The Tesla Model S first went on sale in 2012. At the time, it was certified to deliver 242-miles (389km) on a single charge. Over the years with the improvement in battery technology for electric vehicles along with further refinement, Tesla subsequently introduced new improved versions of the Model S that offered more and more range on a single charge. Now Tesla has mentioned in a blog post on its website stating that the new 2020 Tesla Model S Long Range Plus has been certified to deliver 402 miles (646 kilometres) on a single charge by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA cycle) making the Tesla the first production electric car certified to cross the 400-mile barrier. In the post on the brand’s website, Tesla elaborated on the multiple ways it was able to achieve the feat.
First and foremost measure that was taken by Tesla was a reduction in mass. Tesla stated in the post “Mass is the enemy of both efficiency and performance, and minimising the weight of every component is an ongoing goal for our design and engineering teams.” Tesla has taken several lessons and learnings from the development of the Model 3 and Model Y which it is transferring to the Model S and Model X. In addition to reducing the weight of components in the vehicle’s drive train, Tesla has also saved additional weight through the standardisation of seat manufacturing and also used lighter-weight materials in its battery pack and drive units.
Additionally, Tesla has designed new “Tempest” 8.5 inch-wide aerodynamic wheels that help reduce drag compared to the wheels offers on the older Model S. Along with that, the new tyres which are specially designed for the Model S provide less rolling resistance, both in combination has claimed to have helped increase the vehicle’s range by 2%. Tesla has also replaced the mechanical oil pump for an electrical unit in the rear AC-induction drive system. The new oil pump allows optimising lubrication independent of vehicle speed to reduce friction. Additionally, the improvements to the gearbox for the motor on the front axle has also contributed to another 2% in improvement in range.
Tesla has also worked on the regenerative braking system of the Model S. With the new drive feature – HOLD, the Model S uses the regenerative system from the electric motors along with the vehicle’s mechanical brakes when the driver lifts off the throttle for a smoother deceleration. The regenerative braking system has now been tuned to interfere at a lower speed and deceleration rate as well.
Tesla has not mentioned if the cost of the Model S has risen with the new improvements, but has mentioned that it is currently giving a reduction of up to US$5,000 (~Rs 3.79 lakh) on the Model S on the price of the vehicle. The reason for the reduction in price for the Model S Long Range Plus is believed to be due to the fact that its expected all-electric truck manufacturing rival, Rivian who is also backed by Ford, will enter the market soon Rivian is also claiming to deliver a similar driving range with its models.
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