Logging 320 miles at 75 mph puts the Model S’s range on par with that of some gas-powered cars.
- In our highway fuel-economy testing, a Tesla Model S Long Range Plus went 320 miles at an average speed of 75 mph.
- This is the first EV that’s broken the 300-mile barrier in our range testing.
- The Long Range Plus model has the same 100.0-kWh battery pack as its predecessors, such as the Model S 100D, which went 270 miles in the same test. Tesla unlocked the extra range with a series of efficiency-minded modifications to the rest of the car.
In the five years since we started conducting a 200-mile highway fuel-economy test, we’ve had the pleasure and inconvenience of running the test on a wide array of EVs. The test involves an out-and-back loop of a 100-mile stretch of interstate taken at a cruise-controlled 75 mph. Often, a highway fuel economy test of an EV involves a shortened loop and a lot of nail-biting on the part of whichever test driver has been assigned to the task. But when we recently got our hands on a Tesla Model S Long Range Plus, the scene was different. No shortened loop, no nerves. We had to lengthen the course instead, notching 320 miles at 75 mph, the best result of any EV yet.
The Model S Long Range Plus was a flash in the pan of Tesla’s lineup. Announced in June 2020 with an EPA-estimated 402 miles of range, it’s already off the menu as Tesla prepares for the launch of the Model S Long Range, Plaid, and Plaid Plus, which promise 412, 390, and more than 520 miles of range, respectively (not to mention claims of sub-two-second zero-to-60-mph times for the Plaids). But even if it’s destined to be quickly overshadowed by an even more impressive sibling, the lucky few who bought a Long Range Plus while it was available should take heart in knowing that, for now, they’re driving the only EV on the road that could actually beat certain gas cars in a range battle.
The Model S Long Range Plus would tie in a range war with a Mustang Shelby GT500, which earned 20 mpg during our highway fuel-economy test and has a 16-gallon fuel tank. And that’s only if the driver of the GT500 could resist the siren call of the Predator V-8 and stick to a 75-mph cruise. At the 320-mile mark, the low fuel light would probably be on in a Jeep Renegade, which earned 29 mpg on our test but has a 360-mile range between fill-ups.
The Model S Long Range Plus has a 100.0-kWh battery, the same capacity of its predecessors such as the 2018 Model S 100D, which had 335 miles of range according to the EPA methodology and went 270 miles in our highway range test. Tesla eked out 67 extra miles of EPA range by employing a number of efficiency measures, including shaving weight from the car’s interior, adding model-specific aerodynamic wheels and tires, and making tweaks to the electric motor. Those changes also helped us go 422.7 miles in a different Long Range Plus during a test in which we drove at 65 mph instead of the 75 mph we use for our highway fuel-economy test. We’re eager to get our hands on a Model S Plaid Plus, as it claims nearly 30 percent more range, but the launch of that trim has been delayed until the middle of next year, so the Long Range Plus should hold our EV highway range crown for a while.
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