While walking through the UTC mall after a rough night of Christmas shopping, I stopped to gaze through the window at the Tesla store to look upon the Tesla S with range envy and dreams of driving 400 + miles on a single charge.
The EPA’s official range for the Tesla S luxury model equipped with an 85 kWh lithium-ion battery pack is 265 miles, which is amazing in comparison to the Leaf’s meager 73 miles. I could drive from San Diego to Santa Barbara on a single charge or drive from San Diego to LA and back on a single charge.
Now this is the kind of range an EV needs to supplant the family car. Unfortunately, the luxury of range comes with a luxury price tag. The Tesla S Signature Performance model will set you back $110k. It’s not really in the family car price range but you will be able to get a 60 kWh version for less than $60k. It’s still not in that family car sweet spot but then it doesn’t look or perform like a family car either.
What I like best about the Tesla S is that it proves an EV can have the performance and “full tank” range comparable to a conventional car. While it does cost more to have this kind of range, the value is there and evident in the cost/mile of range. If you compare the cost and range of the Tesla 60 kWh model, $288/mile, to the Leaf’s $479/mile, you get a lot more value than you might think.