Elon Musk: We’re About To End Range Anxiety… Via OTA Software Update (Some Ideas)

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Tesla Motors is about to end range anxiety via an over-the-air (OTA) software update, according to CEO, Chairman, & Product Architect Elon Musk — in his most recent speculation-inducing public announcement (made via Twitter, of course).

In this case we won’t have to wait excessively long to find out exactly what he means, as the company will be holding a press conference on Thursday at 9:00 am to provide the details. It will reportedly affect the entire Model S fleet, so it should definitely be something interesting…

https://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/577100755427061760

What do you think? What’s Musk referring to exactly?

Speculation on the Tesla Motors Club forum (on a thread started by “Lump”) has included a number of interesting possibilities:

  • Tesla partnering with BMW to unify high-speed charging networks (commenter “bigdomer”).
  • Free access to all Superchargers for all Tesla owners (commenter “Bham”).
  • A PlugShare app optimized for the Model S and incorporated into nav (“cgiGuy”).
  • Optimized energy/battery usage.
  • An improved taper for faster charging at SuperCharger stations.

A particularly interesting comment came from “Todd Burch” that included this nugget:

Hypermilers often pulse their engines to stretch range. Apply a pulse input of power, then shut the engine off. We know that AC Induction motors require current to induce the magnetic field to enable the rotor to spin–so currently, when cruising on the highway, power is being continuously used. Laptops are able to microsleep — essentially put processors to sleep for very short periods, when able — leading to significant battery power savings.

Based on what they’ve learned with the Ds, perhaps they’ve found a way to pulse the motor when significant changes in power are not required (such as when cruising on the highway) to improve efficiency. A way to torque sleep or microsleep the motor, even if you have just one. Perhaps it could potentially lead to ‘real’ highway miles of 300+ for an 85? (Of course, this would not *end* range anxiety — just a thought).

Hmm… Still 3-ish days left…

The comment thread on the Tesla Motors Club forum is already up to 47 pages. Lol…


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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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