Tesla Model S has become the first electric car to exceed 400 miles (644 km) of autonomy under the strict American EPA approval cycle: its Long Range Plus version has reached 402 miles. It is interesting to remember that in most cases, autonomy in real conditions is very similar to EPA, and sometimes even higher.
“This significant achievement reflects Tesla’s obsession with energy efficiency, and it materializes through various changes […] in hardware and core system development by Tesla’s engineering, design, and production teams. These changes went into production earlier this year when we started manufacturing the Model S Long Range Plus at our factory in Fremont, California. All Model S Long Range Plus will receive the new 400-mile rating.”
The improvements made to achieve this significant increase have been numerous. For starters, Tesla has incorporated in the Model S and Model X several solutions from the Model 3 and Model Y that have allowed to reduce the weight of both vehicles. Besides, a slight saving in mass was also achieved thanks to the new in-house seats and battery packs made of lighter materials.
The 19-inch Tempest aerodynamic tires have improved the overall efficiency of the car compared to the previous model, increasing the range by 2% combined with low rolling resistance tires. On the other hand, Tesla has also improved the efficiency of the rear (induction) engine by replacing the mechanical oil pump with an electric oil pump that optimizes lubrication regardless of vehicle speed to reduce friction. This, coupled with additional improvements to the front motor (permanent magnet), has an increased range of another 2%.
Finally, Tesla also cites the improvements made in regenerative braking, which allow a slight increase in the efficiency of the car. The sum of all these updates has resulted in a new record of autonomy with a vehicle that continues to use a less efficient rear engine than the Model 3 and Model Y, as well as batteries with cells that are not of the latest generation.
How much autonomy can the Model S achieve when Tesla updates its mechanics and batteries? It is possible that in a short time, we will no longer doubts thanks to the Tesla Battery Day. Rumors suggest that the brand will present at the event a prototype of the Model S equipped with new, more capable, durable, and cheap cells.