Tesla’s Model S is the first electric car with 400-mile range EPA rating

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The Tesla Model S Long Range Plus now has an EPA-rated range of 402 miles, making it the first electric vehicle to receive a rating of over 400 miles from the agency. The new rating applies to all North American Model S vehicles with the “Long Range Plus” name, which Tesla introduced back in February to replace the “Long Range” version of the car.

“All Model S cars made since late Jan have 402 mile range,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said in a tweet. “This is just making it official.” The Model S Long Range Plus has a starting price of $74,990 following a price reduction last month.

Tesla Model S now first ever electric vehicle to receive EPA range rating above 400 miles! https://t.co/EOTwVfvHS5

Until recently, the EPA-rated range of the Model S Long Range Plus was 391 miles, but this had been a source of contention between Tesla and the EPA. Last month, Tesla’s CEO claimed that the rating was a result of a mistake made by the EPA, which caused the car to lose 2 percent of its range when tested. However, the government agency disputed this, and said that the car had been tested properly. At the time, Musk said the car would be re-tested when the EPA reopened.

On Tuesday, the EPA told CNBC that it approved the new range estimate after receiving data from Tesla gathered during an in-house test. “Tesla has updated the 2020 Model S Long Range Plus vehicle making several changes to the vehicle from the one EPA previously tested. EPA approved the new label value based on a review of the testing protocols and data submitted by Tesla and found it was complete and accurate,” the agency said.

In a blog post accompanying the announcement, Tesla has detailed the improvements that have allowed the car to break the 400-mile barrier. These include weight reductions in components like the car’s battery pack, more aerodynamic wheels, and using more efficient drive units. Regenerative braking improvements also mean more energy gets sent back to the car’s battery pack while driving.

The improvements result in “a nearly 20% increase in range when compared to a 2019 Model S 100D with the same battery pack design,” Tesla says.

Update June 16th, 5:00PM ET: Added information from the EPA in the fourth paragraph.

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