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.