The EPA says the Tesla Model S Long Range can go 402 miles on a charge

Matt Burns
Tesla Model S

The Tesla Model S Long Range now has an EPA-rated range of 402 miles on a charge. This comes after a previous rating capped the Long Range variant at 391 miles — a rating with which Elon Musk took issue, claiming the agency left the door open and the key in its tester overnight, draining the battery by 2%. The EPA refuted Musk's claim.

According to Tesla, all Model S Long Range vehicles made in 2020 are equipped to hit this EPA rating.

With a 402-mile range, the latest version of 2020 Model S Long Range can go 20% farther on a charge than the 2019 model. Tesla detailed the tweaks and upgrades needed to cross the 400-mile mark.

To squeak out the extra range, Tesla installed several upgrades in the latest version of the Model S Long Range. Tesla says the "standardization of Tesla's in-house seat manufacturing" lead to a significant weight loss. The automaker also redesigned its aero-focused wheels and used different tires specifically engineered to reduce rolling resistance. An electric oil pump replaced a mechanical version, and the gearbox was tweaked in some way that helped contribute to the increased range.

Tesla engineers reworked the Model S's regenerative braking system, too. A new drive feature called HOLD "blends the motor's regenerative braking with physical brakes to bring our cars to a stop by easing off of the accelerator pedal." This system works at a lower speed than previous iterations and can send more energy back to the battery pack.

The 400-mile range represents a significant milestone for Tesla. The range is significantly farther than competing electric vehicles, but 400 miles per charge is nearly the same as vehicles powered by internal gas engines.