Wednesday, June 19, 2024
NewsNew Short Range Tesla Model X, Model S Are Software Battery Locked

New Short Range Tesla Model X, Model S Are Software Battery Locked

Less range, same pack

  • 140 km less range, same battery

  • Extra weight lowers efficiency


Tesla has just launched lower-priced variants of the Model S and Model X EVs with less range. But now it turns out that the price and range cut didn’t come from a new battery pack, but because of software limitations. And that’s a bad thing.

The new Tesla Model S Standard Range starts from $108,990 in Canada, $13,000 less than the existing S which is labeled simply Model S. It has an estimated 515 km of range instead of the 652 a Model S has. Likewise, the Tesla Model X Standard Range is $122,990 and has 433 km of range instead of 560. Acceleration is about half a second slower to 100 km/h.

According to Electrek, the cars don’t use a new battery. Instead, it has the same battery as the Long Range but the capacity is software locked to limit range. That’s about 20 percent of the car’s electric capacity sitting there unused. It’s far from the first time Tesla has software locked a battery, the most notable is the 151-km Model 3 Tesla briefly made available as a special order to allow the Standard Range Model 3 to qualify for EV incentives. It’s not clear how many of those were actually sold.

So what’s the problem? Battery cells. Each electric car battery contains thousands of small cells wired into modules. Each cell is made from nickel, cobalt, and other materials that are expensive and dirty to source. Each cell is also heavy, so a Model S battery weighs roughly 1,200 pounds.

With a software battery limitation, around 20 percent of that weight is being dragged around by the vehicle with no purpose. It reduces efficiency, making the vehicle consume more energy (and wear out more quickly) than it needs to. It also means that 20 percent of the hard-to-source materials are being wasted when they could have been used to create more EVs. That Tesla can lower the price so much while wasting these resources also shows how much margin the company has built into those models.

So if you want a cheaper big Tesla, now you have an option. But these are still extremely expensive vehicles that could have been cheaper and more efficient with a new pack.

 

 

 

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