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Tesla Model S 60kWh, Getting More Than You Pay For, Apparently

Tesla Model S Performs Better Than Stated
Tesla Model S Performs Better Than Stated

People interested in the Tesla Model S over other electric vehicles are probably looking at two things that other EVs are hard-pressed to meet: performance and range.

Not many people will be interested in the straight-line acceleration of the Nissan Leaf, for example, which does 0-60mph in just shy of 8s. This is the kind of performance you expect from a big V8 V6 but EV torque puts it all right on the line. Still with a short 73mi range and cramped accommodations, EV drivers might be interested in something that’s a little bit, well, more.

With the Tesla Model S 85kWh Performance EV, performance is right there, in the name, and even has up to 300 miles range. Going back to the charts, this version of the Model S goes 0-60mph in just 3.9s, right up there in supercar territory. Stepping down the 60kWh version, how much of a hit on performance and range are you really looking at?

According to the guys over at Zeroto60times, the Tesla Model S 60kWh in 2012 hits 0-60mph 5.9s, with the 85kWh battery, that time drops to 5.4s. Time for some real-world testing, well, sort-of, because we don’t all go around doing 0-60mph sprints on our way to work, unless you drive like… [never mind].

Drag Times took a Tesla Model S 60kWh, and put it through its paces, specifically the 0-60mph sprints. They found that their car consistently performed better than the official Tesla estimates, just 5.1s in the best cases. What does that mean for someone considering the Tesla Model S 60kWh over the 85kWh? Considering the minimal differences between the performance of the two vehicles, perhaps the only question is how much are you willing to spend for the extra 35mi 57mi EPA-estimated range that the 85kWh offers? Is 35mi 57mi or an hour of driving worth $10,000 or even $25,000?

UPDATE: I had erroneously mixed up my quarter-mile and 0-60mph times, as well as mixed up the EPA and Tesla Motors range estimates. Hopefully it’s all straightened out now.

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  1. The Nissan Leaf does 0-60 in 7 sec. best case scenario. However, that is not big V8 territory. That is V6 territory. V8s are found in the 5 sec. or less range, at least for cars.

    The Tesla Model S 85kw charges up a little bit faster and has according to the EPA 56 miles more range, not 35. That’s that much less range anxiety; well worth it to many people. If the 60kw Model S can get to 60mph in 5.1 sec., the 85kw can probably do it in less than 5 sec.

    • TecnamTwin kw=power, kwh=energy..big difference! A 85kw model probably wouldn’t do it in less than 5 sec. 😉

      • @EV_Fan TecnamTwin Good point. The 60kw is looking better and better. However, an extra hour of driving range is worth it to me.

    • TecnamTwin You know, I’m getting my 0-60 and 1/4mi times mixed up. sorry. 8 sec 1/4mi would be big V8 territory. on the other hand, the 85kWh Model S Performance is 3.9s with a 310kW motor, or 416hp. the 60kWh motor is only rated at 225kW/302hp, but the guys at drag times were measuring 320hp on the track. 🙂


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