85kw model s real life range test

I decided to take a week of Los Angeles short distance commuting to see how far my model s 85kw performance will go according to true life parameters. I thought this would be helpful to owners out there. I charged it to the recommended 240 miles (to preserve ultimate battery life). Then I drove my typical 10-20 miles a day. I admit I am an aggressive driver, and usually never miss an opportunity to gun it, but for this week I drove "grandmother slow". I averaged 390 Mw/ mile. With aggressive driving I am typically in the 450-500 mW/mile range. I was surprised how fast the range was dropping. When I left the house on the final morning it showed 43 miles easily enough to drive the 15 miles I had to go that day. Well with a bit of anxiety I creeped into my driveway at the end of the day with 11 miles on the range left, no climate control, barely hitting the gas pedal out of fear. So how far did I actually make it?..........132 miles.

Honestly, it takes nothing away from my love of the car. I know I must simply charge it regularly, avoid the hot doggin range testing. I have driven 1100 mile since my delivery December 22, and couldn't be happier!

Why didn't you charge it between drives? I don't see how this was as much a range test as one where you tested the vampire drain in between rides.

Glad you like your new Tesla!

@Jewsh - exactly - since the range loss from the onboard electronics is 8 mi/day without sleep mode, you are spending nearly as much on that as you are moving the car.

Not to mention multiple times of heating the battery et al up to temp. The first 5-10 miles every morning are higher energy use getting everything up to temp. Agree with Jewsh that this is not a range test.

However, this is a good test of actual energy use per mile over the course of a week of low mileage driving. If the reality is that in normal city driving we only get 130 - 140 miles out of a 68 kwh charge (80% of 85 kwh), then that significantly changes the economics of owning the car. I too love my car but don't want to be deluded about its real energy efficiency.

Any thoughts on how to minimize the 'vampire drain'? Is 'sleep mode' something above and beyond the normal mode when the car is locked and the key is not nearby?

I can add my experience, too. A few days ago I had a business meeting 75 miles from my house with 95% of the drive along Interstate Highway. I have 85 kW battery and left my house with 234 charge/range. I drove fairly aggressive, but nothing dangerous, as my S is my stress-relief therapy. There was a 20-mile stretch of Interstate that is posted 75 mph, which I drove at 90 mph along with the rest of traffic in the fast lane. Temps were 35-40F.

I did not even worry about range as I arrived to my destination with 135 miles left, spent 4-hours in a meeting, and then returned home. I pulled into my garage with 30 miles left and was happy because I ran the car fairly hard and she passed my test with ease.

Sleep mode reduces the vampire load to zero. It was available in one of the earlier software releases, but apparently it was causing other software issues. Tesla abandoned it in the 4.2 release, but announced plans to re-initiate it at a later date.

that was not a relevant test for the us of an EV. they are meant to be plugged in daily. you did not test a real use case.

Well it seems that it wasn't helpful to you owners.....

Thanks abweiss:

It's a great data for those who don't have a plug at home for the car.

Most people whom I show my car to don't have a house. They live in either apartments or condominiums with no access to an outlet where they park.

I would say that this car is not just for home owners but for renters and those who don't have an electrical outlet.

I would not buy an EV, any EV, if I could not plug it in at home.

Sleep mode needs to be brought back and surely will be. Then this test can be done again with meaningful results.

As Tam says, this is a very helpful test and does address a real use case for those who live in an apartment and for whom it is not convenient to charge every night. As I posted in another thread, I am in a situation where my apartment does not have a charging station, but there are some stations within a few blocks, so I am hoping that I can get away with driving my 10 mile commute for several days before needing to plug in overnight and walk back to my apartment. It is good to know that 132 miles is a realistic number before needing to recharge.

Just one question - over how many days did you drive the 132 miles? 5 days? This is relevant because, as others have mentioned, the vampire drain when parked overnight is a significant factor in the equation. Thanks.

@Tam - re: living in an apt/condo; the nice thing about living in SoCal, there are laws stating that your condo HOAs have to allow you to install a charger, and there's a $2k rebate as well. When my wife got her Leaf last October we had a Blink level 2 pedestal charger installed in our underground garage, wired to our meter, at no expense to us. (Would have gotten a wall charger but we were not allowed to drill into the wall because of some waterproofing)

If you'd recorded rated miles each day when you parked at home and work and when you set out, the vampire and range kWh could have been allocated and analysed. Just not enough info yet.

@abweiss you are a really aggressive driver, I average about 350 whm for the car, about 2600 miles now, it should be obvious the heavier your foot is on the Go paddle, the less range you will get. I have seen others report closer to 300 whm. Your mileage may vary applies to EVs too.


"Well it seems that it wasn't helpful to you owners....."

I apologize if I came off sounding rude. I merely wanted to point out that range is different from the longevity of a charge. I believe your findings still have merit, just in a different context than range.

I think any experiment with regards to driving habits and range is useful. Keep em coming!

I have a question: Lets say i drive up to my winter cabin in Norway in -15C below, and leave the car for a week or two unplugged, can i expect the projected mileage will remain unchanged as when i left it? The car would be in a idle state, exposed to heavy snow and cold temperatures, even humidity due to morning sun melting the ice. Thanks!

@MCB - no. Currently, you will lose about 8mi/day just powering the electronics. Much of that loss will go away when they add sleep mode back, but until then you have to plan for it.

Aside from that, you will use significant power just keeping the battery warm at those temperatures. I don't know how much.

If you can plug it in even at 120V you should be fine though.

Thank you. 8 Mi/12,8km per day is not bad really. The carpark is pretty far from the cabin, but with a little planning it will be no problem. Maybe i can install a portable solar-panel on the roof or something :)

Jat: No 120V in Norway, we have 230V and 400V.

-15C should not damage the battery, so there is no reason to keep it warm when parked for a week. The Leaf only turn on it's battery heater at under -20C.

With a very cold battery at -15C the car won't know the correct SoC of the battery and will display a very limited range untill the battery warms up.

I've just had mine for about a month now. Drove it for about 1800 miles. Been at a steady average of about 300 Wh/mi. This includes most of the driving in about 80-95 degree F weather. Meaning I've had to have my A/C running. Also, much of my driving has been on highways.

Here is what I've seen:
1. The biggest consumption/impact seems to be going uphill.
2. Now that much of a difference using A/C, versus just the fan running.
3. The lowest energy consumption I've noticed on a 30 mile range is about 235 Wh/mi. (Yeah... and I wasn't driving like a granny!)
4. In the end, I've still managed a rough energy consumption of about 300 Wh/mi.
5. It appears the rated range seems to be based on a usage of about 300 Wh/mi as well... So, I'm running almost perfect to the rated range (with A/C on).
6. Most important part... Have loved driving every mile of it!!! :)

I drove from valley to Tahoe for day. 6000 ft. elevation gain, air on, driving at @ speed limit +or- depending on traffic. Left with 270 rated miles returned with 103. Round trip we travelled 173 miles using @ 295 wh/mi. Car handled the mountains really well, was surprised both by the smaller than expected range loss on way up and the bigger than expected gain on way down. Going up used about 380 wh/mi, coming down about 55 wh/mi. This was a kind if test for our car to see if it would allow for Tahoe travel without charging, which is doable. I still would like supercharger in Truckee instead of Reno, would allow more freedom driving at leisure around lake.

What was your speed going up? I use over 500 wH/mi going up Cajon in California.

@jonlivesay - What time of year was your drive? I'm on the wait list for a Model X, and I'm wondering how it would handle the drive from Bishop to Mammoth - up the grade, in winter/snow and how that would affect the range. I'm curious where the expected superchargers along 395 will actually be.

Thanks, Teslabruin. I'm guessing we don't have to ask what color your MS is :)

Got my MS85 a few days ago and took my first business trip yesterday, driving from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and back. Before leaving, I did a Max Range charge & started out with 270 miles of range. While in BR, I went to two meetings, took clients to lunch, and then drove home. When I got back to my office in NOLA, I had driven 175 miles, and the car showed 80 miles of range left, so it used 190 miles of range. During the day, I did one rocket launch for the clients, otherwise I drove like I normally would, setting the cruise control at 72-73 mph on I-10. Outside temps were in the mid-90s, so A/C blasted the whole way. VERY happy with those results.

FWIW, I ordered the car on June 16, finalized on June 26 and took delivery on August 4. Like everyone who is on these forums, I knew that parking sensors, etc. were on their way, but I didn't want to wait for them. I also knew that the nearest supercharger (Port St. Lucie)is more than 750 miles away and that the nearest service center (Houston) is 350 miles away. I hope that Tesla makes good on their plans for Superchargers along the Gulf Coast and a service center in New Orleans, but if not I'm going to enjoy this ride anyway for as long as it lasts. My eyes were wide open going into this, so no complaints from this quarter.

Needless to say, the car is a joy in every respect!

I live in the Sierra foothills between Grass Valley and Auburn. I drove my 85, with three passengers from my home at 1200 feet to Mount Rose Summit at 9000 feet. The remaining 2000 feet of climbing to the peak of Mt Rose were done without the benefit of the Tesla. Total driving distance 190 miles, Total elevation Gain over 10,000 feet. I drove normally at or above the speed limit, occasionally accelerating aggressively to pass. On the return trip the car GOM showed 98 miles remaining in Truckee. I chickened out and we charged at Level II for an hour while eating dinner and gained about 20 miles. Made it home with 85 miles still showing on the GOM. Did not really need the charge for the car though it was really necessary for me to take on fuel. Having driven a LEAF for two years I was really impressed that the Tesla was able to do all that climbing with minimal impact on range.

After nearly 2,000 miles I'm averaging 290 kWh/mile and I'm very close to the rated range. My daily drive is 60 miles round trip, mostly Houston freeway. I use about 18 kWh per day.

I was driving 60 MPH (same as I do in my Excursion) but I've found that driving 65 makes little difference to the range. I took it on two trips that necessitated a charge to Beaumont and Austin. Both trips came in between 275 and 280 kWh/mile.

It is possible to get the rated range but that's assuming little stop-and-go and no rabbit starts...although even with my P85 showing it off around Beaumont and a few max acceleration runs, I still got 280.

I have an experience almost identical to Velo1 in a February post above. My first trip in the 85 Model S was to a party 75 miles away. Mixed city and highway driving. The trip was from Livingston NJ to Bay Shore Long Island, with a pick up and drop off in Manhattan. The car performed beautifully. I drove quickly in short spurts, to let the kids have fun in the back, and I'm an aggressive driver, but I tried to stay moderate on long stretches, setting cruise control at 65ish. (I did hit the juice, hard, more than a couple times just for fun). Outside temp was 35 and inside about 67. Left Livingston with 234 miles of charge, got to Manhattan (21 miles) with 202. Parked for an hour, then arrived at Bay Shore (54 miles) with 134 miles of range. At the party for about 3 hours. Got back to Manhattan with 70 miles left, then back to Livingston with 38 miles left on the gauge. So, round trip 150 mile trip took 198 miles of range. That's a bit scary but over time I will figure out how to drive in ways that maximize range.

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