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Elon Musk Says 1,000km Range Isn’t A Priority For Tesla Electric Cars

He reckons that the gains from a larger battery will be off-set by its weight

Future Teslas aren’t likely to offer vastly improved range figures, a new tweet from Elon Musk indicates. The automotive CEO was responding to a tweet about the Lucid Air electric sedan that can go 830km on a single charge – higher than Tesla’s longest-range Model S variant. According to Musk, there’s a balance between range and performance, and adding more weight would have made the Tesla flagship sedan worse:

The Model S is the longest range Tesla EV you can buy, with an estimated driving range of 650km. It makes 670PS, and despite its two-tonne weight, can get to 100kmph from a standstill in just 3.1 seconds – quicker than many sports sedans. 

In comparison, the Lucid Air electric sedan offers an EPA-estimated range of up to 830km from its 118kWh battery! The carmaker doesn’t offer the exact kerb weight of its EV, but a quick look at the specs of the quickest Model S and Lucid Air variants indicates that the latter is heavier. 

 Tesla Model S PlaidLucid Air Dream Edition Performance
Range 637km758km
Battery size95kWh 118kWh 
Power 1,020PS1,111PS
0-100kmph Acceleration Time1.99 seconds 2.5 seconds

Lucid has made several innovations in materials and manufacturing techniques to reduce the weight of the Air sedan. But despite having a 91PS power advantage over the Model S Plaid, the Lucid EV isn’t as quick as the Tesla. It has to carry a heavier battery for an extra 121km of range. 

Without major advancements in battery technology, a higher range figure is likely to come with a weight penalty. However, there’s another aspect that’s more important to most EV users than range – charging time. The Tesla Model S can take a DC charging rate up to 250kW, at which it can add 320km of range in just 15 minutes! The Lucid takes that a step further with a peak charging rate of 300kW that adds 480km worth of charge in 20 minutes! 

For the average EV owner, the availability of such fast public chargers is more relevant than the peak charging rate offered by the manufacturer. Besides, since most EV owners charge their vehicles at home, a bigger battery is likely to be more difficult to fully charge overnight. Cost is a major concern for regular car buyers, who might not be willing to pay several lakhs of rupees more for a slightly better range or a higher peak charging rate.

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