Originally published on EV Obsession.
With the recent removal of the 85 kilowatt-hour battery pack option from Tesla’s online Model S design studio, there had been a lot of speculation that the company would be revealing a new, larger battery pack option sometime soon. Those rumors appear to have had some truth to them, going by a number of recent news items.
In particular, a number of Tesla employees have recently been quoted as saying that Model S pricing would be going up in April (following an announcement to be made at the Model 3 unveiling perhaps?) — which would suggest that changes to what’s on offer are in the works. A battery pack capacity increase up to 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh) would seem the most likely possibility, though the application of technologies/features created during Model X development are another possibility.
— Jason Hughes (@wk057) March 4, 2016
Perhaps more notable, though, are recent reports that there were P100D badges included in the latest Tesla firmware update. Our sister site Gas2 provides more on that:
Jason Hughes is a fellow with above average computer skills. He also is a Tesla owner. He says the company is planning to release a P100D model in the very near future. In fact, he told Teslarati yesterday, “There have been configuration options in the firmware as early as about two months ago. With the latest 2.13.77 update, (Tesla) included the badges for the P100D, among other things. I’m very confident that it’s a real thing based on what I’ve seen of other things in previous versions of the firmware.”
…It’s not surprising that Tesla should be working on a new battery. It just discontinued the 85 kWh battery it had been using since the first Model S came out in 2012, replacing it with a 90 kWh version. But that means there is a rather narrow gap between the company’s base battery, which is rated at 70 kWh, and its top of the line battery. With a price difference of over $12,000, it could use a larger battery to convince customers to step up to the higher priced model, which is more profitable for the company.
As noted in the Gas 2 coverage, a Model S with a 100 kWh battery pack would possess a range of more than 300 miles per charge — no doubt, Tesla would like to be the first company to claim that prize. And the Model 3 unveiling would the perfect place to announce such a milestone, would it not?
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