Enlarge /. A screenshot of the Tesla website dated June 16, 2020.
On Monday, Tesla announced that its Model S electric sedan can now travel 647 km between charges. So far, the Model S with the longest leg – with the simple name Long Range Plus – had to be satisfied with only 600 km, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Tesla is widely recognized to be way ahead of any other automaker in terms of electric drives, but a number of small improvements here and there have made its oldest electric vehicle drive even further with the same amount of kilowatt hours.
First, Tesla removed a little more mass from the vehicle. It doesn't say exactly how much, but the improvements come from using the in-house seats and saving weight on the electric motors and battery pack. There are new 18-inch wheels with a tire with less rolling resistance that contribute to an improvement of around two percent. A similar increase in efficiency comes from the gearbox of the front engine.
And now a new S Long Range Plus model combines regenerative braking with friction brakes to reduce energy loss. Tesla also added a "brake stop" to the Model S, so you don't have to keep your foot on the left pedal to keep the car stationary. (No kidding, this is my absolute favorite comfort feature for any new car, so well done to add to the S, Tesla.)
If the range increase is not enough to seduce new buyers, Tesla has also lowered the price of the Model S again. Now, a Long Range Plus costs $ 74,990, $ 5,000 less than before. (Tesla recently lowered the price of the Model 3 by $ 2,000 and the price of the Model X by $ 5,000.) As we learned in the company's quarterly earnings reports, sales of the Model S sedan, first launched eight years ago, have been since Quarters declined for several years thanks to the expiry of the IRS tax credit and the cannibalization of the cheaper, newer Model 3 sedan.