After more than 10 hours of driving, we traveled a total of 345 miles in the 2021 Model S Plaid. That's only 3 miles short of, or just about 1% less than, its EPA estimate. That's an excellent result regardless, especially for a car with this much power, rolling around on large 21-inch wheels and sticky summer tires. Overall, the Plaid's range performance puts it in first place overall, tied with the 2021 Tesla Model 3 Long Range.
We also put the Model S Plaid on our scales and were surprised with its weigh-in result:
2021 Tesla Model S Plaid w/ 21-inch wheels
Tesla's claimed curb weight: 4,766 pounds (with 19-inch wheels)
Edmunds: 4,842 pounds
2020 Tesla Model S Performance w/ 21-inch wheels
Tesla's claimed curb weight: 4,941 pounds (with 19-inch wheels)
Edmunds: 4,934 pounds
Tesla somehow figured out how to reduce the Plaid's weight by nearly 100 pounds from the former Performance model despite this model carrying around an extra electric motor and rolling on wider tires (+20 mm in front, +30 mm in the rear). This certainly contributes to its impressive efficiency.
So how much did those 345 miles cost?
Now it's time for a little math, but the fun kind. While the total range of a vehicle continues to dominate the EV conversation, energy consumption, especially when talking about these high-powered cars, is an important factor as well. Energy consumption is what determines how much your miles will cost you. The unit of measurement for consumption, the kilowatt-hour, can be thought of as the EV equivalent of a gallon of gasoline. Just like gas, the price of electricity varies depending where you live. For example, you'll pay about 10 cents per kilowatt-hour in Idaho as of this writing, whereas in Hawaii it'll run you about 33 cents.
So, what can 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid owners expect to pay at "the pump"? After charging the battery back to full, we calculated an Edmunds consumption rate of 32.1 kWh/100 miles, which is 2.7% more efficient than the EPA estimate of 33 kWh/100 miles. That means that if we lived in Hawaii, our 345-mile trip in the Plaid would have cost us $36.55, while if we lived in Idaho, that same charge would cost just $11.08.