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Published on November 7th, 2015 | by Kyle Field


Tesla Range Calculator Highlights Impact of Temperature, Speed, Wheels

November 7th, 2015 by  

We cover a lot of Tesla news here and that’s because Tesla is bringing disruptive change across the auto industry on a very regular basis. But while its innovation and cool tech may be the sexy parts of the company, it is leading the charge on an electric vehicle revolution that is one of the key components in reducing human greenhouse gas emissions (which are leading to global climate change, which ultimately threatens our ability to live on this planet).


Screen capture of Tesla Model S webpage.

But I digress. When it comes to educating the masses on EVs, Tesla has a great calculator on its Model S webpage that shows the impact of speed, outside temperature, passenger air heating/cooling, and rim diameter on the range of its cars. While this is obviously a tool to help potential customers get comfortable with the range in Teslas, and how it will be impacted by a variety of factors, these insights apply to all EVs, as they are similarly affected by how we drive, the outside temperature, use of heating/air conditioning, and, interestingly, the size of the rims on the car.

In playing with the calculator, you are able to change the inputs and see the range estimates at those conditions update in real-time. I was impressed at how much of an impact highway speed had on the vehicle, and surprised by the increases driven by higher temperatures. For example, the 85D will get 279 miles of range at 50° F (65 mph/19″ rims) but at 110° F, that increases to 301 miles of range.

My first inclination was to try to maximize the range, and I found that dropping the speed to 45 mph at 110° F with no AC (!) on 19″ rims should allow me to drive 431 miles. Turning on the AC axes that achievement, taking off a staggering 93 miles of range (bringing it to 338 miles of range), revealing just how much energy AC requires, especially when it’s 110° out. 🙂

Also note that the range calculator will drop no lower than 45 mph, but if you drive even slower than that, you can eke even more miles out of your battery. The current Model S distance record is 550 miles. Corey Spencer achieved this record (which crushed the previous record of 453 miles) by driving an average of 23 mph, while also doing some other things to maximize battery life.

Back to the range calculator, though, you can find it on the Tesla Model S page by scrolling down almost to the very bottom. Bonus points if you can rock it till the wheels fall off.


Screen capture of Tesla Model S webpage.

This video from YouTuber Hubert Dekock provides a brief overview:


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About the Author

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. TSLA investor.

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