Originally published on CleanTechnica.
Tesla has apparently completed another small battery leap, as it is on the verge of rolling out Model S sedans with 75 kWh battery packs rather than 70 kWh battery packs (h/t Steve Hanley and “nkole“).
If you don’t follow Tesla closely, it is tremendously focused on bringing down the cost of its lithium-ion batteries (alongside Panasonic) — that’s the most critical thing needed to get the stunning-yet-affordable Model 3 to production. Tesla hired li-ion battery guru Jeff Dahn last year, and it has provided several other signs of its tremendous focus on improving it batteries via chemistry changes, economies of scale, and manufacturing improvements.
Back to the news: the 75 kWh battery pack is going to be an option on top of the bas 70 kWh Model S, reportedly $3,000 more than the base 70 kWh pack and launch next week. That said, if the way Tesla has done previous battery upgrades is any indication of what’s to come (of course it is!), Tesla is likely to phase out the 70 kWh at some point and make the 75 kWh the base option.
Importantly, if you just ordered and had shipped a Tesla Model S 70/70D and are interested in the battery upgrade to 75 kWh, have no worry, you can upgrade to 75 kWh if you wish. Via “gcgp” on the TMC forum:
I emailed my DS [delivery specialist], looks like you are correct. Here is the reply.
“We’ve just found out that your Model S is going to have the option to upgrade via firmware to the 75kWh battery pack. We don’t have official Australian pricing yet, but you’ll be able to do it before or after delivery. The US price will be $3250, but our Sales team will have a call campaign to confirm with you once pricing is out.”
And the all-important point: the 75 kWh battery pack reportedly increases the Model S electric sedan’s rated range from 240 miles to 259 miles — not too shabby.
People got word of the upgrade when it hit CARB’s website, which shows cars eligible for the highly coveted carpool-lane stickers..
While we still don’t have any indication of timing, there has long been rumor (and hacking) that Tesla has a 100 kWh battery pack on the way for the Model S. Increasing the bottom end first and soon jumping to the top-of-the-line offering seems extremely likely at this point. Keep your eyes peeled if you’re just dying for an epic Tesla Model S P100D.
There’s also been rumor that Model S prices would increase with these larger-capacity batteries, so get your base 70 kWh Model S ASAP if you are fine with 240 miles of range and concerned about a $3,000 (potential) price increase. From a March article on EV Obsession:
In particular, a number of Tesla employees have recently been quoted as saying that Model S pricing would be going up in April (following an announcement to be made at the Model 3 unveiling perhaps?) — which would suggest that changes to what’s on offer are in the works.
Knowing, to some degree, Tesla’s challenges hitting timelines, it’s not all that surprising that the changes didn’t quite come through in April, but close. And all for the better, in my opinion. I think keeping the April focus on the Model 3 (for the most part) made a lot of sense.