossil fuels is damaging the planet. I'm not putting words in your mouth. I'm saying what you're not but still believe.

And carbon monoxide poisoning has nothing to do with whether or not fossil fuels are damaging the planet. Seal your garage and start filling it with water. Talk to you tomorrow.... That was your logic there. Now water is bad for the planet too I guess.

Things you say make no sense because they are not feasible due to cost. Solar roadways? Who's going to pay for it? How long would it last? It would require incredible subsidies to even be remotely feasible. And it would mean roadways would have to be completely replaced every 15-20 years after they're put down since the solar cells would wear out.

The vast majority of the "renewable" energy movement is full of grand ideas that are completely infeasible and/or unaffordable. They never think about the trillions of dollars required to implement them. And then all the issues with the idea even if it was implemented. Solar and wind power doesn't work and still requires other sources of energy to be built. Batteries currently don't meet most people's needs. Now when those things change, they shouldn't need subsidies to survive and I won't have a problem with them. Until then, I'll stand against my money being used to pay for them. Period.

If you believe in them so much though, you're free to use your money to invest in them.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By JediJeb on 5/16/2012 3:51:09 PM , Rating: 2
Exxon Mobil alone had $41 BILLION in profits AFTER taxes. Do you really think they need ANY break?

I have posted this before but just seeing the sum of $41 billion profits does not tell the whole story. Consider that if you have a 401k with mutual funds, or almost any type of retirement other than Social Security that uses mutual funds or stocks, you will find that it is invested in those big oil companies. Let's say a meager 10 million people have investments in Exxon Mobile through retirement accounts. Just splitting that profit evenly among those people would only give them $4,100 into their retirement accounts for a year. If 100 million people are invested into Exxon Mobile and they all get even splits then they will receive $410 into their retirement accounts. Now not everyone is invested evenly into Exxon Mobile and not all of those profits will got into payouts to stock holders, but even if it did those stock holders end up getting not so much return out of that $41 billion profit. Overall it may seem like a huge sum, but when spread out among all the people invested in the company, it doesn't go as far as you might think. Also unless those accounts are Roth IRAs then eventually there is going to be a bunch of taxes paid on those already taxed profits when people begin to cash out of their retirement plans, so the government is still going to get more tax revenue from it, actually to some extent double dipping as they will receive taxes on money that in a sense has already been taxed once.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By lelias2k on 5/16/2012 4:37:55 PM , Rating: 2
Oh yeah, sorry, they are really poor and we should just give away all the breaks they can get.

But hey, don't even think about creating any incentives to companies looking for alternatives. Let's just keep doing the same old thing. It has worked so well for us.

On the other hand, looking at it from your way of explaining things and considering we have about 70 million tax payers in the US, the 465 million loan (and not giveaway...) given to Tesla to build the Model S comes to about $6.50 per person. Yeah, I'll give up a beer to try and see if it will work out. :)

RE: Need some Keeir math
By Keeir on 5/16/2012 4:41:09 PM , Rating: 2
You know what your problem is?

You don't understand how business works.

Exxon may have made ~41 billion in profits... but they also had sales of 486 billion. Thats a profit margin of 8.6%.

Microsoft makes a profit margin of 33%!

General Mills makes 11.5%

Boeing makes 5.8%

VW makes 9.92%

Wells Fargo makes 20%

Wal-Mart makes 3.68%

Given this spread, Oil company making between 5-15% profit doesn't seem unreasonable.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By bah12 on 5/16/2012 9:08:20 AM , Rating: 3
He said tether so. 50-130 mile is accurate for a round trip meaning if you plan on coming back the same day you cannot travel more than 50-100 miles. Think dog on a chain. If you plan on staying 4hrs at your destination and they let you charge there then sure you can extend that, but his comment is spot on.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By Mint on 5/16/2012 1:11:27 PM , Rating: 2
Thank you. You'd think that people on a tech site would be intelligent enough to realize that most people come back home after driving somewhere...

RE: Need some Keeir math
By nolisi on 5/15/2012 10:16:28 PM , Rating: 5
You won't convince these people. Anytime you bring up the subject of electric/hybrid cars, their instinct is to compare the vehicle to econoboxes that are completely outclassed by many of these vehicles in size, amenities, and style. They become so blind that leather seats in a luxury vehicle become equivalent to cloth buckets in a hatch back because they seem to only have the ability to compare one factor in a vehicle at a time, and in this case it's efficiency.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By corduroygt on 5/15/2012 10:56:33 PM , Rating: 2
How do you know the performance of the car rivals the GTR? A S550 or a 750i would be cheaper and faster. Especially in metrics like 60-100 mph acceleration where EV's start to run out of breath?

RE: Need some Keeir math
By topkill on 5/15/2012 11:02:49 PM , Rating: 3
Especially in metrics like 60-100 mph acceleration where EV's start to run out of breath?

Do you know some facts about the Model S and its performance? I'd be interested in your source for this statement. Do you have one or are you just making assumptions?

RE: Need some Keeir math
By macca007 on 5/16/2012 4:42:46 AM , Rating: 2
Are you serious?
Pure Electric cars shit on anything combustion wise when it comes to acceleration,It's instant torque! lol
Go youtube White Zombie car blowing away a GT-R on the drag strip, Just a crappy old Datsun outfitted with electric motors and batteries shits on it's newer Datsun(Nissan hehe).
Think you may be referring to Hybrids which are pretty sluggish. The problem with electric cars is not the acceleration it is the range and the price,Both of which will continue to improve. Combustion engines have had how many decades to improve? Electric motors (for cars) has had bugger all time spent on them.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By cpeter38 on 5/16/2012 10:42:38 AM , Rating: 2
Have you driven one?

Electric motor acceleration is great off the line, but the torque drop off as you speed up is *not* great. Although the Tesla Roadster (Sport) is much faster in 0-60 than the Porsche Boxster (3.7s vs 4.3s), they have identical 60-80 (1.6s). There is no comparison at higher speed. The Boxster 80-100 time is about half of the Roadster time (3.3s vs 5.1s). See for more info.

Electric motors (for cars) has had bugger all time spent on them.


At the turn of the [20th] century, 40 percent of American automobiles were powered by steam, 38 percent by electricity, and 22 percent by gasoline. (

Even if engineers were able to make electric motors better, what improvement do you think is available? They are already 95% efficient! The battery is the problem/issue. Nothing else.

ICE cars won the early competition because they were more practical.

They still are.

RE: Need some Keeir math
By 91TTZ on 5/16/2012 10:48:10 AM , Rating: 1
Are you serious? Pure Electric cars shit on anything combustion wise when it comes to acceleration,It's instant torque! lol

So let's compare a 2012 Nissan Leaf to my 1991 Nissan 300ZX Twin Turbo:

Leaf 0-60: high 9's
300ZX 0-60: low 5's.

Combustion engines have had how many decades to improve? Electric motors (for cars) has had bugger all time spent on them.

The first cars were electric. The electric motor is older and more mature than the internal combustion engine. Electric cars used to outclass gasoline-powered cars in almost every respect until the internal combustion engine was improved upon.

The sad fact is that the performance of electric cars has barely improved due to fundamental limitations in battery technology.

You can buy a 2012 Nissan Leaf with a 73 mile range today, but you could have bought a Fritchle Electric with a 100 mile range 104 years ago:

RE: Need some Keeir math
By sigmatau on 5/16/2012 5:20:38 PM , Rating: 2
He doesn't and it is wishfull thinking that this EV will even come close to a GTR. It's beyond laughable. There is a reason why the GTR is called Godzilla.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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