Musk says it would’ve already been official if not for a mistake on EPA’s side

Elon Musk surprised many people by announcing a profitable first quarter amid the pandemic. During this call, he also claimed that the Tesla Model S has achieved an official 400-mile range as per EPA ratings, but it wasn’t made official due to a fault during testing. Currently, the Model S Long Range Plus is rated at 391 miles, but Musk says as soon testing opens, the Model S will be tested again and it will achieve a rating of over 400 miles.

The Model S Will Be Tested Again Once EPA Reopens

Tesla Model S Could Become The First Car To Have An EPA-Rated Range Of Over 400 Miles
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t the Q1 earnings call this week, Musk said that the Tesla Model S’ range in the Long Range Plus trim should be over 400 miles today.

He claimed that the EPA didn’t rate the Model S accurately due to an error. “When we did the last EPA test, unfortunately, EPA left the car door open and the keys in the car,” he said. Because of this, the car was put into “waiting for driver mode” which resulted in a loss of two-percent range. He added that “As soon as the EPA reopens for testing, we will redo the test, and we’re extremely confident that we’ll achieve a 400-mile or greater range with the Model S.”

What Are The Current Ratings For The Model S?

Tesla Model S Could Become The First Car To Have An EPA-Rated Range Of Over 400 Miles
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Tesla currently sells the Model S in the Long Range Plus and Performance trims. The Long Range Plus trim emphasizes the range over performance. The EPA-estimated range is currently 391 miles, but Musk claims that this range today should be over 400 miles. This trim churns out 417 horses and it takes 3.7 seconds to sprint to 62 mph. The car tops out at 155 mph.

The Model S Long Range Plus could soon become the first EV to breach the 400-mile range as per EPA ratings.
Tesla Model S Long Range specifications
Model Tesla Model S Long Range
Range 391 miles
Horsepower 417 HP
0 to 62 mph 3.7 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph
Tesla Model S Could Become The First Car To Have An EPA-Rated Range Of Over 400 Miles
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In the Performance spec, the car sprint to 62 mph from a standstill in 2.4 seconds only, thanks to the 762 horses available at your disposal in the Ludicrous mode. The top speed is rated at 163 mph. It comes with an EPA-estimated range of 348 miles, which is very good for a car that weighs almost 5,000 pounds. Both the trims come with a 100kWh battery pack. When connected to the Supercharger, the Model S needs about an hour to charge completely. 20 minutes of charging will add about 125 miles of range. It goes unsaid that there will be an increase in the range rating in the trim as well, but we aren’t sure if Musk will have it tested.

Tesla Model S Performance specifications
Model Tesla Model S Performance
Range 348 miles
Horsepower 762 HP
0 to 62 mph 2.4 seconds
Top Speed 163 mph

The Improved Range Comes Without Increasing The Battery Capacity

Tesla Model S Could Become The First Car To Have An EPA-Rated Range Of Over 400 Miles
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Musk further clarified that the improvement in the range was achieved without increasing the battery capacity.

Tesla is constantly finding ways to improve the efficiency of its cars. He even mentioned that the introduction of the new heat pump in the Model Y led to achieving a similar range to the Model 3 despite the former being around 10-percent heavier. The next-best non-Tesla car in terms of range is the Chevy Bolt, rated at 259 miles by the EPA. As per the current rating, the Model S delivers 132 miles more than the Chevy Bolt and this gap will further increase once the Model S is tested again and rated over 400 miles.

Final Thoughts

Tesla Model S Could Become The First Car To Have An EPA-Rated Range Of Over 400 Miles
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While automakers are doing everything possible to survive through this pandemic and reduce financial losses as much as possible, Tesla has surprised everyone and announced a profitable first quarter of 2020. This sure was an interesting piece of news delivered to the shareholders, but the increased range of the Model S was the highlight. With this, Tesla has further widened the gap – unofficially, at this moment - with the next best non-Tesla EPA-rated car, the Chevy Bolt.

Even if the car has just 10 miles of additional range, it will have a huge psychological impact on potential customers who are holding off on their decision to move to EVs purely because of the range issues. Once it’s official, do you think this will lead to increased sales? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

Sidd Dhimaan
Associate Editor and Truck Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. He is currently our pickup truck expert and focuses his attention on heavy-duty and off-road vehicles.  Read More
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