Tesla shocked the world when they released the Standard Range Rear Wheel Drive Model Y last month at a cost of $41,990! This was after they touted that the Long Rang Rear Wheel Drive Model Y release was going to be imminent.

Disclaimer – If you order from the link on this image, you and I both receive 1,000 free Super Charger Miles.

This was surprising as Elon Musk responded back in July, 2020 that they were not going to make it after @jgrano306 on Twitter noticed that the SR Model Y info was taken down from the configuration page. Elon responded that they were not going to make the SR Model Y as the range would be “unacceptably low” and would offer a “LR single motor Y in a few months”.

This got a lot of people excited as a Long Range (LR) Rear Wheel Drive (RWD) Model Y would hypothetically have more range than the LR All Wheel Drive (RWD) which has a published EPA of 326 miles. This was THE car that a lot of people wanted especially those who didn’t need the AWD or the 2nd motor. It also didn’t help that many people had put a $2,500 deposit for the LR RWD when it was initially available to order.

When the Tesla Model Y SR RWD was made available, one of the question everyone asked was, “What is the real road range?” As we’ve seen with previous Tesla models, range is determined by many factors. Similar to ICE (internal combustion engine) cars, we rare see cars get EPA rated mileage. The problem with electric vehicles is that even the best gets much less range than what we are accustomed to.

Range is impacted by many factors such as:

  • Weather (rain, snow, headwind)
  • High speed (freeway)
  • Driving pattern (stop and go)
  • Hills

Tesla actually has a page that gives you Range Tips on their site.

Model Y Standard Range Road Test

When the Model Y SR RWD was released with the start price of $41,990, it attracted many people for those who don’t need AWD or a bigger battery. Many shifted their attention to its range. As Elon Musk himself claimed that under 250 miles would not be acceptable, the EPA estimate had it at 244 miles. But many wondered how much would it actually get at full charge? How many miles would you get with a reasonable state of charge (SOC) from say 80% down to 20%?

I finally found Daily Driver on YouTube who did exactly this. He tried to emulate the EPA test of driving continuously between 70 – 77 mph with internal temperature of 72F. Outside temperature was a bit cold at 24F.

Based on his test video, he started his Model Y SR RWD at 93% SOC and drove 105 miles and ended at 26% SOC. He drained 67% of his battery on this trip. Based off of this, his efficiency was 322 Wh/Mile (to reach EPA values, you need to be at around 250 Wh/Mile). Had he started at 100% SOC and went all the way to 0%, he would have been able to travel 156 miles. This is well lower than the EPA estimated 244 miles.

In the video, he calculated 3.1 miles / kWh x 60 kw battery to get 186 miles which is higher than what I calculated.

Here is the video!