In a recent tweet, the leader of Tesla claimed to be able to produce an automobile with a range of around one thousand kilometres. However, it is not in his plans. According to him, nobody really needs such a vehicle, especially since such a capacity would have its share of disadvantages.
Better autonomy for the Lucid Air
The company Tesla is regularly talked about, most often with regard to its new pick-up to come (the Cybertruck) or its Autopilot, its advanced driver assistance system. On March 2, 2022, Elon Musk made a remarkable outing on the social network Twitter about the autonomy of electric vehicles (see below). Tesla executive responds to a user’s tweet about his competitor, Lucid Motor, which will be the first company to offer an electric vehicle whose autonomy will exceed five hundred miles.
We could’ve made a 600 mile Model S 12 months ago, but that would’ve made the product worse imo, as 99.9% of time you’d be carrying unneeded battery mass, which makes acceleration, handling & efficiency worse. Even our 400+ mile range car is more than almost anyone will use.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 2, 2022
Indeed, the new Lucid Air will benefit from a range of 520 miles, or nearly 840 km. For comparison, the Tesla Model S can travel 405 miles on a single charge, or about 650 km. These data therefore show that the Lucid Air has a significantly greater range than the Model S. However, Elon Musk replied that a year ago Tesla could have produced a car with a 600 mile capacity (about 965 km). Nevertheless, he believes that it would not have been very advantageous, on the contrary.
An almost non-existent need
Remember that increasing the range of electric cars goes hand in hand with installing a larger battery. Elon Musk simply explained that in the case of a vehicle capable of traveling a thousand kilometers on a single charge, the additional weight of the battery represents an obstacle. According to him, this would affect the handling of the vehicle, but also its acceleration and efficiency. He also pointed out that users’ needs in terms of autonomy are around four hundred miles and that very few customers have expressed a greater need.
That said, Tesla continues to work on technologies and other solutions to improve the performance of its vehicles. For example, the brand already offers structural batteries since the appearance of the Model Y, a technology destined to become a standard at Tesla. Remember that structural batteries are electrochemical energy storage systems that have mechanical integrity and contribute in particular to reducing weight.
Let’s also mention the 4680 cells, at the heart of interesting promises in terms of energy density. These cells should also allow faster recharging as well as a reduction in production costs. Finally, Tesla is actively working on its Supercharger network, mainly on increased charging points. These arguments therefore go in the direction of the pointlessness of producing vehicles with a very long range, at least for the moment.