This is a big achievement not just for Tesla, but for EVs in general as well

Tesla now holds the bragging rights to be the first EV automaker to offer a 400-plus mile range on the Model S. Musk had already announced this during the first quarter’s earnings call earlier this year.

During this call, he had 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 the agency’s fault. After a few rounds of blame-game and mud-slinging, Tesla has finally won the battle and announced the result on Twitter and updated the Model S’ official page with an EPA rating of 402 miles. Elon Musk must be a happy man now.

There’s a Long Story Behind the Model S’ Boost in Ranget

At the first quarter’s earnings call, Elon Musk said that the Model S received a 391-mile rating and claimed that the EPA didn’t rate the Model S accurately.

“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 two-percent loss in range. EPA later told The Verge, “We can confirm that EPA tested the vehicle properly, the door was closed, and we are happy to discuss any technical issues with Tesla, as we do routinely with all automakers.”

Hearing this, Musk tweeted, “Weird that EPA would deny this. We have precise car logs that confirm it happened. Happy to provide them.” He further added, “Anyway, we’re just talking about 2% here, so not much. Confident Model S will get 400+ miles as soon as retest is allowed.”

Fast-forward a month and the rating for the Model S is 402 miles. This makes the Tesla Model S the first electric car to breach the 400-mile range barrier.

The Model S Performance Doesn’t See An Improvement

Tesla Model S Officially Becomes The First EV To Boast A 400-Plus Mile Range
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It has come at the right time. Lucid Air, designed by the man behind the Tesla Model S, Peter Rawlinson, will debut later this year and is also expected to receive a rating of more than 400 miles. This, perhaps, led to the engineers to develop a more efficient Model S before the Lucid Air arrives. This rating, by the way, is for the Long Range Plus trim. The Performance trim’s range is still rated at 348 miles as before.

Musk has already clarified that the improvement in the range was achieved without increasing the battery capacity. The automaker keeps looking at different ways to make the battery as efficient as possible. 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. How’s that for a lead, now?

Final Thoughts

Tesla Model S Officially Becomes The First EV To Boast A 400-Plus Mile Range
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Tesla will go into the history books as the first automaker to achieve 400 miles on its car, but it won’t be at the zenith for long. Battery technology is the biggest concern and every automaker is investing financial and technical resources in extracting the best range possible.

With a lot of new companies jumping in, Tesla will sooner or later lose the crown to some other manufacturer, even if temporarily. Share your thoughts on Tesla’s achievements with us in the comments section below.

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

Source: Tesla Model S

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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