Tesla used a variety of technical advances to increase Model S range to 400 miles

Tesla’s vehicles continue to get better. The company recently announced that all North American Model S Long Range Plus vehicles now have an official EPA-rated range of 402 miles—an increase of almost 20% compared to a 2019 model with the same battery pack design.

How did Tesla’s engineers achieve such a significant improvement? It was a combination of several technical advances.

New Tempest wheels have lower aerodynamic drag, and a new custom tire offers less rolling resistance—these two changes combined delivered a 2% range increase. The rear AC-induction drive unit features a new electric oil pump that optimizes lubrication and reduces friction compared to the previous mechanical oil pump. Improvements to the gearbox in the front permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motor, which is shared with Models 3 and Y, resulted in another 2% increase in range. The upgraded Model S has a new drive feature called Hold, which blends regenerative braking with friction brakes, and returns more energy to the battery pack.

All these improvements delivered incremental increases in range, but it appears that the bulk of the gains came from significantly reducing the vehicle’s mass. “Mass is the enemy of both efficiency and performance, and minimizing the weight of every component is an ongoing goal for our design and engineering teams,” says Tesla. “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 our battery pack and drive units.”

Oh, by the way, Tesla also recently reduced the price of the Model S Long Range Plus by $5,000.

Source: Tesla

  • freedomev

    Is it really 20% better or someone botched the numbers? While those will help, they don’t add up to 20%.
    Likely they released more pack capacity or improved capacity but didn’t mention it.
    And to get to 402 mile range they had 398 or so something here needs explaining better.
    On conversions we call this optimizing where getting 20% more range is not hard. We’d normally get that with just upgrading the tires vs the stock ICE chassis converted. But we were starting at a much less efficient unit to start with.

  • Stuart51

    With our driveline, plus another recent discovery, we can reduce energy consumption by 20 – 25%% – so that would give model S close to 500 miles.