- Following our recent article exploring the Tesla EV range, Cars and drivers He went to Tesla to broaden the question of how the EV manufacturer could stay ahead in highly competitive electric vehicle range wars.
- Part of the answer is Tesla’s stay-at-home approach, which builds more of what is needed than the original items from a supplier.
- One of the few eye-opening statements: According to Tesla, if you increase motor efficiency from 8 to 10 percent, the range increases from 15 to 18 percent.
In 2012, the small EV launch unveiled its second vehicle. The 2012 Tesla Model S was not as bright as the previous Roadster, but it was a more practical electric car that essentially changed the way the world sees electricity. Model S sedan with the largest battery pack with a capacity of 85.0 kWh is rated at 265 miles in the EPA range. Four years later, a large package of 100.0-kWh was introduced, which came as no surprise when the range number went up to 315 miles. A large battery in the same package is the same number of miles between charges. Not an idiot.
But even if the packaging stays the same, the range has continued to increase over the years. Cars and drivers Went to Tesla in September and they gave us more details on how to achieve that.
The current Tesla Model S has a long range plus 402 miles EPA range. That’s an 87-mile increase since the 100.0-kWh version of the vehicle was introduced in 2016. How to achieve this Tesla is more closely involved than in making its own motor, inverter, battery pack and other items. From a Layer 1 supplier. This do-it-yourself approach allows Tesla to constantly modify those parts to maximize efficiency.
All batteries included
The core is the battery. Unlike other car manufacturers such as Audi, Toyota or Mercedes, Tesla gives drivers access to the overall packaging capacity. In the Model S, this means that the owner can always get 100.0 kWh more capacity to keep a certain capacity in storage in the name of battery life. Said a Tesla engineer Cars and drivers That the company has always provided the full package of all its vehicles. Batteries have a limited lifespan, and other cell manufacturers have determined that when some cells die, they can be backed up to take their place. For example, Audi’s e-tron has a 95.3-kWh capacity package. Although it is a rough number, the usable part of the package is actually 86.5 kWh.
According to Tesla, there are also minor changes in packaging capacity. The company told us that the capacity of the Model S battery is between 100.0 and 105.0 kWh. While driving the Model S Long Range Plus supplied by Tesla, the vehicle warned me that I had used 96.2 kilowatts from the available miles, but the 102.5-kWh package still had about 6.3 kWh of power left. Tesla says the system is built to operate like a gas tank with a reservoir.
The downside of giving drivers the full package from day one is that battery drain is more obvious. When cells are inactive, there is no buffer. Tesla offers eight miles to 100,000 to 150,000 miles (depending on vehicle model and variant) Battery warranty The packaging is guaranteed to retain at least 70 percent battery capacity. A partnership is needed to make those packages durable.
Battery maker LG Tesla’s relationship with Chem and Panasonic is well known in Gigafactory. The companies work closely to get the most out of every cell that goes to Tesla. After years of working together, Tesla is teaming up with other battery manufacturers, especially CATL in China, to explore bringing the entire battery manufacturing system home for greater control. Tesla recognizes how much efficiency a battery can achieve when it eventually hits a wall. Even at that point, Tesla said C / D, It will focus on recharging batteries, using cheaper materials and reducing the cost per kilowatt hour.
Meanwhile, the latest range increase to 402 miles was linked to new battery cell chemistry, which led to more iti. Similar enhancements extend from the start of production to the Model 3 and Y models. Something that can happen thanks to its close collaboration with its battery partners.
More details are likely to be shared at next week’s Tesla Battery Day event. CEO Elon Musk will unveil a package with a lifetime of one million miles and talk about the future of the company’s battery development. But again, it’s not just about the battery; Leading efficiency from a 100.0-kWh package to a vehicle with a range of 402 miles should be extended throughout the vehicle.
Pollution reduction in powertrain increases range. The more efficient a motor is, the more the EV will stay on the road. Tesla said Cars and drivers The S model motor has been increased from 80 percent to 90 percent and the maximum efficiency of the EPA test cycle is 94 percent. According to Tesla, if you increase the motor efficiency from 8 to 10 percent, the range increases from 15 to 18 percent.
Tesla told us that its inverter (which takes DC power and converts it into three-phase AC for the motor) is 96 to 97 percent efficient. At most, the inverter is about 99 percent efficient. Of course, there is still the issue of converting AC power to DC when connected to a level 1 or 2 charger. Tesla did not extend that efficiency and it also depends on your local electrical infrastructure, but it is less efficient. Using an electric oil pump for the gearbox reduces energy consumption by spraying oil only when necessary. This is in addition to making the bearings and seals more efficient.
A Tesla engineer told us that the company has been pouring all its energy into building MATLAB models for the past 10 years. From there, the location of the vehicle loss due to inefficiency is determined. The team then goes in and spins the hardware continuously to increase efficiency. Additional secondary upgrades can be pushed through the airline updates.
All these upgrades will be added when the vehicle is ready. Unlike many other car manufacturers, the company does not adhere to a refresher schedule for the model year. If the motor is more efficient, it will move into the car when it is ready with other rotations. In mid-summer, the company announced that the Model S Long Range Plus had broken the 400-mile mark.
For vehicles, that network connection goes both ways. Tesla has been able to retrieve anonymous data from vehicles and used it to make software changes. It can see how a large portion of vehicles are moving and use that information to determine changes for future software and hardware iterations.
All of this twisting and tinkering, trying to squeeze every last energy out of the components, requires building many of the elements used in the vehicle indoors. In other words, Tesla’s efficiency requires building Tesla. It even extends to keeping those cars on the road.
For years, traditional carmakers did not want to enter the charging business. Tesla went the other way and built its own supercharging network. The team that built the vehicle charger actually built the first supercharger station. At the same time, the trip planner, originally built by an automotive engineer, arrived. Combined, it has given the car manufacturer a higher value than other companies’ EVs because of the ease of use of the system and the number of locations. In the United States alone, there are more than 1,000 of the approximately 1,900 train stations in the world.
All of these U.S. train stations use a proprietary connection. Unlike other industries moving to CCS DC fast charging ports, Tesla has gone its own way. Even if the company wants to be the standard, it will never happen.
The first supercharger added approximately 70 miles to the Model S in 15 minutes, while the current Model S achieves 160 miles in the same period. Not surprisingly, Tesla said Cars and drivers That’s itHe will help charge the next Model S even faster. The company’s current supercharger V3 has a maximum rated capacity of 250 kW and supports some variants of the Model S, Model X and Model 3. So expect a quick charge from a V4 supercharger or upgrade to V3. Expect a support charge rate of over 250 kW from the S model and finally from other models in the Tesla line.
All of this converts traditional carmakers into a carmaker that seems to be out of competition for a better range. a Cars and drivers The Model S Long Range Plus, provided by Tesla, is a real-world racer with a top speed of 65 mph, with 72 degrees of climate control and adaptive cruise control. Using 99.3 kWh in a 102.5-kWh battery pack, our range was 422.7 miles. Tesla quoted data that the vehicle could reach a range of 430 miles and had to be towed on a flat surface before being shut down. It was a great achievement for a road that went twice from Tesla’s Fremont factory to Soledad, California and back.
We still have to implement it Cars and drivers Testing the range to find out how Tesla’s performance connects to other EVs, including other Teslas. Our GPS certified test runs at 75 miles per hour on the same road used to test both gas and electrified vehicles.
But even though our Michigan test offered a lower range (which is a preconceived notion, because we drive at higher speeds), the benefits of Tesla’s original decision to build components in-house for maximum control continue. About how they drive the vehicle as a whole. Tesla keeps them on the road from vehicles to the ecosystem and works to make almost everything work the same way. It is not surprising that Lucid, led by former Model S chief engineer Peter Rawlinson, uses the same tactic.
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