Model S and X See a Much-Anticipated Range Boost
A new Long Range Plus Model of the Tesla Model S and X has been added to their respective sales webpages. Elon Musk, CEO of the California based automaker Tesla, said on the company’s earnings call a few weeks ago that the Model S and X were capable of more range, they just hadn’t certified it with the EPA yet.
Seemingly, Tesla has got round to telling the EPA, causing them to update their site with the new Models. During the conference call, Musk suggested that the Model S is close to being able to travel 400 miles on a single charge.
Model S already has the longest range out of any commercially available electric car, meaning the updated models extend its lead.
Previously, Model S had a range of 373 miles. The new variant has an estimated range of 390 miles. This is a 4.6% increase in Range. Presumably, the cause of this range boost is due to efficiency upgrades, rather than any fundamental changes to the vehicle, i.e. battery.
Model X sees ever-larger gains. It is now capable of travelling 351 miles on a single charge. That’s 23 miles more than the 328 miles it could travel before. This is a 7% increase. Impressively, Tesla managed to increase the range of their SUV even more than the saloon, which is impressive given that it is a much larger, heavier car.
The range boosts come before the Tesla battery and powertrain day. The event is expected to be similar to the autonomy day which was held last year and should include information about Tesla’s roadmap for the future.
It’s possible that new battery chemistries or different types of cells will be announced. Teslas partnership with Maxwell technologies, a battery firm based in San Diego, could have facilitated the development of dry electrode cells. Alternatively, a new solid-state pouch style cell could be announced.
In the future, it’s completely possible that we will see a 500-mile model S and a 400-mile Model X. This would eliminate range anxiety for the vast majority of consumers. Musk has hinted that the Model S & X are only still produced for sentimental value. However, I think that they will play in a vital role in Tesla’s future as an automaker. Many other automakers produce lower-end vehicles, and high-end vehicles, e.g. BMW. Tesla could follow a similar Model with EVs.
Tesla’s solar roof production has been ramping up at that Gigafactory in Buffalo, New York. Many of these roofs are being installed in California at the moment, some of which are in the Bay Area. Overall the roofs seem to be a similar price to a conventional roof with solar panels whilst looking far nicer and generating more power.
Twitter users have been asking mask when the solar roof will be coming to Europe and China. He responded, suggesting that the release date to other regions will be announced shortly.
As Twitter user Sam talks Tesla says, Europe is a huge market with many very sunny areas which are just waiting for the solar roof. Countries like Spain could benefit greatly from the solar roof. Whether many countries like the United Kingdom would struggle to see the benefits of large scale solar adoption, over something like an offshore wind farm.
Furthermore, many areas of China see significant sunshine levels year-round. The solar roof is a project the Chinese government could subsidise heavily, leading to its adoption.
However, at the moment the solar roof is only available in certain areas of the United States, never mind the whole of North America. Tesla plans to ramp production up to over 1000 units a week as soon as they can so that they can meet global demand. Once they have Gigafactories positioned around the world, they will be capable of supplying the solar roof much easier without it being subject to tariffs or delivery charges.
At the moment, Elon musk is under fire for his purchase of Solar City, which investors claimed they were not correctly informed about. Consequently, he is under pressure to turn the solar business around and prove that solar city was a worthy investment for Tesla. The solar roof may help him to do this if he could pull it off.
Model 3 Leaked Air Suspension
Ever since the Model 3 was released, Tesla and Elon Musk promised that an air suspension model would be coming alongside the dual-motor version. However, during production issues, this feature was delayed and delayed.
Back in August 2019, Musk suggested that Tesla had no plans to build an air suspension Model 3, however, this was in the heat of the Model 3 production ramp when the company was close to bankruptcy. It’s no surprise that Musk was doing anything he could to get people to buy the Model 3.
Despite this, just recently an air suspension Model 3 has been leaked as an update to Tesla’s parts catalogue.
In 2018, a dual-motor Model 3 with air suspension was spotted at the Thunderhill Raceway in Willows, CA. At the time, people suspected that this could be the much-anticipated performance Model 3, this was given away by the extremely large brakes.
Since these updates to the catalogue have been released, Elon Musk has denied the theory that air suspension could be coming to the Model 3.
If Tesla were to release an air suspension Model 3, it would further close the gap between the Model 3 and the more expensive Model S. Given that Model S sales are already being cannibalised by the Model 3, this is probably something that Tesla does not want to do.
One potential release date of an air suspension Model 3 would be around the time that the plaid powertrain is released for the Model S. This large boost in performance and range would be enough to make the Model S stand out from the Model 3, meaning Tesla could get away with adding air suspension.
Currently, Model S and X have smart adaptive air suspension. This means that it lowers and raises automatically, based on GPS or other conditions. For example, if it knows that you are going to be driving on a bumpy track, it will automatically raise the suspension to give more ground clearance. In addition, it will lower the vehicle on the highways or motorways to reduce air resistance and increase range.
Tesla Announces Capital Raise as the Stock Price Remains High
Back in the Q4 earnings call, Musk dismissed the idea of raising capital for Tesla, suggesting that they are currently spending cash as quickly as they can sensibly spend it. Hence, there is no need to raise capital.
However, as Tesla’s stock is approaching $900 per share in the past few days, he seems to be changing his mind. The company expects to raise around $2.3 billion in gross proceeds, adding to its $6.3 billion in cash that it had accumulated over 2019.
Many speculate that this could be used to pay off Tesla’s $13.4 billion debt. Others suggest that it could be used to acquire a new company, something Musk is open to, though is not aware of any companies that he would want to acquire right now.
Either way TSLA stock is at $800 dollars per share, and Musk is looking to take advantage of it.