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Is Tesla being modest on its Model S P100D EPA-rated range?

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The EPA has published range ratings for Tesla’s latest long range 100 kWh Model S P100D, giving the vehicle a rating of 305.9 miles for city driving and 346.9 miles for highway. The EPA applies these numbers to a formula that combines the weighted average of City and Highway range values to determine an overall range rating for a vehicle. City values are weighted at 55% while the Highway value is given a weight of 45%. Presumably, this is how Tesla determined the 315 miles of EPA-rated range per single charge for its Model S P100D, however the math just doesn’t add up. In fact, Tesla may actually be understating its range by 2.5% or approximately 8 miles. The Model S P100D really has a range of 323 miles of range per single charge.

Is Tesla being modest on its P100D range?

The folks at InsideEVs have uncovered the latest range data published by the EPA for the 2016 Tesla Model S P100D. Comparing the range differences between the P90D and the P100D, we can see that Tesla has been able to produce a staggering 45 miles of extra range from adding an extra 10 kWh of battery capacity.

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Source: InsideEVs

We already know that the P100D is capable of producing staggering performance numbers – having recently bested an all wheel drive Lamborghini Huracan in a heads up drag race – by redesigning the internal components of its 100 kWh battery pack. But what we’re seeing based on the EPA-published City and Highway numbers is that Tesla may have voluntarily selected a lower range estimate.

Using the EPA weighted formula to calculate range:

Miles of range = 1/(0.55/City + 0.45/Highway)

We can see that a Model S P90D has a rounded 270 miles of total range by plugging in the City and Highway values into the formula.  Tesla Model S P90D = 1/(0.55/259.6 + 0.45/283.4) ~= 269.796 miles

Now if we’re to plug in the range numbers for the new Model S P100D, we see that the computed range is actually 323.083 miles as opposed to Tesla’s published 315 miles of range. That’s right. It would appear that the new 100 kWh battery is even more remarkable than what’s being stated. This, perhaps, could be one of the reasons why Tesla CEO Elon Musk has hinted at not producing a battery beyond 100 kWh of capacity.

Regardless of the reason, we can only imagine what’s to come in terms of performance and range improvements with Tesla’s upcoming Model 3 and beyond.

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