As Wall Street Awaits Earnings Report, Tesla Pumps Up the Range

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
as wall street awaits earnings report tesla pumps up the range

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.

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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2 of 19 comments
  • Tstag Tstag on Apr 25, 2019

    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!

  • EBFlex EBFlex on Apr 25, 2019

    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

  • Cprescott The pandemic changed the sales game. No longer do dealerships need inventory. After two years people are accustomed to having to order what they want and then extorted on the price by the dealer for that privilege. Now used cars with 75k are selling for $5k more than I paid for my 21k, 2016 model back in January 2019. I pray my car won't get totaled and I have but 13 payments left to make on it. I may never buy another car again.
  • Grein002 I hope you meant "take the Ranger out behind the *barn*" rather than "bar". I think something completely different happens "behind the bar".
  • Cprescott Suddenly there is no reason to buy ugly anymore. The Silverdodo is dead. Long live the less hideous Colorado.
  • Cprescott Portable BBQ's for everyone!
  • Lou_BC The 2023 ZR2 is burdened with GM's 8 speed. It's been allegedly "fixed" so it doesn't gear hunt and shudder. I still won't trust it. The turbo 4 cylinder should address the lack of torque found in the V6. I test drove a full-sized Trail Boss. I could make it gear hunt. The turbo 4 didn't seem to be lacking in power, at least for an empty crewcab with a 6.5 box. It lacked anything resembling character. It had next to zero compression braking even with tow/haul engaged. Chevy should have continued offering the VM Motori based inline 4 diesel that's in the older Colorado trucks. I do like the fact that the 2023 comes with 33's standard and IIRC the wheel hubs/axles etc. have been beefed up to handle the larger rubber. The bolt pattern (IIRC) is shared with fullsized 1/2 tons opening up one's choice for aftermarket wheels.