By on April 24, 2019

Later today, Tesla will release financial data for the first quarter of 2019, a quarter in which both deliveries and production fell compared to Q4 2019. The Model S and X returned their worst sales showings in years, and analysts fear a steep drop in revenue in a period where CEO Elon Musk pulled a U-turn on profitability predictions.

Should be fun.

However, there’s a more news coming out of Tesla than just anxious investors and head-scratching autonomy promises. There’s real, bonafide driving range added to the two aforementioned vehicles, and the company at least deserves kudos for improving its existing products.

As of Wednesday, a top-flight Tesla Model S Long Range offers a range of 370 miles, some 35 miles more than previous, while keeping the existing 100 kWh battery. The range-topping (so to speak) Model X Long Range can now travel up to 325 miles, or 30 extra miles compared to the previous model. As with the Model S, the Model X keeps its existing battery pack.

The bump in range is the product of several improvements, topmost of which is a motor upgrade. Both Long Range vehicles adopt a permanent magnet motor up front while keeping the induction motor in the rear; Tesla claims the new unit boasts silicon carbide power electronics, as well as improved lubrication, cooling, bearing, and gear designs. Efficiency is said to hit 93 percent. Aiding the models’ range mission are new wheel bearings and a new tire design, plus regenerative braking that returns more juice to the battery.

Tesla Model S Grey - Image: Tesla

The existence of the Long Range monikers must mean something exists on the bottom end, right? Correct. Entry-level Model S and X models are back, carrying the Standard Range name. The Model S Standard Range is rated at an estimated 285 miles, while the Model X version is pegged at 250 miles. Starting price before incentives for the former is $79,200; the latter, $84,200.

While accessing extra range carries a premium over the base versions, you’ll have the added perk of faster charging. The automaker claims the Long Range models charge at a rate of 200 kW on its beefier V3 Supercharger and 145 kW on its more common V2 Supercharger. These rates represent a 50 percent boost in charging speed.

Both Model S and X Long Range models also see an updated version of Tesla’s air suspension, this one tailored to lower the vehicle as much as possible at highway speeds, thus reducing drag and eking out additional range.

News of the changes to the company’s higher-margin vehicle lines did nothing to elevate Tesla’s stock, which remains depressed following Monday’s open. Everyone’s waiting for new of another nature.

[Images: Tesla]

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19 Comments on “As Wall Street Awaits Earnings Report, Tesla Pumps Up the Range...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    “As of Wednesday, a top-flight Tesla Model S Long Range offers a range of 370 miles”

    Still too short, because most of the B&B have a 371-mile commute every day, in Montana, in the winter, at 85 mph.

  • avatar
    indi500fan

    That’s a nifty camping trailer with the X model Tesla.
    I assume they have a setup to tap into the car battery pack to power refrigerator, AC, lights, etc.
    Then you can tow a diesel gen set behind the camper to charge the car.

    • 0 avatar
      Nomis

      That’s an Alto 1723 trailer from a company called Safari Condo. They ‘pop-up’ to reveal huge glass sides and a 6′ 10″ ceiling plus are low enough to fit into a garage. Entire trailer is made of non-ferrous materials, so never rusts or ages. Yes, I own one – there’s about 2000 of them now in the wild. This couple have a blog somewhere about their travels using the Alto, whereby the notion was that the solar panels on the Alto could theoretically charge the car – but I am unsure if that occurred. Here’s a link to their blog: https://teslaxcanada.com/ A link to the company in Canada: https://safaricondo.com/en/caravanes-alto/. I’m not a shill for them, but it’s incredibly well made stuff and they deserve all the press they can get.

      • 0 avatar
        TimK

        Nice looking trailer, but it’s heavier and twice as expensive as the a-frame pop-up from Chalet. The Chalet will easily fit under a standard garage door, and it’s towing profile is much lower for reduced drag.

  • avatar
    stingray65

    Are the new high efficiency motors fireproof?

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      Why? For use in other automakers vehicles?

      https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/05/toyota-to-recall-1-million-prius-hybrid-models-over-fire-risk/

      https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kia-motors-recall/kia-hyundai-expand-u-s-engine-fire-recalls-by-534000-vehicles-idUSKCN1QH2EB

      http://fortune.com/2018/12/21/ford-recalls-f150-super-duty-trucks-in-north-america-us-fire-engine/

      https://www.freep.com/story/money/cars/chrysler/2018/05/21/jeep-cherokee-recall-fire/628577002/

      https://money.cnn.com/2015/10/27/autos/gm-recall-fire/

      https://www.cars.com/research/jaguar-f_type/recalls/

      https://www.autonews.com/article/20180920/OEM11/180929979/nissan-recalls-over-215-000-vehicles-in-u-s-for-fire-concern

      https://money.cnn.com/2017/03/03/news/companies/mercedes-benz-recall-fires/

      http://fortune.com/2019/03/05/audi-product-recall-volkswagen/

      https://www.industryweek.com/safety/porsche-recalls-new-911-model-due-engine-fire-risk

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Numbers are out for 1Q19 for TSLA and they suck.

    Loss of more than 2X analyst projections and missed both sales and profit targets.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      But Tesla is going to offer “compelling” car insurance beginning next month, along with silent leaf blowers, so more high profit lines of business for them.

    • 0 avatar
      JimZ

      “Numbers are out for 1Q19 for TSLA and they suck.

      Loss of more than 2X analyst projections and missed both sales and profit targets.”

      presumably the TSLA share price doubled.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    “The bump in range is the product of several improvements, topmost of which is a motor upgrade. Both Long Range vehicles adopt a permanent magnet motor up front while keeping the induction motor in the rear; Tesla claims the new unit boasts silicon carbide power electronics, as well as improved lubrication, cooling, bearing, and gear designs. Efficiency is said to hit 93 percent. Aiding the models’ range mission are new wheel bearings and a new tire design, plus regenerative braking that returns more juice to the battery.”

    OK all kidding aside, these kind of incremental improvements/efficiency gains are *seriously* cool…

    … and if you think about it, kind of the exact opposite of what we’ve come to expect from traditional OEM’s.

    • 0 avatar
      indi500fan

      But Tesla told us a few years ago only the evil guys used those rare earth metal permanent magnets with their huge environmental and social impact for their motors, while St. Elon relied on induction.

      • 0 avatar
        TimK

        Dirty little secret on induction motors: Those tightly-wound copper wire coils bear a tremendous mechanical load. They expand, contract, twist and flex as the motor operates. One speck of dirt can pierce the insulation between layers and short a winding which ultimately trashes the motor.

        Going to PM reduces this problem by half, but PM motors suffer from another issue. The permanent magnets have a maximum opposing field, and can be demagnetized if too much current is applied to the coil side. Exceed the demagnetization current (leadfoot, stalled wheel, etc.) and the motor loses output, permanently.

  • avatar
    chris724

    These are some nice incremental improvements. The self-driving crap is an incremental distraction.

  • avatar
    Tstag

    Just seen Tesla’s losses and it’s grim reading. Meanwhile sales of the Tesla model X and model S have been overtaken already in Europe by the Jaguar I Pace and the Audi E Tron. What’s remarkable about this is that the Audi isn’t actually available yet and Jaguar has come from nowhere in markets like the Netherlands and Norway to achieve this. Tesla owned these markets. The message is simple the competition is coming Tesla and your still loosing money!

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Range is still pathetic compared to a proper gasoline powered vehicle.

    So worse range, way more expensive, and worse in the environment than a diesel vehicle. Why would anyone want a garbage electric car again?

    I guess the only upside is you will be able to drive father away from bumper that fell off in the rain. Good job Musk, you’re still a fraud


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