Originally published on EV Obsession.
Or you can use the word “big” instead of “huge” if you’re not as enthusiastic as I am. First of all, starting with the biggie, due to the use of some fancy space technology mumbo jumbo, the Tesla Model S (with the proper tech) can now accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds (that’s up from its previously insane 3.2 seconds). It was already the quickest electric car on the planet — er, the quickest mass-market car of any type on the planet. But now it is literally a monster. (Literally.).
If you want to have “Ludicrous Mode” in your arsenal, it’ll cost you an extra $10,000 — or $5,000 (plus installation labor) for a limited time for existing P85D customers (as a thanks from Tesla).
For a smaller fee ($3,000), you can upgrade your battery pack to 90 kWh in order to boost its range. Though, with plans to improve battery pack range ~5% a year (the bigger announcement), Elon recommends that most current owners hold their horses and have an upgrade when it makes a bit more sense.
Thirdly, you can now get a 70 kWh rear-motor Tesla Model S for $70,000 — $5,000 less than the dual-motor 70 kWh Model S.
Elon made a lot of other interesting points in his blog post on the Tesla Motors site. I especially liked the comments about financial savings of driving an electric car. There’s not much point in rewriting or enhancing them right now, so below is Elon’s full blog post.
Three Dog Day
Elon Musk, CEO
July 17, 2015
— 70 kWh rear drive Model S for $70k
— 90 kWh battery pack option for $3k
— 2.8 sec 0 to 60 mph upgrade to “Ludicrous Mode”
First, I should address something that might be on your mind, like: “Where the heck is the Model X and the Model 3!? You should really get on that.” Don’t worry, those remain our focus and good progress is being made on both. X is on track for first deliveries in two months and Model 3 in just over two years.
70 kWh for $70k
Now, on to the awesome news of today. The 70 kWh version of the Model S in the single motor version at $70k costs $5k less than the dual motor version, consistent with the price differential for the single and dual motor 85 kWh car. Importantly, enough options are now standard that you will have bought a great car even if you pick the base version.
In many countries, national and state/province purchase incentives for clean energy vehicles improve the price to some degree. In the US, for example, the price after incentives is usually around $60k. Also, not having to buy gasoline and needing less service for an electric car typically saves around $2k per year, which accumulates to $10k over the national average car ownership period of five years. This economic advantage is often overlooked when evaluating gasoline vs electric cars. Moreover, these savings are experienced immediately in your monthly cost of transportation if you lease or finance an electric car.
90 kWh Pack
New buyers now have the option of upgrading the pack energy from 85 to 90 kWh for $3k, which provides about 6% increased range. For example, this takes our current longest range model, the 85D, to almost 300 miles of highway range at 65mph.
Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn’t recommend doing so unless usage is on the edge of current range. On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference.
While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, requiring a big gap between the normal operating current and max current, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty.
That was combined with upgrading the main pack contactor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current. The net result is that we can safely increase the max pack output from 1300 to 1500 Amps.
What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction.
This option will cost $10k for new buyers. In appreciation of our existing P85D owners, the pack electronics upgrade needed for Ludicrous Mode will be offered for the next six months at only $5k plus installation labor.
It is important to note that the battery pack size upgrade and the pack electronics upgrade are almost entirely independent. The first is about energy, which affects range, and the second is about power, which affects acceleration.
There is of course only one thing beyond ludicrous, but that speed is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid.