Electric car maker Tesla has confirmed that the Model S Long Range Plus has become the first-ever electric car to achieve over 400 miles (644 km) of EPA-rated (US Environment Protection Agency) range. Elon Musk confirmed the development in a series of tweets and also stated that all Tesla Model S Long Range cars sold since January 2020 have a range of 402 miles (647 km) on a single charge. It's only now that the company is officially confirming the same. The new EPA-rated range represented a nearly 20 per cent increase in range when compared to the 2019 Tesla Model S 100D with the same battery pack design.
All Model S cars made since late Jan have 402 mile range. This is just making it official.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 16, 2020
A statement from Tesla read, "This significant achievement reflects Tesla's obsession with efficiency and energy frugality, and is realized through several changes, both iterative and transformational, in core hardware and system architecture development by the Tesla engineering, design and production teams. These changes went into production earlier this year when we first started manufacturing Model S Long Range Plus at our factory in Fremont, California. All Model S Long Range Plus vehicles will receive the new 402-mile rating."
Tesla Motors said that the longer-range has been achieved by several factors and constant improvements by the company to its products. Learnings on mass reduction from the new Tesla Model 3 and Model Y were carried over on the Model S and Model X. Similarly, additional weight savings was achieved through the standardisation of Tesla's in-house seat manufacturing and lightweight materials used in the battery pack and drive units, the automaker announced.
Furthermore, the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus now gets the new 8.5-inch wide aero wheels that reduce aerodynamic drag. The new aero wheels when coupled with customised tyres to reduce rolling resistance further improve the range by two per cent. In addition, the rear AC-induction drive unit gets an electric oil pump in place of a mechanical oil pump that optimises lubrication independent of vehicle speed to reduce friction.
Other improvements on the Model S Long Range Plus include improvements to the transmission in the front permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motors that are shared with the Model 3 and Model Y and have further increased the range by two per cent. Lastly, the Tesla Model S Long Range Plus gets the new Hold feature that blends the motor's regenerative braking with physical brakes to stop the vehicle smoothly and now works at lower speed and deceleration rate, sending energy back to the battery pack.
Elon Musk had previously claimed that the EPA had made a mistake when it originally tested the Model S Long Range Plus. At the time Musk had said that EPA had the left car door left open and the keys were in the car overnight, which put the vehicle in the waiting-for-drive mode. The action lost two per cent of the vehicle's range.
Before Tesla, California-based Lucid Motors had announced its Air electric vehicle earlier this year with the range breaching 400 miles. However, Tesla managed to beat the EV start-up by making the Model S Long Range Plus the first EV in production to achieve that figure.