Tesla Model S

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Tesla Model S
2018 Tesla Model S 75D.jpg
ManufacturerTesla, Inc.
Also calledCode name: WhiteStar[1][2][3]
DesignerFranz von Holzhausen
Body and chassis
ClassExecutive car (E)
Body style5-door liftback
RelatedTesla Model X
Electric motorFront and rear motor combined output up to 615 kW (825 bhp), 1,300 N⋅m (960 lb⋅ft), 3-phase AC induction motor
Transmission1-speed fixed gear ratio (9.734:1 or 9.325:1); direct-drive[4][5]
Battery100 kWh lithium ion
Discontinued: 60, 70, 75, 85 and 90 kWh lithium ion
Electric range
  • 75 kWh (270 MJ)
    249–259 mi (401–417 km) (EPA)
  • 85 kWh (310 MJ)
    253–272 mi (407–438 km) (EPA)
    310 mi (500 km) (NEDC)
  • 90 kWh (320 MJ)
    270–294 mi (435–473 km) (EPA)
  • 100 kWh (360 MJ)
    348–402 mi (560–647 km) (EPA)
Plug-in charging
  • Onboard charger
  • 3ϕ 400 V 16 A[6] (Type 2);[7] 1ϕ 85–300 V 48 A (new front fascia variant)
  • Optional charger: 20 kW from 1ϕ 277 V 72 A
  • Dual charger: 21.1 kW from 1ϕ 264 V 80 A and 22 kW from 3ϕ 400 V 32 A; 19.2 kW from 240 V 80 A[8] (old front fascia variant); 16.5 kW from 3ϕ 400 V 24 A (new front fascia variant)[6]
  • Offboard charger
  • Supercharger at 150–250 kW DC
Wheelbase116.5 in (2,960 mm)
Length195.9 in (4,980 mm)
  • 77.3 in (1,964 mm) (ex. mirrors)
  • 86.2 in (2,189 mm) (inc. mirrors)
Height56.5 in (1,440 mm)
Curb weight4,323–4,960 lb (1,961–2,250 kg)[9][10][11]

The Tesla Model S is an all-electric five-door liftback produced by Tesla, Inc. It was introduced on June 22, 2012.[12] It received a refresh in June 2021. Tesla positions the Model S as its flagship.

In 2013, the Model S became the first electric car to top the monthly new-car-sales ranking in any country, leading twice in Norway, in September and December 2013[13][14][15][16] and in Denmark in December 2015.[17] Sales passed 250,000 units in September 2018.[18][19][20][21] The Model S was the top-selling plug-in electric car worldwide in 2015 and 2016, although it was later surpassed by the Model 3.[22][23][24]

In an early review of the Model S, Consumer Reports declared, "This car performs better than anything we've ever tested before. Let me repeat that: Not just the best electric car, but the best car. It does just about everything really, really well."[25] In their Owner Satisfaction survey owners have consistently rated Teslas at, or near, the top rankings.[26] In 2019, Motor Trend named the 2013 Tesla Model S the ultimate "Car of the Year" over the magazine's entire 70-year history.[27]


Tesla Model S prototype at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show


Model S was codenamed WhiteStar before its release. It was officially announced on June 30, 2008.[28][29] The prototype vehicle was displayed on March 26, 2009.[30] The exclusive premier was held at Tesla's Menlo Park store on April 8, 2009.

First production Model S, with owner and Tesla board member Steve Jurvetson

In May 2010 Tesla announced it would produce the Model S at the former NUMMI plant in Fremont, California,[31] which became known as the Tesla Factory.

In 2007, Tesla announced plans to build Model S sedans starting in 2009,[32] but production was repeatedly delayed to 2011. [33] The first ten customers received their cars at the Fremont factory on June 22, 2012, at the official launch.[34] Production grew from 15–20 cars completed per week in August 2012[34] to about 1,000 cars per week in 2015.[35]

In 2012, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) range for the base model was 208 mi (335 km)[36] while the longer range model was 265 miles (426 km).[37][38] Musk claimed that the Model S battery offered twice the energy density of the Nissan Leaf's, with more than double the range, increased by a low drag coefficient, motor efficiency and rolling resistance.[39] The original battery was similar to the Panasonic NCR18650B cell that offered an energy density of 265 Wh/kg.[40] Analysts estimated battery costs to be around 21–22% of the car cost.[41] The 60 kWh battery was guaranteed for eight years or 125,000 miles (200,000 km), while the 85 kWh was guaranteed for eight years and unlimited miles.[42][43] In 2012, Tesla began building a network of 480-volt charging stations, called Tesla Superchargers, to facilitate long-distance travel.[44]

The Center Display was powered by a Nvidia Tegra 3 3D Visual Computing Module (VCM), while the instrument cluster was driven by a separate Nvidia Tegra 2 VCM.[45][46] The Tegra system on a chip (SoC) integrated eight specialized processors, including a multi-core ARM CPU, a GPU, and dedicated audio, video and image processors.

The Tesla Model S was the 2013 World Green Car of the Year, 2013 Motor Trend Car of the Year, Automobile magazine's 2013 Car of the Year, Time Magazine's Best 25 Inventions of the Year 2012, and Consumer Reports' top-scoring car in road testing. In 2015, Car and Driver named the Model S the Car of the Century.[47] After not recommending the Model S in 2015 due to poor reliability, one year later, Consumer Reports added the car to its recommended list.[48][49]

All-wheel Drive Update and Subsequent Changes[edit]

On October 9, 2014, Tesla introduced "Dual Drive" all-wheel drive (AWD) versions of the Model S 60, 85, and P85 models, designated by a D at the end of the model number (the P represented performance).[50][51][52] Autopilot arrived in September 2014, supported by cameras, forward looking radar[53][54] and ultrasonic acoustic location sensors that provided a 360-degree view.

Deliveries of the P85D started in December 2014, with the 85D models following in February 2015, and the 70D models in April 2015.[51] On April 8, 2015, Tesla discontinued the Model S 60.[55]

In June 2015, Tesla said that Model S cars had traveled over 1 billion miles (1.6 billion km), the first all-electric car to reach that total.[56][57] (In 2014 the hybrid-electric Chevy Volt had travelled 1 billion miles, but only 629 million were all-electric miles, while Nissan said the all-electric Leaf had accumulated 625 million total miles.[57]) Global Model S sales passed 100,000 units in 2015,[58] and 150,000 in November 2016.[59] The 200,000 milestone was achieved by early in the fourth quarter of 2017.[18]

In July 2015, Tesla announced its goal to make a Model S powertrain that lasted for one million miles.[60] The 2015 update introduced electromechanical brakes.[61]

In 2015, Tesla introduced a 70 kWh battery to replace the existing 60 kWh batteries and base 60 kWh Model S vehicles.[62][63] It introduced a 90 kWh battery as a "range upgrade" and explained that the 6% energy increase was due to "improved cell chemistry"[60] and the introduction of silicon into the cell's graphite anode.[64] The 60 and 60D returned in 2016 with a software-limited, upgradeable 75 kWH battery and the "Bioweapon Defense Mode" air filter.[65]

In April 2016, Tesla removed the black nose cone and added a body colored fascia, commonly referred to as a facelifted Tesla.[66] The front fascia has a similar design as the Model X, adding adaptive LED headlights. A HEPA cabin air filtration system was added. The standard charger increased from 40 to 48 amps, speeding charging at higher-amperage outlets. Two ash wood interior options were added.[67] In August Tesla announced the P100D with the Ludicrous mode option, a 100 kWh battery with 315 miles (507 km) of range,[68][69] weighing 625 kg in a 0.40 m³ volume; a density of 160 Wh/kg.[70]

In April 2017, Tesla ceased offering the 60 kWh software-limited battery option. The lowest-capacity option became the 75 kWh, and at the same time Tesla significantly reduced the software upgrade options for facelifted 60 and 70 models to be upgraded over-the-air to 75 (and rebadged at their next visit to a Tesla service center). In August 2017, Tesla announced that HW2.5 included a secondary processor node to provide more computing power and additional wiring redundancy to improve reliability; it also enabled dashcam and sentry mode capabilities.[71][72] By 2017, in the Consumer Reports Car Reliability Survey, Tesla's position on the list had moved up four spots; the predicted reliability rating for Model S reached "above average" for the first time.[73]

In March 2018 it was announced that Tesla had upgraded the Media Control Unit (MCU) to version 2.[74] MCU 2 improved the performance of the center screen, enabling Tesla Arcade and Tesla Theater.[75] The center display and the instrument cluster were driven by a single multi-core x86 Intel Atom CPU. In May 2018 Tesla released incomplete source code[76] for the Model S on a GitHub repository as part of their software license compliance process in collaboration with the Software Freedom Conservancy.[77][78]

In an engineering refresh in May 2019, range was increased to 370 mi (600 km) and smart air suspension was added.[79] As of 2019, Tesla claimed its drag coefficient had reached Cd=0.23.[80]

In February 2020, Tesla increased the range of the Model S to 390 mi (630 km) of range.[81]

As of March 2020, Tesla operated 16,103 superchargers in 1,826 stations worldwide; these include 908 stations in the U.S., 98 in Canada, 16 in Mexico, 520 in Europe, and 398 in the Asia/Pacific region.[82] In August 2020 the range test results were updated by the EPA to 402 miles (647 km), higher than that of any other battery electric car.[83][84][85] Tesla warranties finally specified a 70% battery loss limit.[86][87][88]

On October 15, 2020, the U.S. price of the long-range version was lowered to $69,420.[89][90][91][92]

In early 2021, with the introduction of an entirely new interior, now with landscape orientation of the MCU and more rear seat room, and a lightly modified exterior, Tesla changed the "Performance" and "Long Range" Model S branding in favor of "Plaid" and "Long Range," respectively. On June 10, 2021, the Model S Plaid was released at a delivery event at the factory with nearly 30 new owners taking delivery that evening. At the delivery event references were made to the return of the third-row seating, allowing a total of seven passengers, however, as of September 2021, no such option was listed on Tesla's website. Production ramped very slowly over the following months despite some prospective owners waiting since late-2020 for their cars. The Long Range version was EPA-rated to a new high of 405 miles when equipped with the standard, 19" wheels, making it the longest range EV in the world; the Plaid was listed at 396 miles of range.[93]

Until 2018, the Model S had an optional folding third row with rear-facing seats for two children with a five-point harness


Model S manufacturing at the Tesla Factory

Tesla manufactures the Model S at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California. For the European market, Tesla removes the battery pack, the electric motor and parts assembles and ships everything to Europe where it is reassembled at its European Distribution Center in Tilburg, the Netherlands.[94][95]

As of 2020, it was in the top 10 for domestic parts content.[96]


The Model S was styled by a team led by Franz von Holzhausen, who previously worked for Mazda North American Operations,[98] who drew upon the Mercedes Benz CLS 4-Door Coupe.[99] It was designed with an electric powertrain in mind,[100] unlike other electric vehicles where the manufacturer swaps an internal combustion engine with an electric motor.[101][102][103] As a result, the Model S offers features such as a front trunk (a "frunk") in addition to a rear trunk and an enlarged crumple zone.[104]

The Model S exists in several versions, differing in energy capacity (battery size), power (motor size), and equipment. It is classified as a full-size luxury car in the US, or as a "Large Car"[105] (greater than or equal to 120 cu ft or 3.4 m3) or "Luxury Sedan"[106] by the EPA. The Euro Car Segment classification is S-segment (sports car),[107][108] or "Oberklasse" (F-segment) in Germany.[109]

The roof was eventually transitioned to be made entirely of high-strength glass in ~2017, originally as an option but then made standard across the fleet. With this change the Panoramic sunroof was no longer an option.[110][111]


The Model S powertrain has evolved since its first release, increasing in efficiency, power, and durability. In 2014 Tesla claimed that the Model S recovered the energy that went into producing it in fewer than 10,000 miles (16,000 km).[112]

The rear axle has a traditional open differential. Models with Dual Drive dual motors also have an open differential on the front axles. The front and rear axles have no mechanical linkage – with dual motors, the power distribution among them is controlled electronically.[113] With the introduction of the tri-motor Plaid version in mid-2021, new performance levels were achieved making the Model S Plaid the fastest accelerating production car in the world.

The powertrain provides regenerative braking power of more than 60 kW, which both reduces energy consumption and greatly reduces brake wear.


Tesla Model S battery is made of several thousand cylindrical cells (18650)

The battery pack includes thousands of identical 18650 battery cells, depending on the pack size. 18650 cells are cylindrical and are 18 mm in diameter, and 65 mm in height. Cells use a graphite/silicon[64] anode and a nickel-cobalt-aluminum cathode with an aqueous electrolyte and lithium ions as charge carriers.[114] Battery capacity has changed repeatedly as the technology has evolved, ranging from 60-100 kWH. As of 2021, the company preferred to cite vehicle range rather than battery capacity. The batteries are the car's heaviest component. E.g., the 85 kWh battery pack weighed 1,200 lb (540 kg).[115][better source needed] Tesla manufactures some Model S cells internally, and some in partnership with Panasonic.

Cell, group, module, pack[edit]

The P85 pack contained 7,104 lithium-ion battery cells in 16 modules[117] wired in series (14 in the flat section and two stacked on the front).[118] Each module contained 6 groups of 74 cells[119] wired in parallel; the 6 groups were then wired in series within the module.[119][120][121][122]

Lithium-ion batteries operate best at certain temperatures. The motor, controller and battery temperatures are controlled by a liquid cooling/heating circuit,[123] and the battery is uninsulated.[102] Waste heat from the motor heats the battery in cold conditions, and battery performance is reduced until a suitable battery temperature is reached.[124] The battery can be pre-heated by a 6 kW internal heater, either from itself using battery power, or from a charger.[102]


In contrast to most earlier battery electric vehicles including the Roadster, the battery pack of the Model S forms the floor of the vehicle between the axles, with several advantages:

Energy consumption[edit]

Under its five-cycle testing protocol, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated the 90 kWh version at a combined fuel economy equivalent of 104 MPGe (2.26 L/100 km or 125 mpg‑imp), with an equivalent 102 mpg‑US (2.3 L/100 km; 122 mpg‑imp) in city driving and 107 mpg‑US (2.2 L/100 km; 129 mpg‑imp) on highways.[130]

2012–16 Tesla Model S fuel economy
Model Model


Fuel economy (MPGe)
Combined City Highway
RWD 60

60 kWh[131][132][133]

2013–15 95; 35 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km
94; 36 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km
97; 35 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km

60 kWh[134]

2016 104; 32 kWh/100 mi
20 kWh/100 km
101; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
107; 31 kWh/100 mi
19 kWh/100 km

70 kWh[131][133]

2015 101; 33 kWh/100 mi
20 kWh/100 km
101; 33 kWh/100 mi
20 kWh/100 km
102; 33 kWh/100 mi
20 kWh/100 km

75 kWh[134]

2016 103; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
102; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
105; 32 kWh/100 mi
20 kWh/100 km
RWD 85

85 kWh[131][135]

2012–15 89; 38 kWh/100 mi
24 kWh/100 km
88; 38 kWh/100 mi
24 kWh/100 km
90; 37 kWh/100 mi
23 kWh/100 km

85 kWh[136][131]

2014 89; 38 kWh/100 mi
24 kWh/100 km
86; 40 kWh/100 mi
25 kWh/100 km
94; 36 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km

85 kWh[136][131]

2015 100; 34 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
95; 35 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km
106; 32 kWh/100 mi
20 kWh/100 km

90 kWh[131][133]

2015 100; 34 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
95; 35 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km
106; 32 kWh/100 mi
20 kWh/100 km

90 kWh[134]

2016 103; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
101; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
107; 32 kWh/100 mi
20 kWh/100 km

85 kWh[136][131]

2015 93; 36 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km
89; 38 kWh/100 mi
24 kWh/100 km
98; 35 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km

90 kWh[131][133]

2015 93; 36 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km
89; 38 kWh/100 mi
24 kWh/100 km
98; 35 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km

90 kWh[134][137]

2016 95; 35 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km
91; 37 kWh/100 mi
23 kWh/100 km
100; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km

100 kWh[134]

2016 98; 35 kWh/100 mi
22 kWh/100 km
92; 37 kWh/100 mi
23 kWh/100 km
105; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
AWD 100D

100 kWh[134]

2017 102; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
101; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
102; 33 kWh/100 mi
21 kWh/100 km
External images
image icon Speed-dependent power consumption
image icon Speed-dependent ranges of various Model S
image icon Speed-dependent mileage, Model S & Roadster

Vehicle energy consumption is highly dependent on speed; the Model S requires 10 kW (14 hp) at 70 mph (110 km/h), and 31 kW (42 hp) at 100 mph (160 km/h).[138] Ancillary equipment (climate control, battery conditioning, etc.) may consume 15-25%, depending on outside temperature.[102]


The charge port is located behind a door in the left taillight.

During charging, the charge port pulses green. The pulse frequency slows as the charge level approaches full. When charging is complete, the light turns solid green.[139] The Model S comes equipped with a different charger and connector in North America versus other markets.

The Mobile Connector allows charging at up to 72 amps[140] and includes adapters for connecting to a variety of electricity sources.[141] The Tesla Wall Connector is available for installation at a home or business, and it allows charging at up to 19.2 kW in North America and 22 kW in Europe (although charging the vehicle at 11.5 kW requires the High Amperage Charger option on the vehicle).[141][142]

Tesla supports the SAE J1772, Type 2, and CHAdeMO charging standards via adapters.[141][142] SAE J1772 and Type 2 adapters are included in the appropriate regions, while the CHAdeMO adapter is available for purchase.[143]

North America[edit]

Tesla Universal Mobile Connector (UMC), NEMA 5-15 Adapter (plugged in wall AC socket), NEMA 14-50 Adapter and SAE J1772 to Tesla TSL02 Charging Connector Adapter

In North America, adapters for 120 volt NEMA 5-15 outlets, as well as an adapter for SAE J1772 charging stations, are included.[141] Other adapters including the popular NEMA 14-50 250V adapter can be purchased from Tesla for use with the Mobile Connector.

Charging times depend on the battery pack's state-of-charge, its capacity, the available voltage, and the available amperage. From a 120 volt/15 amp household outlet, the range increases by 3.75 miles (6 km) for every hour of charging. From a 10 kW, NEMA 14–50 240 V/50 A outlet (like those used by RVs or stoves), the charge rate is 28.75 miles (46 km) per hour. Using Tesla's 20 kW, 240 V High Power Wall Connector increases the rate to 57 miles (92 km) per hour if the car is configured with dual chargers (20 kW).[144]


In Europe, adapters for CEE red 3P+N+E, CEE blue 2P+E, CEE 7, and BS 1363 are available (inclusion varies by country), and an adapter cable for connecting to chargers with a Type 2 connector is also included.[142][147]


While some Model S's were built with a base, steel spring, suspension, the vast majority have a self-leveling, height-adjustable air suspension. This is accomplished via adjustable Bilstein shock absorbers controlled by the driver. The car lowers itself at highway speeds and can be set to a higher level to traverse steep driveways and rough terrain, mitigating the default low 6 in (150 mm) ground clearance and relatively long 116 in (2,900 mm) wheelbase.[149]

The suspension system evolved in "over-the-air" software updates. The height adjustment feature remembers locations where the driver has requested higher clearance and automatically adjusts each time the car returns to that location.[150]

The "Raven" update from early 2019 provided an enhanced "Smart Air Suspension" with automatic, dynamic suspension adjustments.[151]


Autopilot uses cameras, radar and ultrasound to detect road signs, lane markings, obstacles, pedestrians, cyclists, traffic lights, and other vehicles. It includes adaptive cruise control and lane centering and supports semi-autonomous drive and parking capabilities.[152][153][154]

Instrument panel[edit]

Production dashboard with 12.3-inch (310 mm) main dashboard digital display (left) and central 17-inch (430 mm) touchscreen control panel (right)

The instrument panel is located directly in front of the driver. It includes a 12.3-inch (310 mm) liquid-crystal display electronic instrument cluster that indicates speed, charge level, estimated range and active gear, as well as navigation directions.


Introduced in mid-2021, the updated Model S Plaid and Long Range had no steering column-mounted shift stalk. Instead, it used cameras to infer whether to shift into forward or reverse. The driver could override that automatic selection using the center touchscreen or buttons on the center pedestal, directly beneath the cell phone inductive chargers. Earlier versions controlled transmission selection via a shift stalk on the right side of the steering column.


The 2021 update turned the center display from portrait to landscape layout.

The original touchscreen was a 17-inch (430 mm) multi-touch panel. divided into four areas. A top line displayed status symbols and provided shortcuts to Charging, HomeLink, Driver Profiles, vehicle information and Bluetooth. The second line provided access to apps including Media, Nav (driven by Google Maps, which was separate from the navigation on instrument panel), Energy, Web, Camera and Phone. The main viewing area displayed the (two) active apps, subdivided into upper and lower areas. (Most apps can be expanded to take up the entire area). At the bottom was access to various controls and settings for the vehicle such as doors, locks and lights as well as temperature controls and a secondary volume control.

The map display requires a constant Internet connection, limiting navigation in areas without service. Automatic navigation to charging stations is included.[155] The operating system is open-source Linux.[156]


All versions of the Model S have the same body and normally seat five passengers. Other configurations were once available so as to allow for a third-row seat with two additional seats, for a total of seven passengers.

As of ~2016 or 2017, all seating materials were animal-free, made of synthetic fiber, with the steering wheel covers shifting to an animal-free material in late 2019 as well, making the cars entirely vegan.[157]

The original impetus for this years-long transition to animal-free interiors may have been two shareholder proposals presented at the 2015 Tesla shareholders meeting in which the substantial environmental damage caused by animal agriculture was highlighted, along with the obvious conflict with Tesla's stated mission.[158] Other luxury brands slowly began eschewing animal product interiors in the years that followed.

Warranty and maintenance[edit]

The Model S is covered by a 4-year, 50,000-mile (80,000 km) limited warranty[159] that includes all standard equipment (excluding tires).[160] The warranty can be extended by 4 years or 50,000 miles (80,000 km).[160] The battery and powertrain are covered by an 8-year, 150,000-mile (240,000 km) warranty.[161] Warranty coverage includes a complementary loaner car when service is required.[162] Annual vehicle inspection and maintenance is optional, and not required to maintain coverage.[162] The fee covers a complete inspection, tire alignment, new brake pads, hardware upgrades and other maintenance items. In California only, Tesla offers insurance.


Signature/Signature Performance[edit]

The official car of the Chief Minister of Gibraltar, a Signature Model S bought in 2014[163]

Tesla allocated its first 1,000 units to its Signature and Signature Performance limited edition configurations, equipped with the 85 kWh battery pack.[164][165]

A custom Model S was designed for the Oceanic Preservation Society in collaboration with Obscura Digital, and was used to project images of endangered animals to help educate the public about ongoing Holocene mass extinction, as featured in the 2015 documentary Racing Extinction.


The base Model S 60 was released with 60 kWh battery capacity and used a 270 kW (362 hp) and 441 N⋅m (325 ft⋅lb) motor.

Dual motor, AWD variations (60D) became available in 2014.

The Performance variant (P85) offered a three-phase, four-pole AC induction 416 hp (310 kW) and 443 ft⋅lb (601 N⋅m) rear-mounted electric motor with copper rotor.[166]

The company claimed a drag coefficient of Cd=0.24,[167] lower than any other production car when released.[168] Independent measurements by Car and Driver in May 2014 confirmed the figure.[138]


The 70D replaced the 60, 60D, and P85, offering all-wheel drive and an improved range of 240 miles (385 km).[169][170]

In January 2019, Tesla made the 100D the base version and discontinued the 75D version.[171]


The 85D replaced the rear drive unit with a smaller motor, while a second motor of similar size was added to the front wheels. The resulting AWD car offered comparable power and acceleration to the rear wheel drive. The 85D offered a 2% (5-mile) range increase and 11% increase in top speed over the 85.[172]


Model S P85+ using regenerative braking power in excess of 60 kW. During regenerative braking, the power indicator is green.

The P85D was a dual-motor, all-wheel-drive vehicle. It had a governed top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h)[173] and it accelerated from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0 to 97 km/h) in 3.2 seconds (tested to 3.1 seconds), under "Insane Mode", with 1g of acceleration.[173][174] Total output reached 345 kW (463 hp) despite the two motors because they did not give their maximum power at the same time.[175]

The high-power rear-drive unit was retained, while the additional front-drive motor increased power by about 50%, increasing acceleration and top speed.


The P90D had a top speed of 155 mph (249 km/h) and it could accelerate from 0 to 60 miles per hour (0 to 97 km/h) in 2.8 seconds, despite the lower total motor power, in part due to the improved traction of the all-wheel drive powertrain. An optional "Ludicrous Mode" hardware package improved the 0 to 60 mph (0 to 97 km/h) time to 2.8 seconds at 1.1g.[176][177][178]

The P90D combined a front axle power of 259 horsepower (193 kW) and rear axle power of 503 horsepower (375 kW) for a 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) time of 2.8 seconds. The acceleration of the P90D can reach 1.1g, described by Tesla as "faster than falling".[60][179]

In June 2017, Tesla discontinued selling the 90 kWh battery pack option.[180]


The P100D outputs 439 kW (589 hp) and 1,248 N⋅m (920 lbf⋅ft) torque on a dynamometer.[181]

As of March 2017, P100D was the world's quickest production vehicle with a NHRA rolling start to 60 mph (97 km/h) in Motor Trend tests in 2.28 seconds (acceleration clock started after 0.26 seconds at 5.9 mph (9.5 km/h)) in Ludicrous mode.[182]

Owing to overheating issues (the radiator has no blower),[102] multiple uses of Ludicrous mode required rest periods to protect the battery.[183][184] According to Motor Trend, selecting the "Yes, bring it on!" option for maximum acceleration "initiates a process of battery and motor conditioning, wherein the battery temperature is raised slightly and the motors are cooled using the air-conditioning system. It usually takes just a few minutes, longer in extreme ambient temperatures or after repeated runs. You should expect to wait a minimum of 10 minutes in-between runs."[182]

It offered an EPA estimated range of 315 mi (507 km).[185] It was the first electric vehicle to have an EPA estimated range greater than 300 miles (485 km).[104][186]


In 2019, the Performance and Long Range Plus variants offered the "Raven" powertrain.[187] It included the permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor from the Tesla Model 3 as the front motor.[187] The motor was more powerful and more efficient than its predecessor.[187] The Raven powertrain included a new adaptive air suspension.[187]

Palladium (Plaid)[edit]

The Palladium refresh was announced in January 2021 with initial deliveries in June 2021. The refresh included a new interior, new powertrain, suspension and thermal management amongst other improvements.[188] The refresh originally consisted of three models, the Long Range (LR), the Plaid, and the Plaid+, although the Plaid+ was cancelled shortly before deliveries began. The "Plaid" name is applied to the performance model and is a reference to the only speed faster than "Ludicrous" in the movie Spaceballs.[189]

The Plaid model includes one motor for the front axle and two motors for the rear axle; its starting price was $131,100.[190] At the core of the Plaid's performance are innovative new motors featuring a carbon-wrapped rotor to allow much higher motor RPM.[191] Musk said that this presented challenges, because carbon and copper (the rotor material) have different thermal expansion rates.[192] The Long Range model includes the front motor and a single rear motor; its starting price was $80k, but it was raised to $85k soon after deliveries began.[193]

At its debut, the Palladium models had the lowest drag coefficient of any production car, with Cd=0.208.[194] The new HVAC system uses a heat pump that Tesla says provides 30% longer range and requires 50% less energy in cold weather conditions than the previous Model S.[195] Charging was said to increase by 187 miles (301 km) in 15 minutes (on a 250 kW Supercharger).[194] The interior features a non-circular "yoke" steering wheel, a landscape-oriented center screen, a screen for the rear passengers, increased headroom and legroom, particularly in the rear seat area, lower noise via acoustic glass, a new, customizable user interface, and improved gaming (via the AMD RDNA 2 GPU).[194][196] The company estimated that deliveries will reach 1000/week in Q3 of 2021.[193]

The Plaid has 1,020 horsepower (760 kW) and 1,050 pound-feet (1,420 N⋅m) of torque. It was independently tested by Motor Trend to go 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 2.07 seconds (1.98 on a prepped drag strip[clarification needed]) and cover a quarter-mile (400 m) in 9.34 seconds at 152.2 mph (244.9 km/h).[197] Tesla said it will reach a 200 mph (320 km/h) top speed.[193]


Taxi Model S, charging in Moscow

Home charging[edit]

Tesla recommends overnight charging at home as the primary method of charging. In general, the convenience of plugging in overnight outweighs the far longer charging interval.

Destination charging[edit]

The Tesla Destination charging network is a network of businesses that have installed Tesla Wall Connectors. These units are provided to the businesses by Tesla for free or at a discounted price. The business is responsible for the cost of electricity.[198] Not all destination chargers are available to the public, as some businesses limit them to customers, employees, or residents only.[199]

Tesla Superchargers[edit]

Panoramic view of Tesla Supercharger rapid charging station in Tejon Ranch, California

Tesla operates a global network of 480-volt charging stations. The Tesla network is usable only by Tesla vehicles though there are discussions to allow other EVs to use it in some locations such as Sweden.[200] Supercharging hardware is standard on all new vehicles and most earlier editions.[44][201][202] The Supercharger is a DC rapid-charging station that provides up to 250 kW of power, adding up to 15 mi (24 km) per minute.[198]

Battery swapping[edit]

Tesla originally designed the Model S to allow fast battery swapping, which also facilitated vehicle assembly.[203] In 2013, Tesla demonstrated a battery swap operation taking around 90 seconds, about half the time it takes to refill an empty gas tank.[204][205] Tesla originally planned to support widespread battery swapping, but supposedly abandoned the plan due to perceived lack of interest by customers.[206] Tesla has been accused of gaming the California Air Resources Board system for zero-emission vehicle credits by launching the "battery swap" program that was never made available to the public.[207][208] Tesla announced in 2020 that it would integrate the batteries into the body to increase strength and reduce weight and cost.[209]

Sales and markets[edit]

Model S first retail deliveries ceremony at the Tesla Factory in Fremont, California, held on June 22, 2012

U.S. deliveries began June 2012.[12] Tesla reported 520 reservations for the Model S during the first week they were available[210] and by December 2012, a total 15,000 net reservations (after deliveries and cancellations) had been received by year-end.[211]

The special edition Model S Signature model was sold out before deliveries began in June 2012, and according to Tesla all models were sold out for that year shortly after.[212][213] A total of 2,650 cars were delivered in North America in 2012.[214]

Tesla delivered 50,658 Model S/X units in 2015.[215][216] Tesla sold more than 50,000 Model S cars globally in 2016, making it the world's top selling plug-in electric that year.[217] In 2017, it became only the second EV to sell more than 200,000 units behind the Nissan Leaf.

The Model S was released in Europe in early August 2013, and the first deliveries took place in Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands.[218] By November 2013, the Model S was on sale in 20 countries.[219] By the end of 2013, Norway and Switzerland became the company's largest per capita sales markets.[220]

Retail deliveries in China began in April 2014.[221] The right-hand-drive model was released in the UK in June 2014,[222] followed by Hong Kong in July 2014[223] and Japan in September 2014.[224] Deliveries in Australia began in December 2014.[225]

The Model S ranked as the world's second best selling plug-in electric vehicle after the Nissan Leaf.[226] About 55% of deliveries went to North America, 30% to Europe, and 15% to the Asia-Pacific market.[227]

As of June 2015, the Model S was sold in 30 countries.[228] The Model S was the world's best-selling plug-in electric car in 2015, ahead of the Nissan Leaf (about 43,000 units).[216][229]


The Model S was the world's top selling plug-in car for the second year running.[23][24] As of 2018, the Model S rank fell to second place after the BAIC EC-Series city car, which sold over 78,000 units in China.[18]

The Model S continued to rank as the second most-sold electric car in history after the Nissan Leaf.[18][19][20][21] As of December 2018, cumulative global sales totaled about 263,504 units.[18][19][20][21][230]

Sales by country[edit]

Sales/registrations by top national markets
Country Cumulative


% of global


2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012
USA[231][22][232][233][234] ~163,201 55.9% 14,425[235] 29,959 26,500 29,156 25,202 16,689 ~18,650 ~2,620
China[236][237][238] 11,858[b] [c] [c] [c] 6,334 3,025[b] 2,499 N/A N/A
Norway[239][240][241][242][243][244] 20,639 7.4% 1,181 3,633 3,712 2,051 4,039 4,040 1,983 N/A
Netherlands[245][246][247][248][249][250] 13,839 5.3% 5,633 2,051 1,693 1,805 1,465 1,192 N/A
Canada[251] 6,731 3.2% 1,675 1,466 2,010 847 638 95
Germany[109][252][253][254][255][256] 7,551 2.9% 1,248 2,241 1,474 1,582 815 191 N/A
UK[257][258][259][260] 9,300[d] 2.9% 1,756 2,518 2,367 1,389 698 N/A N/A
Switzerland [e][261] 4,695 2.2% 1,131 1,299 1,556 496 213 N/A
Denmark[262][263][264] 3,432 1.6% 46 78 2,736 460 112 N/A
Sweden[265][266][267][268][269] 3,788 1.4% 883 800 838 996 266 5 N/A
France[270][271][272][273] 3,455 1.3% 749 850 785 708 328 35 N/A
Belgium[274][275][276][277][278] 3,358 1.3% 535 659 675 820 521 148 N/A
Hong Kong[279] 2,221[f] 1.0% [c] [c] 2,221 N/A N/A N/A
Austria[280][281][282][283] 1,835 0.9% 584 575 492 136 48 N/A
Australia[284][285] ~1,319 0.6% [c] [c] ~1,250 69[g] N/A N/A N/A
Italy[286][287] 662 0.3% 264 218 120 52 8 N/A
Global[18][19][20][21][230] 263,504 50,630[19][20][21][230] 54,715[18] 50,931[23] 50,446[232][229] 31,655[226] 22,477[288] ~2,650[211]
  1. ^ Percentage of global sales by country, inception through December 2019.
  2. ^ a b Chinese market sales in 2015 only through September.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Sales figures not available
  4. ^ UK registrations at the end of June 2019 (not cumulative sales).
  5. ^ Includes registrations in Liechtenstein.
  6. ^ Hong Kong sales for 2015 only.
  7. ^ Only includes registrations in New South Wales and Victoria.


Model S at a quick charging CHAdeMO station in Japan[289]

The first nine Australian units were delivered in Sydney on December 9, 2014. Tesla opened its first store and service centre in St Leonards, and its first Supercharger station at Pyrmont in December 2014.[290][291]

The Model S was the top selling all-electric car in the country for the first quarter of 2015.[292]

The first Chinese deliveries took place on April 22, 2014.[221] The standard equipment was the same as the European version, with larger back seats because the car was expected to be driven by a chauffeur.[293]

By mid-2018, China ranked as Tesla’s second largest market.[294]

Sales began in Hong Kong in July 2014.[223]


First European deliveries were at Tesla's Oslo store in August 2013.

European retail deliveries began in August 2013, in Norway, Switzerland and the Netherlands.[218] Sales rose most rapidly in Norway. The Model S topped the European luxury car segment in 2015, ahead of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class (14,990), the traditional leader.[295]

Model S used since 2014 for all-electric taxi service at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

In April 2014 the Schiphol Group announced that three companies were selected to provide all-electric taxi service in Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.[296]

Sales in 2015 totaled 1,805 units,[247] and declined to 1,693 in 2016.[248] As of October 2016, combined registrations of the Model S (5,681) and the Model X (250) represented 48.6% of the 12,196 all-electric cars on Dutch roads at the end of that month.[297] The Model S was the all-time top selling all-electric car in the Netherlands with 12,394 cars registered at the end of March 2021, however it has since been overtaken by the Tesla Model 3, with 38,745 cars registered in March 2021.[298]

Europe's first delivery took place in Oslo on August 7, 2013.[299] By the end of August, Europe's first six charging stations opened, in Lyngdal, Aurland, Dombås, Gol, Sundebru and Lillehammer.[300]

North America[edit]

The world's first delivery took place on June 1, 2012 in California, to a Tesla board member, while formal deliveries to the public began at a large ceremony on June 22, 2013. [301]

The first Model S sedans were delivered in Canada in December 2012.[251]

Retail sales began in Mexico City in December 2015. Initially, no Supercharger stations are available in the country.[302]

Personalized delivery of Model S

Retail sales model[edit]

Tesla sells its cars directly to consumers without a dealer network, as other manufacturers have done and as many states require by legislation. In support of its approach, the company fought legal and legislative battles in Ohio, New Jersey, New York and other states.[303][304] The Tesla direct sales model was permitted in 22 states as of March 2015.[305][306] In other states the Tesla salesperson is not allowed to discuss prices, and the ultimate sale must be made online.[307][308]


Tesla made many claims about the safety of its vehicles, encompassing vehicle structure and driver assist software.


External video
video icon NHTSA Frontal crash test on YouTube
video icon NHTSA Side crash test on YouTube
video icon NHTSA Pole crash test on YouTube
video icon Euro NCAP crash test on YouTube
video icon Tesla EV Safety Training for rescuers on YouTube

In 2014, the Model S had a 5-star safety rating from both Euro NCAP and the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).[309][310] At that time, only two other cars had earned the same recognition since 2011 (when the NHTSA introduced its latest rating scheme).[311]

NHTSA[312] Euro NCAP[313] IIHS[314][315]
Overall Overall Small overlap Acceptable
Frontal, driver Adult occupant 31 pts / 82% Moderate overlap frontal offset Good
Frontal, passenger Child occupant 38 pts / 77% Side impact Good
Side, driver Pedestrian 24 pts / 66% Roof strength Good
Side, passenger Driver assist 9 pts / 71% Roof strength (P100D) Acceptable
Side pole, driver Headlights Poor
Rollover / 5.7%

However, in July 2017, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that during front crash tests, the Model S safety belts let the driver's torso move too far forward, resulting in the head striking the steering wheel hard through the airbag. This problem was already pointed out in one of the IIHS's earliers tests, to which Tesla responded they would improve their safety belt design, which, according to the IIHS's latest tests, has not been done. The IIHS also gave the Model S the worst possible rating for its headlights.[316] The report caused Tesla to lose 6.4% of its stock value.[315]


Battery fire[edit]

The first widely reported fire occurred several minutes after the vehicle hit metal debris on the Washington State Route 167 highway on October 1, 2013.[317] The driver "was able to exit the highway as instructed by the onboard alert system, bring the car to a stop and depart the vehicle without injury".[318] He then contacted authorities and, while awaiting their arrival, smoke began coming out the front of the vehicle. The driver stated that he hit something while exiting the HOV lane.[317][319][320] Tesla stated that the fire was caused by the "direct impact of a large metallic object to one of the 16 battery modules", and that by design, the modules were separated by firewalls, limiting the fire to "a small section in the front of the vehicle".[317]

The module was evidently punctured by a "curved section" that fell off a truck and was recovered near the accident. Tesla stated that the debris punched a 3-inch (76 mm) diameter hole through the .25-inch (6.4 mm) armor plate under the vehicle, applying force of some 25 tons. Built-in vents directed the flames away from the vehicle so that the fire did not enter the passenger compartment. According to Tesla, the firefighters followed standard procedure; using water to extinguish the fire was correct,[321] however, puncturing the metal firewall to gain access to the fire also allowed the flames to spread to the front trunk.[318] Tesla also stated that because the battery pack contains "only about 10% of the energy contained in a gasoline tank", the effective combustion potential of a single module is only about 1% that of a conventional vehicle.[318]

NHTSA reported, "After reviewing all available data, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not found evidence at this time that would indicate the recent battery fire involving a Tesla Model S was the result of a vehicle safety defect or noncompliance with federal safety standards."[322] The following month, the NHTSA opened a preliminary evaluation to determine "the potential risks associated with undercarriage strikes on model year 2013 Tesla Model S vehicles".[323][324] On March 28, 2014, NHTSA closed its investigation, claiming that the (new) titanium underbody shield and aluminum deflector plates, along with increased ground clearance, "should reduce both the frequency of underbody strikes and the resultant fire risk".[325]

Subsequent fires[edit]

On November 6, 2013, a fire broke out after a Model S struck a tow hitch on the roadway, causing damage beneath the vehicle.[326] The incidents led Tesla to extend its warranty to cover fire damage and to apply a software update to increase ground clearance when operating at highway speed.[323][327]

Another fire took place in Toronto, Canada, in February 2014. The Model S was parked in a garage and was not charging when the fire started. The origin of the fire is undetermined.[328] According to Tesla "in this particular case, we don't yet know the precise cause, but have definitively determined that it did not originate in the battery, the charging system, the adapter or the electrical receptacle, as these components were untouched by the fire".[329]

Starting with vehicle bodies manufactured as of 6 March 2014, all units were outfitted with a triple underbody shield. Existing cars were retrofitted upon request or as part of routine service.[330][331]

On January 1, 2016, a 2014 Model S caught fire while supercharging unsupervised in Brokelandsheia, Norway. The vehicle was destroyed but nobody was injured.[332][333][334] The fire was slow, and the owner had time to unplug the car and retrieve possessions.[335] An investigation by the Norwegian Accident Investigation Board (AIBN) indicated that the fire originated in the car, but was otherwise inconclusive.[336] In March 2016, Tesla stated that their own investigation into the incident concluded that the fire was caused by a short circuit in the vehicle's distribution box, but that the amount of damage prevented them from determining the exact cause.[335] Tesla stated that the Supercharger detected the short circuit and deactivated, and a future Model S software update would stop the vehicle from charging if a short circuit is detected.[337]

NTSB stated that Teslas are not more prone to fires than other vehicles.[338]

First fatal accident involving Autopilot[edit]

The first known fatal accident when Autopilot was active occurred in Williston, Florida on May 7, 2016. In June 2016, the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) opened a formal investigation into the accident, working with the Florida Highway Patrol. According to NHTSA, preliminary reports indicate the crash occurred when a tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of the Tesla at an intersection on a non-controlled access highway, and the driver and the car failed to apply the brakes.[339][340][341] NHTSA's preliminary evaluation examined the design and performance of automated driving systems, which involved an estimated 25,000 cars.[342]

According to Tesla, "neither autopilot nor the driver noticed the white side of the tractor-trailer against a brightly lit sky, so the brake was not applied." The car attempted to drive full speed under the trailer, "with the bottom of the trailer impacting the windshield of the Model S." Tesla also stated that this was Tesla's first known Autopilot-related death in over 130 million mi (209 million km) driven by its customers while Autopilot was activated. According to Tesla a fatality occurred every 94 million mi (150 million km) among all type of vehicles in the U.S.[339][340][343] In January 2017, NTSB concluded Tesla was not at fault since the driver in the crash had seven seconds to see the truck and take action; the investigation revealed that the Tesla car crash rate dropped by 40 percent under autopilot.[344][345]

NHTSA safest car[edit]

On August 19, 2013, based on NHTSA safety ratings, a Tesla press release claimed that the Model S had achieved the best safety rating of any car ever tested. Tesla stated, "NHTSA does not publish a star rating above 5, however safety levels better than 5 stars are captured in the overall Vehicle Safety Score (VSS) provided to manufacturers, where the Model S achieved a new combined record of 5.4 stars."[346][347][348][349][350] However, a few days later NHTSA rebutted Tesla's claim, explaining that the rating for the Model S was equal to any other car receiving 5-stars, and claiming that the carmaker did not follow its advertising guidelines.[351][352][353]


As of December 2021, Tesla had had seven Model S recalls:[354][355][356]

  • On June 14, 2013, Tesla recalled Model S vehicles manufactured between May 10, 2013, and June 8, 2013, due to improper methods for aligning the left hand seat back striker to the bracket, which could weaken the weld between the bracket and frame.[357]
  • On January 13, 2014, Tesla recalled Model S vehicles manufactured in 2013, because the adapter, cord, or wall outlet could overheat during charging.[358]
  • On November 20, 2015, Tesla announced a voluntary recall of all of its 90,000 Model S vehicles, in order to check for a possible defect in the cars' front seat belt assemblies. The problem was raised by one customer in Europe. Tesla's resulting investigation was unable to identify a root cause for the failure, and the company decided to examine every car. Tesla reported that no accidents or injuries were related to the problem.[359][360]
  • On January 20, 2017, Tesla recalled Model S made from 2012 in January 2017 due to defective Takata airbags. Cars manufactured later (until 2017) had smaller risk.[361]
  • On April 20, 2017, Tesla issued a worldwide recall of 53,000 of the 76,000 Model S and Model X vehicles sold in 2016 due to faulty parking brakes.[362][363]
  • On March 30, 2018, all 123,000 Model S cars manufactured before April 2016 were recalled due to excessive corrosion of the bolts which secure the power steering, particularly those cars used in cold countries where roads are salted.[355]
  • In December 2021 119,009 Model S vehicles were recalled because of the possibility of latch failure allowing front hoods to open unexpectedly.[356]



  • 2013 AutoGuide.com Reader's Choice Car of the Year[364]
  • 2013 World Green Car of the Year.[365]
  • Automobile Magazine's 2013 Car of the Year, a unanimous decision.[366]
  • CNET Tech Car of the Year for 2012[367]
  • Consumer Reports gave the Model S a score of 103 out of 100, its highest ever. The Model S broke the rating scale of Consumer Reports during its most recent test.[368]
  • Consumer Reports' 2013 survey of owner satisfaction produced a score of 99 out of 100, "the highest the magazine has seen in years."[369] In 2014 the Model S topped for the second year in a row Consumer Reports survey of owner satisfaction. This time the Model S had a score of 98 out of 100.[370]
  • Consumer Reports found the Model S to be 'Best Overall' for 2014 across all 10 categories of cars, light trucks and SUVs, chosen from more than 260 vehicles the organization has recently tested. The magazine considers the Model S a "technological tour de force, while pricey, is brimming with innovation."[371] In 2015 they rated the Model S at 103 (breaking the scale).[372][373]
  • Green Car Reports' Best Car To Buy 2013[374]
  • Hagerty Greatest Car of the Decade (2010s)[375]
  • Motor Trend 2013 Car of the Year, also a unanimous decision and the first winner in the award's history to not be powered by an internal combustion engine.[376] In 2019, Motor Trend selected it as the ultimate car of the year over the last 70 years.[27]
  • Natural Resources Canada 2013 EcoENERGY for Vehicles Awards in the full-size category[377]
  • Popular Science's Auto Grand Award Winner Best of What's New list 2012.[378]
  • The Telegraph included the Model S in its list of the top 10 cars that changed the world published in December 2014, and also named the electric sedan the most important car of the last 20 years.[379][380]
  • Time Magazine Best 25 Inventions of the Year 2012 award.[381] In 2019, the model S was included in the Time Magazine list of best gadgets of the 2010s.[382]
  • Yahoo! Autos 2013 Car of the Year.[383]
  • American Automobile Association Green Car Guide 2015, top spot (P85D).[384] The Model S also won the 2014 AAA Green Car Guide.[385]
  • 2019 Green Car Reports Car of the Decade.[386]

Distance records[edit]

All of these records used hypermiling techniques such as front motor only, low speed 24 mph (39 km/h), no air conditioning and minimal use of the brakes.[387][388] These attempts were inspired by a blog written by Elon Musk about the planned range and efficiency of the Tesla Model S, offering a prize for anyone exceeding 400 miles (640 km) on a single charge, where it was estimated the 85 kWh model could do it by driving at a constant 36 mph (58 km/h) under ideal conditions.[389]

Configuration Distance Date Team Notes
P100D 670 mi (1,080 km) August 5, 2017 Italian drivers First production electric car to exceed 620 mi (1,000 km) on a single charge.[390]
P100D 560 miles (901.2 km) June 20, 2017 Belgian drivers.[391]
85 kWh 423.5 miles (681.6 km) November 2012 David and Adam Metcalf[392][393]

Lap records[edit]

In early September 2019, a prototype ("plaid" tri motor) Tesla Model S went faster than the official record for the fastest "four-door electric sports car" at the Laguna Seca Raceway, beating a previous time held by the Tesla Model 3 Performance.[394][395]


Range limitation[edit]

On February 8, 2013, The New York Times published a review by John M. Broder about a trip between Washington, D.C., and Boston using Tesla's Supercharger network. At the time it included only two stations on the East Coast. Broder made a variety of critical claims about the battery's performance in cold weather and the distance between charging stations. The trip ended with the Model S carried on a flatbed truck to the Milford, Connecticut, station.[396]

Tesla responded by publishing logs of the vehicle's charge levels and driving speed that contradicted Broder's account.[397] Tesla implied that Broder's behavior forced the car to fail. Broder replied to the criticism, suggesting that the speed discrepancies may have been because the car had been equipped with 19-inch wheels rather than the specified 21-inch wheels.[398] In the midst of the controversy, a CNN reporter recreated Broder's trip without exhausting the battery. However, two differences distinguished the journeys. The weather was about 10 °F (6 °C) warmer and CNN completed the trip in one day; the Times let the car sit overnight while not plugged in.[399] A reporter from CNBC also recreated the trip in one day without incidents.[400] One week later, a group of Tesla owners recreated Broder's trip without problems.[401][402]

On February 18, 2013, The New York Times Public Editor Margaret Sullivan published an editorial stating that Broder took "casual and imprecise notes" and used poor judgment, but she maintained that the article was written in good faith. She admitted that Broder's vehicle logs were "sometimes quite misleading."[403][404][405]

In July and September 2014 tests performed by an independent German car magazine in cooperation with the TÜV (German Association for Technical Inspection) and Tesla owners seemed to reveal issues with the battery's performance. According to the magazine, Tesla did not take up the invitation to repeat the test, and seemed to refuse to offer vehicles for a second test.[406][407] A test performed by another German publication ("Die Welt") supported the findings.[408]

Power dissipation when not in use[edit]

Older versions of the system software suffered from power drain issues when the car wasn't being used, with the batteries losing 4.5 kWh overnight (known commonly as "vampire drain").[409] System software v5.8 (v1.49.30), released December 12, 2013, reduced overnight energy loss substantially, to 1.1 kWh per night, or around 3 miles.[410]

Consumer Reports' recommendation[edit]

In October 2015, two months after naming the Tesla 'the best car ever tested,' Consumer Reports declined to give the Tesla Model S a "recommended" designation, citing too many complaints from owners. Complaints ranged from misaligned doors and squeaky body, to total drive train failure and inoperable door handles. Tesla's shares dropped 15%, both because of the magazine's cut and because of concerns over the Tesla Model X luxury SUV.[48][411] Similarly, Edmunds.com found quality and safety issues in their long-term road test and "amassed quite the repair résumé during the last 17 months."[412] Both Edmunds and Consumer Reports reported the vehicle stalling while driving.[413]

In their 2016 Annual Auto Reliability Survey, Consumer Reports improved the Model S rating to average reliability. The magazine raised "serious concerns about how some automakers, including Tesla, have designed, deployed, and marketed semi-autonomous technology."[49]

By 2017, in the Consumer Reports Car Reliability Survey, Tesla's position on the list moved up four spots; and the predicted reliability rating for Model S reached "above average" for the first time.[73]

In 2018 the annual Consumer Reports reliability survey found Tesla cars amongst the worst with the brand falling 6 spots from 2017 and third worst amongst the brands surveyed.[414][415] The Model S dropped "below average" in reliability with suspension problems and other issues that included the extending door handle.[415]

In 2019 the model S achieved a Consumer Reports "recommended" designation[416] due to improved reliability, with the Model S as the second-most reliable out of four ultra-luxury cars tested.

Power discrepancy[edit]

The P85D "insane mode" was widely reported to have 691 horsepower,[417][418][419] but some owners reported 20% less power on the dynamometer in various circumstances.[420][421] As of November 2015, Tesla website showed battery-limited combined 345 kilowatts (463 hp) for P85D (397 kilowatts (532 hp) for "Ludicrous").[422][420] A lawsuit by 126 owners in Norway[423] was settled in December 2016.[424]

Power consumption[edit]

In early March 2016, a report by Stuff magazine revealed that a test performed by VICOM, Ltd on behalf of Singapore's Land Transport Authority had found a 2014 Tesla Model S to be consuming 444 Wh/km (0.715 kW⋅h/mi),[425][426] which was greater than the 240 Wh/km (0.38 kW⋅h/mi) reported by EPA[427] and the 181 Wh/km (0.291 kW⋅h/mi) reported by Tesla.[428] As a result, a carbon surcharge was imposed on the Model S, making Singapore the only country in the world to impose an environmental surcharge on a fully electric car.[429] The Land Transport Authority justified this by stating that it had to "account for CO2 emissions during the electricity generation process" and therefore "a grid emission factor of 0.5 g/watt-hour was also applied to the electric energy consumption".[430] Tesla countered that when the energy used to extract, refine, and distribute gasoline was taken into account, the Model S produced approximately one-third the CO2 of an equivalent gasoline-powered vehicle.[428]

Later that month, the Land Transport Authority released a statement stating that they and the VICOM Emission Test Laboratory would work with Tesla engineers to determine whether the test was flawed,[431] and a Tesla statement indicated that the discussions were "positive" and that they were confident of a quick resolution.[428]

Plaid+ reservation issues[edit]

After it was announced that Plaid+ was canceled, some reservation holders discovered their reservations had been converted into a full order for the regular Plaid version and with no refund included for their Plaid+ deposit.[432]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lam, Brian (February 19, 2007). "Tesla Whitestar Electric Sedan: 4 Doors, Half the Price of the Roadster". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  2. ^ Johnson, Merritt (February 4, 2008). "Tesla Whitestar to be offered as both an EV and a REV". CNET News. Retrieved May 6, 2012.
  3. ^ Abuelsamid, Samuel (June 12, 2008). "Super-secret photo of Tesla Whitestar leaks out of San Carlos". Autoblog Green. Retrieved October 8, 2013.
  4. ^ Dorian, Drew (October 13, 2020). "2021 Tesla Model S Review, Pricing, and Specs". Car and Driver.
  5. ^ "2020 Tesla Model S Specs & Features". Edmunds.
  6. ^ a b "Model S Specs and Standard features". Tesla Motors. Archived from the original on August 31, 2013. Retrieved August 8, 2013.
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  8. ^ "Tesla Model S Dual 80 A Charger (second onboard 40 A Charger)". Tesla Motors. Archived from the original on December 4, 2016.
  9. ^ Sabatini, Jeff (November 2014). "2014 Tesla Model S 60 Full Test – Review". Car and Driver. Retrieved May 7, 2015.
  10. ^ Cantle, Chriss (October 9, 2014). "Tesla Model S P85D: Dual motors, AWD, 691 hp, 3.2 to 60". Road & Track. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
  11. ^ Sherman, Don (May 2015). "2015 Tesla Model S 70D". Car and Driver. Retrieved May 12, 2015.
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  241. ^ "Bilsalget i desember" [Car sales in December] (in Norwegian). Opplysningsrådet for Veitrafikken AS (OFV, Norwegian Road Federation). January 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016. A total of 4,039 new Model S cars were registered in Norway in 2015.
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  246. ^ "Verkoopstatistieken" [Sales Statistics] (PDF) (in Dutch). RAI Vereniging. January 27, 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on July 9, 2015. Retrieved January 31, 2015. Download the pdf file for detailed sales by model during 2014: "nieuwverkoop personenautos 201412 Archived 2015-02-01 at the Wayback Machine".
  247. ^ a b "Nieuwverkoop Personenautos Per Merk/Model" [New passenger cars sales by brand/model] (in Dutch). RAI Vereniging. January 2016. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved February 28, 2016. A total of 1,805 Model S cars were sold in the Netherlands in 2015".
  248. ^ a b "RAI BOVAG Persbericht Verkopen Personenauto's" [RAI BOVAG Press Release car sales] (PDF) (in Dutch). =RAI Vereniging. January 2017. Retrieved March 8, 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link) A total of 1,693 Model S cars were sold in the Netherlands in 2016."
  249. ^ "Maandelijkse verkoopcijfers" [Monthly sales figures] (in Dutch). RAI Vereniging. January 22, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2018. Download the XLS file "Personenauto's maandrapportage nieuwverkopen 2017" – A total of 2,051 Model S cars were sold in the Netherlands in 2017."
  250. ^ RAI Vereniging (January 7, 2019). "Maandelijkse verkoopcijfers" [Monthly sales figures] (in Dutch). RAI. Retrieved January 14, 2019. Download the XLS file "Personenauto's maandrapportage nieuwverkopen 2018" - A total of 1,613 i3 cars were sold in the Netherlands in 2018."
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  253. ^ "Neuzulassungen von Personenkraftwagen nach Segmenten und Modellreihen im Dezember 2014" [New registrations of passenger cars by segments and models in December 2014] (PDF) (in German). Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA). January 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 5, 2015. Retrieved February 8, 2015. A total of 815 units were registered in Germany in 2014.
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  256. ^ Kraftfahrt-Bundesamt (KBA) (January 2019). "Neuzulassungen von Personenkraftwagen nach Segmenten und Modellreihen im Dezember 2018 (FZ 11) (xlsx, 75 KB, Datei ist nicht barrierefrei)" [New registrations of passenger cars by segments and models in December 2018] (in German). KBA. Retrieved January 14, 2019. Click on the link Neuzulassungen von Personenkraftwagen nach Marken und Modellreihen im Dezember 2018 (FZ 11) (xlsx, 75 KB, Datei ist nicht barrierefrei) to download the file with registrations figures by model.
  257. ^ "Plug-in grant eligible vehicles licensed (at the end of Q3 2017)". UK: RAC Foundation. January 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018. This figure corresponds to eligible vehicles for the plug-in car and van grant schemes as licensed in the UK at the end of Q2 2017 (not cumulative sales).
  258. ^ "Plug-in grant eligible vehicles licensed (at the end of Q1 2016)". UK: RAC Foundation. Retrieved June 7, 2016. Figures correspond to the number of vehicles registered at the end of the corresponding quarter.
  259. ^ Lilly, Chris (September 17, 2015). "Outlander PHEV tops ultra-low emission league table as plug-in sales soar". Next Green Car. Retrieved September 24, 2015. A total of 1,047 Model S cars were registered in the UK at the end of June 2015.
  260. ^ "Plug-in grant eligible vehicles licensed (at the end of Q3 2016)". UK: RAC Foundation. March 2017. Retrieved March 9, 2017. A total of 3,907 Model S cars were registered in the UK at the end of September 2016.
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  264. ^ "ÅRETS BILSALG 2017" [Car sales 2017] (in Danish). Bilimp. January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2018. Download the file "12-2017.xls" and click on the tab "Pressemeddelelse"
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  266. ^ "Nyregistreringar december 2016 def" [New Registrations December 2015 (final)] (in Swedish). Bil Sweden. January 4, 2016. Archived from the original on April 15, 2016. Retrieved April 15, 2016. Download the pdf file "Nyregistreringar december 2015 def" See table: Nyregistrerade miljöpersonbilar December 2015
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  268. ^ "Definitiva nyregistreringar under 2017" [Definitive new registrations in 2017] (in Swedish). Bil Sweden. January 8, 2018. Retrieved January 28, 2018. Download the pdf file "PressRel1712_DEF.pdf" See table: "Nyregistrerade supermiljöbilar december 2017"
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  271. ^ "Chiffres de vente & immatriculations de voitures électriques en France" [Sales figures & electric car registrations in France] (in French). Automobile Propre. January 2017. Retrieved March 10, 2017. See "Ventes de voitures électriques" in 2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013. It shows all-electric car registrations between 2010 and 2016. A total of 785 Model S cars were registered in 2016, 708 in 2015 and 328 in 2014.
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  281. ^ "Neuzulassungen nach Jahren" [Registrations by year] (in German). Statistik Austria. January 2015. Retrieved February 12, 2015. Download the pdf file "Kfz-Neuzulassungen Jänner bis Dezember 2014" for Tesla's monthly sales during 2014.
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  288. ^ Hirsch, Jerry (February 19, 2014). "Tesla Motors ends year with higher sales but still a big loss". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on April 22, 2014. Retrieved February 19, 2014. A total of 22,477 Model S sedans were sold in 2013.
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  290. ^ Philippe Crowe (December 9, 2014). "Tesla Officially Open For Business in Australia". HybridCars.com. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  291. ^ Eric Loveday (December 10, 2014). "Tesla Model S Launches in Australia; First Australian Supercharger Comes Online". InsideEVs.com. Retrieved July 14, 2015.
  292. ^ David McCowen (May 26, 2015). "Why the Tesla is Australia's best-selling electric car". Drive. Retrieved July 13, 2015.
  293. ^ Ucilia Wang (November 5, 2013). "Tesla Makes Record Delivery of Model S, Promises A 'Pioneering Approach' To Servicing Its Cars". Forbes. Retrieved November 5, 2013. Over 5,500 units delivered during 3Q 2013.
  294. ^ Dobush, Grace (August 1, 2018). "Why Tesla Is Investing $5 Billion in a New China Factory, Its First Outside the U.S." Fortune. Retrieved January 28, 2019.
  295. ^ Automotive Industry Data (AID) (April 1, 2016). "Tesla's Model S outsold Mercedes S-Class in Europe last year". AID Newsletter. Retrieved April 7, 2016. During 2015 Tesla Models S sales in Western Europe totaled 15,787 units, while Mercedes-Benz S-Class sales totaled 14,990 units.
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