The newly refreshed Model S 90D received a new EPA rating of 294 miles of range per single charge – up from the previous rating of 270 miles – courtesy of improved aerodynamics and suspected upgrades to its torque sleep management system.
But behind the impressive boost in range lies an even more impressive number that’s normally hidden from view. Tesla’s 90 kWh Model 90D has been rated by the EPA at 303.2 miles of highway range per single charge, crossing for the first time ever the elusive 300 mile milestone.
Taking a look at the data made available by the EPA (reference 2016 Datafile), we can see a 6% increase in highway range between the previous and most recent generation of the dual motor Model S 90D.
The reason for the 6% change, as first noted by InsideEVs, could be because “The new 90D was listed by Tesla at 294 miles of range, versus the old 270-mile EPA rating (which was actually based on the 85 kWh car – the 90 kWh version was not originally re-tested/certified for greater range via increased battery capacity) and Tesla’s previous 288-mile estimate.”
According to the Model S page on Tesla.com, the 90D with 19″ wheels is capable of traveling 302 miles per charge under ideal driving conditions consisting of a 65 mph travel speed, 70 degree Fahrenheit outside temperature, and climate control disabled.
The EPA on the other hand rates electric vehicle battery range based on a “5-cycle” test which attempts to simulate typical driving behaviors from the city and highway. Unlike city driving that generally requires a higher rate of stop-and-go driving with constantly changing speed, the EPA Highway test cycle assumes the Model S will accelerate up to speed, with minor variations in speed, and maintain a fairly high speed throughout the test. This is where the dual motor configuration of the Model S, and the sophisticated algorithms responsible for controlling torque across each of the individual electric motors, really shines through and allows it to reach an unprecedented EPA rating of 303.2 miles of highway range per single charge.
With the rumored possibility that Tesla will introduce a Model S P100D with 100 kWh battery pack, presumably with improved battery chemistry and battery management software, we could see EPA range ratings near 350 miles and as high as 400 miles in the very near future.
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