If you were in any doubt about how fast EV technology is evolving, Tesla have just announced a range upgrade for the Model S and X. Using the same 100kWh battery, the Model S can now achieve a very healthy NEDC rated range for Model S Long Range is 660km on a single charge, while the larger, heavier Model X Long Range is good for 575km.
Tesla says the upgrade comes as a result of engineering obsessession with making the world’s most efficient electric vehicles. This extends the range capabilities of Tesla vehicles even farther than any other production EV on the market.
In a country that is large like Australia, a range extension is incredibly important as puts to bed that tired argument that EVs can’t achieve the range necessary to transit Australia. Some can’t, Tesla’s can and now we wait to see what range the Model 3 can acheive when it launches in the second have of 2019.
From today, all new Model S and Model X come with autopilot by default. This adds to Elon’s announcement yesterday that all new Tesla vehicles (including the Model 3, due in Aus later this year) will come with Autopilot v3 hardware, using a custom Tesla-built processor.
There’s also a brand-new adaptive suspension system for Model S and Model X, along with a few other improvements for the best range, acceleration, and ride comfort ever, plus a Ludicrous Mode upgrade for the most loyal customers.
Here’s the detail on what’s new:
More Efficient Design
All Model S and X vehicles now benefit from Tesla’s latest generation of drive unit technology, which combines an optimized permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, silicon carbide power electronics, and improved lubrication, cooling, bearings, and gear designs to achieve greater than 93% efficiency. Pairing a permanent magnet motor in the front with an induction motor in the rear enables unparalleled range and performance at all times.
The net effect is a more than 10% improvement in range, with efficiency improvements in both directions as energy flows out of the battery during acceleration and back into the battery through regenerative braking. In addition to adding range, power and torque increases significantly across all Model S and Model X variants, improving 0-60 mph times for Long Range and Standard Range models.
Paired with the new more efficient drivetrain design, Model S and Model X are now capable of achieving 200 kW on V3 Superchargers and 145 kW on V2 Superchargers. Together, these improvements enable customers to recharge their miles 50% faster.
Fully Adaptive Suspension
There’s also an upgraded air suspension system for Model S and Model X with fully-adaptive damping, giving it an ultra-cushioned feel when cruising on the highway or using Autopilot, and a responsive, exhilarating confidence during dynamic driving.
Unlike other manufacturers, Tesla suspension software is developed completely in-house, using a predictive model to anticipate how the damping will need to be adjusted based on the road, speed, and other vehicle and driver inputs.
The system constantly adapts by sensing the road and adjusting for driver behavior, automatically softening for more pronounced road inputs and firming for aggressive driving. We’ve also improved the leveling of the system while cruising, keeping the car low to optimize aerodynamic drag.
As with all of Tesla’s in-house software, the adaptive suspension can receive over-the-air updates, allowing us to enable all Model S and Model X customers to have the most advanced suspension technology at all times.
To complement these changes, we’ve also re-engineered several other components of Model S and Model X in keeping with the philosophy of continuous improvement. These updates include new wheel bearings and a few new tire designs for certain variants to improve range, ride, and steering. While these changes may seem minor, together they have a meaningful impact when it comes to EV design.
In addition to the Long Range and Performance variants, we’re also re-introducing a lower entry price for Model S and Model X by bringing back the Standard Range option, now available for an even greater value with the new drivetrain and suspension updates.
We also want to emphasize the critical impact each of early Tesla owners has had on advancing the company’s mission. As a thank you, all existing Model S and Model X owners who wish to purchase a new Model S or Model X Performance car will get the Ludicrous Mode upgrade, a $20,000 value, at no additional charge.
These changes will go into production at Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California this week, and can be ordered today at Tesla.com.