Tesla shares the complexity behind its range calculations

Tesla has given us a glimpse into what it takes to provide insanely accurate range estimations, something that is critical to ease what is probably the biggest concern among new electric vehicle (EV) drivers – range anxiety.

If you have ever driven a Tesla on a road trip you know that once you input your destination into the on-board navigation, the range estimation and arrival battery percentage displayed on the screen is often precisely accurate. We already knew that the range calculation took into account a number of external variables you would expect it to, like elevation gain/loss and the expected speed along your route.

It also takes into account other variables, including an update last year to consider wind speed and direction.

Now Tesla has shared just how complex their range calculation formula is, revealing through a post on X (formerly Twitter) it considers at least fifteen different variables, some of which you might not even think would affect how far your Tesla can drive, like the outside humidity and pressure and solar load and cloud cover.

  • Wind speed & direction
  • Elevation/grade
  • Traffic speed
  • Avg acceleration/deceleration
  • Ambient temperature
  • Humidity & pressure
  • Solar load & cloud cover
  • Initial battery %
  • Initial battery temperature
  • Gross combined vehicle weight
  • Rolling resistance
  • Aerodynamic drag coefficient
  • HVAC consumption
  • Vehicle-specific energy consumption (bike rack or similar)
  • Battery preconditioning

Interestingly Tesla ended the post with “& more,” suggesting there are still other variables in the range calculation formula. What makes Tesla’s range calculations even more impressive is that all of this is done behind the scenes, all you need to do is type in your destination and the computer does the rest.

Of course there is another part to the equation that helps in providing accurate navigation information, and that’s the Superchargers you will need to plug in to along your route. Tesla is able to monitor in real-time the status of every single Supercharger post in the world, which allows your car to know how many stalls are available at a particular station, and how many are out of order. If a Supercharger is busy, it will even redirect you to a less busy station, all the while considering if you will have enough charge in your battery to make it there in the first place.

Are you buying a Tesla? If we helped, click here to get 6 months of free Supercharging and a three month trial of Full Self-Driving (FSD).
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