Why Elon Musk doesn’t want the Tesla Model S to have 1,000 km of range

On Twitter, Elon Musk claims that the Tesla Model S could have had a range of 1,000 kilometers, but that would have made it bad.

While the offer of electric cars is expanding and almost all brands offer at least one connected model, the latter are now engaged in another competition: that of autonomy. Because for many motorists, it is still this point that gets stuck when choosing a car and opting, perhaps, for a zero-emission model. There is even a word to qualify the unmasked fear of battery: autonomy anxiety, better known by the English name of range anxiety.

With the improvement of technologies and the fall in battery costs over the years, manufacturers have greatly increased the capacities of their electric vehicles, and it is now not uncommon to see consumer models exceeding 400 kilometers. Even better, some high-end models can even reach 600 kilometers, according to the WLTP cycle. But is it really a good thing?

Tesla Model Y // Source: Louise Audry for Numerama

Elon Musk opposed to big batteries

Not necessarily. In any case, that’s what Elon Musk thinks. On Twitter, and relayed by Electrek, the businessman indeed responded to a user pointing out that the manufacturer Lucid had just delivered the very first electric vehicle capable of traveling more than 800 kilometers on a single charge. The latter completes by affirming that Tesla would be the first manufacturer to produce one in series. Except that obviously, Musk does not hear it that way.

He replied that “we could have made a Tesla Model S with 600 miles of range 12 months ago, but we wouldn’t have upgraded the car because 99.9% of the time you would have been carrying the extra weight of the bigger battery, which would have deteriorated acceleration, handling and efficiency. Already, our car with more than 400 miles of range (643 km, editor’s note) offers more than what people really need“.

A dense charging network

For the co-founder of the Californian brand, it is not necessarily essential for an electric car to have a very large battery, quite the contrary, since that would make it gain too much weight. Furthermore, he points out that customers have never really expressed the need to be able to drive longer in one go. On the other hand, the firm is working on the development of the network of Superchargers, in order to offer many charging points to Tesla owners.

The manufacturer is also developing technologies around new generation batteries – with the famous 4680 cells – which are denser, faster to charge and less expensive. Inaugurated on the Model Y (our test), it will be integrated into all the other models in the range.

Leave a Comment