I am just getting to the point where I am hoping that we will get some solid info on the 40 and 60 kWh Model S's soon. I am starting to fear that the 40 is nothing more than a better looking Nissan Leaf, and not really a car that can be your primary vehicle if you live more than 25 miles from work. I made my reservation planning on buying a 40, and if I need to step up to a 60, I need as much notice as possible, so I can start figuring out how I am going to come up with the $10k difference. If they are unable or unwilling to give hard numbers on the 40 at this time, at least giving reservation holders an assurance that they will be able to change their order or defer to a latter date would go a long way to easing our fears. My number is high enough that this may or may not be an issue, but I am sure that there are people receiving the email to configure already who are in the same situation that I am.
I think the 40 could only be better than 40/85 times the above range graph. If that's good enough for you then you should be fine.
Personally I would strongly recommend the 60. That gives you Roadster-type range, and that is ample for in-town use.
Rifleman, I highly doubt the range is going to be under 100 miles. Like I said before, 140 miles is what I expect the EPA estimate to be, which gives plenty of leeway for varying conditions.
When I first looked at the Model S I was dead set on the 40 kWh option since I recognize that well over 90% of my (and most people's) driving is well within a 100 mile radius (for commuting, running errands, going out to eat, to the gym, etc.). For the few times I'd need to make a road trip I'd either rent a car (or use my current ICE, if I decide to keep it). Quite frankly, I'd rather put the miles on a rental or beater for longer trips anyways! But if I don't end up getting the MSP (because I would love that Performance), then I am a bit torn whether to get the 40 kWh or 60 kWh. The 85 kWh option is pointless to me, since that extra range will essentially be used once in a blue moon, and the 0.3 second 0-60 benefit from 60 kWh to 85 kWh is pretty much negligible. On the other hand, going from 40 kWh to 60 kWh gives you extra range you're more likely to use (or benefit from as degradation sets in), you get a full 0.6 seconds improved 0-60 time, and have the added ability to SuperCharge.
I'm getting the 60kWh so that I have the range for somewhat longer trips, like Monterey or Sacramento (with a little opportunity charging perhaps), and so that I have the ability to Supercharge.
R129 - 85kWh White/Tan
The 40kWh Model S will likely be slightly more efficient than the 85kWh (because of lower weight), but I don't expect as much as Tesla predicts (300mi/85kWh=3.53mi/kWh, 160/40kWh=4mi/kwh, corresponding to 101mpge for the 40kWh Model S, ~15% better). If you use Tesla's (likely optimistic) prediction, then scale 265mi*160mi/300mi = 141 miles EPA. If you want to be conservative (assume 40kWh is not more efficient than 85kWh), just scale the 265mi*40kWh/85kWh = 125mi EPA range.
Because there are tons of crazy people in this world...
Nissan Leaf Lifetime Wall to Wheels : 3.9 m/kwh, Dash : 4.6 m/kwh
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