Tesla clarifies range estimates for Model S family

December 31, 2014
Responding to range discrepancies with the new dual-motor Model S variants, Tesla Motors has promised a software update and clarified expected driving distances for the whole sedan family.
The company notes that the dual-motor 85D and its high-performance counterpart, the flagship P85D, currently drive both motors when the vehicle is cruising. Allowing one of the motors to keep spinning in a “torque sleep” mode will help improve range by approximately 10 percent.

After the torque-sleep software update arrives by the end of January, 85D owners can expect an EPA-cycle estimated range of 270 miles. Single-motor variants (P85+, P85, 85) are slightly behind at 265 miles, while the P85D drops further to 253 miles.

Tesla points out that highway cruising range narrows the range gap, with 285 miles expected from the P85D and single-motor configurations, each driven at 65 mph. The dual-motor 85D still maintains a ten-mile lead, however, with an estimated 295 miles at the same speed. Bringing the speed up to 75 mph results in a 43-46 mile range penalty depending on the model.

Owners or potential buyers can consult Tesla’s updated range tool to determine expected driving distances for a variety of vehicle configurations and driving conditions. The system suggests the P85D driven in the city with 21-inch wheels can lose 106 miles of range in cold conditions if the cabin heater is running.

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