Tesla increases range of Model S, vows relentless innovation

Once again reminding us that it is no conventional car company, Tesla Motors says it plans significant hardware upgrades every year to year-and-a-half and will “never stop innovating.”

Case in point: Tesla has introduced a new battery option for its Model S that boosts the range of the electric sedan to 335 miles, an increase of 20 miles. It also boosted the range of its Model X SUV to 295 miles from the previous range of 289 miles.

Separately, Elon Musk, CEO and founder of the electric vehicle manufacturer, sketched a picture of a tech company that will innovate at a relentless pace.

“Tesla will never stop innovating,” Musk said in a tweeted reply to David Weiseth on Jan. 21.

Weiseth had tweeted a question to Musk about hardware retrofits of existing vehicles. Musk instead said that the company isn’t looking toward retrofits, but efforts that will be significantly more far-reaching.

“There will be major revisions every 12 to 18 months,” Musk tweeted.

That’s a reminder about how Tesla is different from big car makers, which typically introduce models that don’t really change for several years.

The customer who tweeted to Musk requested that Tesla consider a retrofit of older models to enable the autonomous driving feature.

“You know your loyalists are begging here, M3 is focus, but consider refurb assembly line,” Weiseth urged Musk.

But Musk said those aren’t the types of upgrades that Tesla consumers should be anticipating.

“People are buying the wrong car if they expect this,” Musk said as he promised the major revisions as frequently as once a year.

Musk also noted in his tweets that to retrofit older Tesla models with an HW2 kit would be prohibitively costly for the automaker, which makes its vehicles in Fremont.

“Unfortunately, that would require stripping down the entire car and replacing 300+ parts,” Musk tweeted. “Wish there was an easy way.”

Back to the battery range boost: The Model S sedan’s 100D version extends the battery range to 335 miles on a charge. That’s well ahead of other automakers. The Chevrolet Bolt has a range of 238 miles, according to General Motors.


Photo: A Tesla Model S P90D on display at the Tesla store in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto on Nov. 6, 2015. (LiPo Ching/Bay Area News Group)


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  • DougBeebe

    Please update your file photo. The Model S no longer has the faux grill.


    What the heck – just cram another 200 lbs or so of battery into the car and call it radical innovation. Oh well I guess the True Believers that worship at the alter of all things Musk will eat it up.

  • Monterino

    Just wait, punk! The Gigafactory batteries are more energy dense- like 30% due to bigger size (21 X 70mm) and more Si in the anode. Then what will you bitch about?

  • Ron rockit

    It will not be long and the electrics will out range a gas car and take a lot less time to charge. Trump signed up for the pipeline….. Electric cars abound and solar panels will be on an ever increasing number of houses. Iran goes broke……Musk will soon be on the $10.00 bill, rightfully so!