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Tesla plans to increase vehicle power, range, and charging through new software update

Tesla has announced plans to increase vehicle power and range through a new software update coming in the next few weeks.

When Tesla launched the $35,000 Model 3 earlier this year, the automaker surprised many by announcing that it will increase the range of all existing Long-Range Model 3 vehicles delivered to date.

CEO Elon Musk said at the time:

There’s also some things we’ve been able to do for existing customers that are pretty cool. Tesla is as much a software company as a hardware company and we’ve been able to via firmware improve the range of the long-range rear wheel drive car from 310 miles to 325 miles. This will affect all customers, including those that were all long range cars shipped to date and new cars. So both existing and new customers will get a 15 mile range increase from 310 to 325.

Tesla ended up pushing the update in March — although it didn’t affect all the Model 3 Long Range vehicles the same way.

During a conference call with analysts after Tesla’s Q3 2019 earnings, Musk said that they have more improvements coming through software updates:

I forgot to mention, we’re also expecting there’s going to be an over-the-air improvement that will improve the power of the Model S, X, and 3. That’s, by the way, coming in a few weeks. It should be in the order of 5% power improvement due to improved firmware.

Tesla VP of technology Drew Baglino said that they have found ways to optimize the motor control, and it should result in about “5% improvement for all Model 3 customers and 3% for Model S and Model X” customers.

Musk also said that the upcoming update will also bring improvements to the range, single-pedal driving, Supercharging speed, comfort, and feel.

They didn’t specify which variants of each model will get the improvements beyond the fact Supercharging speed is going to improve for Model 3 Standard Range and Standard Range Plus.

As for the motor optimizations, if they are going to affect both Model S/X and Model 3, it’s likely for the more recent “Raven” Model S and X, which have a similar motor as Model 3.

Electrek’s Take

The idea of a car receiving performance improvements through software updates is impressive, but we weren’t particularly impressed by the range increase for Model 3 Long Range RWD.

We previously reported on how Tesla played with EPA ratings to advertise all Model 3 versions with 310-mile range, even though the Long Range version was able to get more.

So they probably could have always advertised the car with more range.

However, this is a lot more impressive.

It sounds like Tesla has found ways to safely push their electric motors higher and even make them more efficient.

I am looking forward to seeing exactly how it’s going to affect the vehicles.

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