Tesla is working on a new ~110 kWh battery pack, its largest yet, and it should bring the range of some of its electric vehicles to more than 400 miles on a single charge.
During Tesla’s 2019 Shareholder’s Meeting last month, CEO Elon Musk said that he sees Tesla having a 400-mile range electric car soon:
“It will not be long before we have a 400-mile range car.”
At the time, the Model S ‘Long Range’ was Tesla’s longest-range vehicle with a 370-mile EPA rating.
Since then, Tesla has updated the range of the vehicle, which is now called Model S Long Range Plus, and it has now an official 390-mile EPA rating.
We are told that the new range was actually achieved through some software improvements and Tesla updating the range with the EPA.
Now we’ve learned that Tesla is actually preparing a hardware upgrade that should lead to an even greater range for the Model S and other vehicles in Tesla’s lineup.
Jason Hughes, a well-known Tesla hacker and parts reseller dug into Tesla’s latest battery management system updates and found that the automaker has been working on a new battery pack configuration:
Spent a little time RE'ing some recent Tesla BMS firmware.
Some variables were tweaked to fit 108 cell groups (~450V pack).
There is a packID that starts life set to ~109 kWh usable (400+ miles).
Bunch of other tweaks suggest prep for new S/X/3 pack configs at some point. 🔋
— Jason Hughes (@wk057) February 19, 2020
He is saying that based on the information in the latest BMS firmware, Tesla is working a new battery pack configuration with groups of 108 cells for a ~450-volt pack with around 109 kWh of usable energy capacity.
A pack with that kind of energy capacity in a Model S would result in more than 400 miles of range as Musk talked about last month.
But Hughes says that the new architecture points toward new packs available across Tesla’s entire lineup.
As I stated when Elon first mentioned this, I don’t think bigger battery packs should be a priority.
However, it could be that Tesla is developing a new architecture that simply leads to more energy in battery packs of the same size.
In that case, I have no problem with it.
Also, achieving over 400 miles on a single charge will help combat the general perception that some people have about electric vehicles not having a long range.
In the long term, the goal should be to change people’s belief that they actually need such a long range, but in the short term, it’s good to address the problem from both sides.
I think fast and convenient charging will have a greater impact than ranges of more than 250 miles over the long run.
I expect the comment section to fight me on this, but again, I am not saying that Tesla shouldn’t do cars with a range of more than 250 miles.
I am saying that in the long term, once the charging infrastructure improves to the point that fast and convenient charging is available everywhere, it would make sense for people to accept that EVs with a range of 200 to 300 miles on a single charge makes the most sense for the vast majority of the population.
Again, I know there are exceptions and longer-range cars are going to be on the market for those people.
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