Since the introduction of 265-mile Model S in 2012, Tesla continued to revisit every aspect of the design to deliver the longest-range and highest-performance electric vehicles on the road.
Starting June 2020, all North American Model S Long Range Plus vehicles have an official EPA-rated range of 402 miles, representing a nearly 20% increase in range when compared to a 2019 Model S 100D with the same battery pack design.
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 Tesla first started manufacturing Model S Long Range Plus at factory in Fremont, California. All Model S Long Range Plus vehicles will receive the new 402-mile rating.
Here’s what’s new:
Significant Mass Reduction
Mass is the enemy of both efficiency and performance, and minimizing the weight of every component is an ongoing goal for Tesla’s design and engineering teams. Several lessons from the engineering design and manufacturing of Model 3 and Model Y have now been carried over to Model S and Model X. This has unlocked new areas of mass reduction while maintaining the premium feel and performance of both vehicles. Additional weight savings have also been achieved through the standardization of Tesla’s in-house seat manufacturing and lighter weight materials used in battery pack and drive units.
New “Tempest” Aero Wheels and Tires
Tesla’s newest 8.5 inch-wide aero wheels reduce aerodynamic drag compared to the previous wheels on Model S Long Range, and when paired with a new custom tire specifically engineered to reduce rolling resistance, add a 2% improvement to overall range.
Increased Drive Unit Efficiency
In rear AC-induction drive unit, Tesla replaced the mechanical oil pump with an electric oil pump that optimizes lubrication independent of vehicle speed to reduce friction. Further improvements to the gearbox in front permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motors shared with Model 3 and Model Y have resulted in a further increase of 2% more range while driving on the highway.
Maximizing Regenerative Braking
Tesla’s newest drive feature, HOLD, blends the motor’s regenerative braking with physical brakes to bring Tesla cars to a stop by easing off of the accelerator pedal. To bring the car to a stop smoothly, regenerative braking now works at a lower speed and deceleration rate, sending more energy back to the battery pack while simultaneously enabling a driving experience like no other car.
While each of these changes are relatively small in individual impact, Tesla’s unique ability to introduce them into active manufacturing lines enables significant gains in efficiency, range, and overall value when combined.
Model S Long Range Plus has also recently received a price reduction of $5,000. Paired with these range improvements and gains in efficiency, customers now receive more value than ever when purchasing a new Tesla.