Elon Musk, Tesla CEO, says that soon Tesla will be producing vehicles with nearly 650 kilometers of real driving range.
“It won’t be long before we have a 400-mile range car,” Elon Musk said, during Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting in Mountain View, California last Tuesday.
A long-range driving range is not a necessary requirement for all drivers of electric vehicles (EVs); the average daily commute in Australia is the only 40km. However, detractors of EVs often point out the shorter range of the EVs generally compared to internal combustion engine vehicles.
Nonetheless, long driving ranges hold their own charm, especially in Australia for people who often drive the comparatively long distance between the cities and towns. These drivers are willing to deal with the need for bigger batteries and bigger upfront costs. People are still adjusting to the new energy economy, and have trouble wrapping their mind around the concept that the biggest cost for batteries, wind and solar is just the initial cost. Running costs are much less and far more manageable.
As yet, Tesla’s longest-range car is the Long Range Model S Electric Sedan. The Sedan has a real-world driving range of 370 miles (or 595km) based on the relatively accurate US-based EPA rating compared to the inaccurate NEDC cycle employed in Australia, which shows a 660km range for the LR Model S. The range was achieved in April, after the pioneering electric vehicle company increased the range of Model S and X vehicles by 10 per cent. This can be attributed to an upgraded drivetrain using a reworked Model 3 rear wheel drive unit.
Despite the fact that Elon Musk did not disclose which model the longer driving range would be available on, one may safely assume that it would be on the EV makers premium Model S. In comparison, the Model X always offers slightly less driving range due to greater weight and poorer aerodynamics.
Fermont was confirmed as the location for the production of Model Y. At the Q1 earnings call Musk announced that it was still a toss-up between Fremont or Nevada. Speaking on the timeline for Model Y, he said, “We expect to hit volume production towards the end of next year.” Going on to say that internally Tesla was aiming at production to start sooner than that.
He reemphasised the unveil for the pickup truck for the end of summer 2019. The electric Semi-truck is now scheduled for production at the end of 2020, although it was originally it was scheduled to be available this year.
Musk also clarified comments made on April 22nd at Tesla’s Autonomy Day held at Palo Alto, California, where he discussed plans to create an autonomous “robo-taxi” network with “a million cars with full self-driving computer, hardware, everything.” He noted that this understandably depends on owners signing up for the program and approvals from lawmakers.
According to the CEO, Tesla has “a million cars capable of self-driving” for next year, however, they will need regulatory approval.
Tesla’s advantage is in the self-driving area, particularly that it already has large amounts of data to draw upon based on the millions of real-world drives.
As Musk has previously pointed out, Tesla’s advantage in the self-driving arena is that it already has huge amounts of data to draw upon based on millions of real-world drives.
According to Musk, “It’s basically financially insane to buy anything other than an electric car that can upgrade to full autonomy.” Of course, the world is headed towards a far more automated future, with intricate technological advancements. He says, “If you buy a gasoline car that is not self-driving, it’s like riding a horse and using a flip phone.”