Tesla has updated their website highlighting a 371 mile range per charge for the Long Range Plus model. The Long Range Plus previously had a 351 mile EPA rating. The Performance model has also seen an increase, it is now up to 341 miles of range, which is up from 305. This is two fairly substantial increases in range in less than a year. The Tesla Model X range increase for the Long Range Model went from 330 miles late last year to now 371 miles with the Long Range Plus. With this 41 mile increase, it’s nearly half of what the original LEAF had for range.
How Did Tesla Do It?
There doesn’t seem to be any official announcements yet from Tesla how this increase was obtained. Whether it might be a hardware, a battery chemistry change, or if it may have been improvements to the efficiency within the software.
With technology there always seems to be iterative improvements over time. It’s possible Tesla has been able to increase the battery density of the Model S and X cells.
I believe the 0-60 times are unchanged, here’s the current specs for both versions of the Model X:
What About the Tesla Model S?
The Tesla Model S Performance now shows a range of 387 miles from 348. Interestingly, the Long Range Plus remains at 402 miles per charge. Is it possible Tesla hasn’t gotten around to updating it? It’s a bit odd that both versions of the Model X are showing increases, but only the Performance version on the Model S. It’s quite possible Tesla is awaiting an updated number from the EPA.
Other than the range increase on both the Long Range Plus and Performance models, there doesn’t appear to be any other changes to the Model X at this time. It’s been rumored that it might be due for a refresh of at least the interior. However, nothing new has surfaced of late.
Our 2020 Model X
We took delivery of our 2020 Tesla Model X toward the end of December, 2019. At the time, it had an EPA rating of 330 miles per charge. A few months later, via a free over-the-air software update, it was bumped up to 351 miles per charge. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for our estimated range especially after the next few software updates, but I’m guessing we’re maxed out on our range.
The new 4860 cells announced during Tesla’s Battery Day back in September appear to be at least 1-2 years away. Will Tesla continue to try and innovate with the current cells? We’ve previously discussed it, but there are people waiting to see a refreshed vehicle from Tesla. Particularly, with the Model S that hasn’t seen many changes since it first went into production back in 2012.
With the Tesla Roadster expected to get 620+ miles per charge, the Tri-Motor Cybertruck with 500+, it’s safe to wonder how much more development will be placed on range. At some point there will likely be a plateau. How much range does the average driver really need? Road trips are one thing, but daily driver another. I can see where there will be more focus on longevity of the batteries as well as charging speeds.
Tesla was rumored to possibly announce their million mile battery during Battery Day. While they didn’t announce it in September, they might be very close. They’ll likely have plenty of cycle testing not only in a lab, but real world testing as well.
As far as charging speed goes, Tesla is currently able to deliver 250 kW’s with their version 3 Supercharging stations. With incremental software improvements charging times have also improved over the years. The goal always seems to be around making charging nearly as fast as filling up at the pump, at least while on the road. Tesla had previously toyed with the idea of battery swaps, but seem to have moved on from those tests. Nio on the other has implemented battery swap stations.
I find it exciting to see continued improvements to range and the overall product. The fact Tesla is able to do so much of this with free over-the-air updates is amazing. Your vehicle will be more capable in many areas than when you first purchased it. It’s hard to find any other auto manufacturers today that are doing anything remotely similar.
Let’s see what’s next. While it might seem minuscule to some, 20 extra miles of range is no small feat. It would be one thing to add more batteries, but the fact Tesla continues to find ways to squeeze more range from the same size battery pack really showcases some serious innovation.
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What are your thoughts on the recent range increase? Leave your comments below.