Tesla Model S could land 265-mile EPA driving range

Posted by Shane McGlaun

The driving range of an electric vehicle is perhaps one of the most important factors in determining which EV a consumer will ultimately buy.

So-called range anxiety is one of the biggest fears preventing many drivers from even considering an electric vehicle. As such, an EV that boasts a few more miles per charge compared to the competition has a much better chance of wooing prospective buyers.

One of the electric vehicles with the highest claimed driving range is the sleek Tesla Model S.

Indeed, Tesla will offer the car with three different battery packs - giving the model S various ranges: 160 miles, 230 miles, and 300+ miles for the top-of-the-line model.

Unsurprisingly, Tesla recently confirmed that the Model S was capable of driving 320 miles under the old EPA two-cycle economy test.

However, the EPA now uses a tougher five-cycle test methodology, putting the battery packs under a much higher load, which translates to a reduced driving range (Tesla's Roadster EV scored a 245-mile range on the old two-cycle test).

Nevertheless, Tesla's Model S will likely achieve a 265-mile driving range on the new, and tougher, five-cycle test. If this is the case, the impressive range would make the Model S with the largest 85 kWh battery pack the most efficient green vehicle Tesla has ever offered.

The high-end Model S also boasts massive range superiority over one of the more popular electric vehicles on the market, the Nissan Leaf, which offers a 73-mile driving range under the five-cycle EPA test. That being said, the Nissan Leaf is less than half the price of the high-end Model S which stickers over $100,000.

While Tesla is anticipating the biggest and most expensive battery pack to land a 265-mile EPA driving range, the cheaper vehicles are likely to be the most common models sold. Tesla is betting that the Model S with the smallest battery pack will get around 141 miles with the new five-cycle test, while the midrange will score 203 miles. The entry-level battery pack offers 40 kWh, while the midrange pack provides  60 kWh capacity. Prices for the Model S scales from $57,400 all the way up to $105,400.