Home Vehicle Cars How Tesla's new Model S achieved 400 miles of range

How Tesla’s new Model S achieved 400 miles of range

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Tesla has been achieving feats that were once considered impossible. Elon’s leadership is taking the company to new heights achieving milestone after milestone. First proving the world that electric mobility is possible, and not just that but also making it equal fun to drive with its internal combustion counterparts. Next in the list is adding miles per charge to the overall range and providing better charging infrastructure thus making it easy to own and run an electric vehicle.

How Tesla's new Model S achieved 400 miles of range

Teslas have been single-handedly challenging the whole automobile industry to raise their bars. Another accomplishment by Tesla is that it has crossed the 400miles mark in a single charge. Recently EPA has officially rated the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus range at 402 miles, representing a 20% increase when compared to the range of 2019 Model S 100D with equivalent battery size. This is the result of continuous progress in design to deliver the longest range with groundbreaking performance. Energy frugality and efficiency have been Tesla’s obsession. This has been very evident in the way Tesla has been undergoing iterative and transformational changes.

How new Tesla Model S achieved 400 miles of range on a single charge

One interesting incident worth mentioning is that in an earlier attempt to rate the vehicle, EPA certified it the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus for 391 miles of range, to which Elon said that it is completely bogus and claimed a higher range. Musk said that EPA has inefficiently tested the car and gave the results. What actually happened was that EPA during the last attempt of the test left the car doors open and the keys inside the car and this was kept for a period of almost 6 to 8 hours resulting in the car to wait for the driver thus car went into waiting for driver mode losing 2 % of its range resulting in the 391 miles range figure.

Musk further clarified that Tesla’s internal tests achieved a 400+ mile per charge figure since February 2020.

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This significant achievement reflects Tesla’s obsession with efficiency and energy frugality, and is realized through several changes, both iterative and transformational, in core hardware and system architecture development by the Tesla engineering, design, and production teams. These changes went into production earlier this year when we first started manufacturing Model S Long Range Plus at our factory in Fremont, California. All Model S Long Range Plus vehicles will receive the new 402-mile rating.

The ingredients to this 402 mile per charge recipe are:

Significant Mass Reduction

Minimizing mass smartly, enhances both efficiency and performance of a vehicle. This has been achieved by minimizing the weight of every component accomplished by design and engineering teams. Learning from the engineering design and manufacturing of Model 3/Y has been smartly incorporated into Model S and Model X. These advancements have allowed new ways of mass reduction while not compromising with the premium feel and performance of the Teslas. Additional weight savings are a result of in-house seat manufacturing and lighter-weight materials being used in the battery pack and drive units.

New “Tempest” Aero Wheels and Tires

The upgraded 8.5 inch-wide aero wheels are effective in reducing aerodynamic drag in the Model S Long Range, and reduction in rolling resistance is observed pairing these wheels with new custom tire engineered specifically for these wheels. These add an overall improvement of 2% to the range.

Increased Drive Unit Efficiency

The mechanical oil pump was replaced with an electrical oil pump in the rear AC-induction drive unit. This optimized lubrication irrespective of vehicle speed thus reducing friction. The front permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motors and its gearbox have undergone further improvements with Model 3 and Model Y adding 2% more range while driving on the highway.

Maximizing Regenerative Braking

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HOLD, a very new addition to the setup works by blending the motor’s regenerative braking with physical brakes to decelerate the cars bringing then to a halt also easing off of the accelerator pedal. Regenerative braking is adjusted to work at a lower speed and deceleration rate stopping the car smoothly hence sending more energy back to the battery pack and enabling a driving experience unmatched to any other car. The transition from regen to friction brakes at lower speed now.

Continued Investment in Supercharging

The freedom of movement in terms of a vehicle means both range and charging, and the Supercharger Network now connects to over 17,000 Superchargers globally. V3 Supercharging has been deployed on three continents, reducing the charging times by 50% when compared to V2 technology. Tesla owners are now able to travel farther distances just like they can do in a gasoline-powered car – from the Arctic Circle of Norway to southern Portugal, the Everglades to Vancouver, Hong Kong to Harbin, China – the bonus being the cost-effectiveness.

Final Thoughts

While each individual change may sound small, impactwise, the uniqueness of introducing them into active manufacturing lines results in significant gains in efficiency, range, and overall value. Recently Model S Long Range Plus has received a price cut of $5,000. Now viewing this with range improvements and gains in efficiency, buyers get more value than ever when buying a new Tesla car, and other Tesla products and the connective technology enables vehicles to continuously improve with time, thanks to the over-the-air software updates.

This 400 miles per charge achievement is just a tip of the iceberg. Next Tesla has delayed its long-awaited battery day and has hinted that they are planning to reveal the details about their next big thing The Million Mile battery.

RipuDaman Shrivastava
automobile enthusiast oil and gas engineer turned businessman writing for the love of cars

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