Tesla has announced the first 400-mile range electric car, with the EPA certifying the North American Model S Long Range Plus as officially having a range of 402 miles.
The new range represents a nearly 20% increase in range when compared to a 2019 Model S 100D with the same battery pack design.
This achievement is realized through several changes, both iterative and transformational, in core hardware and system architecture development by the Tesla engineering, design and production teams.
The changes went into production earlier this year when they first started manufacturing Model S Long Range Plus and all Model S Long Range Plus vehicles will receive the new 402-mile rating.
The improvement is due to the following changes and improvements:
Significant Mass Reduction
Several lessons from the engineering design and manufacturing of Model 3 and Model Y have been carried over to Model S and Model X. This has unlocked new areas of mass reduction while maintaining the premium feel and performance of both vehicles. Additional weight savings have also been achieved through the standardization of Tesla’s in-house seat manufacturing and lighter-weight materials used in our battery pack and drive units.
New “Tempest” Aero Wheels and Tires
Tesla’s newest 8.5 inch-wide aero wheels reduce aerodynamic drag compared to the previous wheels on Model S Long Range, and when paired with a new custom tire specifically engineered to reduce rolling resistance, add a 2% improvement to overall range.
Increased Drive Unit Efficiency
In their rear AC-induction drive unit, Tesla replaced the mechanical oil pump with an electric oil pump that optimizes lubrication independent of vehicle speed to reduce friction. Further improvements to the gearbox in their front permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motors shared with Model 3 and Model Y have resulted in a further increase of 2% more range while driving on the highway.
Maximizing Regenerative Braking
HOLD blends the motor’s regenerative braking with physical brakes to bring Teslas to a stop by easing off of the accelerator pedal. To bring the car to a stop smoothly, regenerative braking now works at a lower speed and deceleration rate, sending more energy back to the battery pack while simultaneously enabling a driving experience like no other car.
While each of these changes is relatively small in individual impact, Tesla says their unique ability to introduce them into active manufacturing lines enables significant gains in efficiency, range, and overall value when combined.
Tesla says these improvements, combined with their expanding Supercharger Network, means range anxiety should be something of the past, and suggests with a new $5000 discount now may be the best time to buy a new Tesla yet.