Elon Musk Says “Sticking To 100” For Max Tesla Battery Capacity

5 months ago by Eric Loveday 56

Tesla Model S 100D Compared to P100D

Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that the automaker is sticking to 100 kWh as max battery capacity for the Model S & X.

This echoes similar recent comments made by the CEO:

Musk To Potential Tesla Model S P100D Buyer: Buy Now, No Battery Tech Change Planned For 100 kWh

Elon Musk: Tesla Model S, Model X Battery Capped At 100 kWh, Model 3 To Be Lower

Here’s the question and answer from Musk via Twitter:

Elon Musk On Twitter

According to Musk, the current Model S 100D has more than ample range (335 miles combined) for the driving needs of just about anyone.  Musk has stated in the past that going beyond 100 kWh really makes no sense as you’re stuck lugging around all that extra efficiency-diminishing weight when it’s rarely, if ever, needed to extend driving range.

335 miles exceeds the range of some gas cars, so we agree with Musk on this one. Yes, an electric car takes longer to charge than it does to fill up a gas vehicle, but how many times in a year do you drive continuously beyond the range of the Model S 100D?

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56 responses to "Elon Musk Says “Sticking To 100” For Max Tesla Battery Capacity"

  1. Mil says:

    Completely agree with Elon. Much better to focus on increasing the charge rate at SC. Elon already hinted at this calling the 350kW chargers a child’s toy. Would be awesome when this filters down to the production cars and the SC.

    1. FreePat says:

      Why not…But he still has to announce how current models with 100KWH packs could take advantage of next gen SuperChargers v3, now expected to deliver far greater than 350KW. And what will be the impact on Tesla Battery warranty if any.
      Today these batteries are warrantied 8Y unlimited millage, but are caped to 1.2C means 120KW maxi charge on 100KWH models. What change are they gonna implement if no change to battery Formfactor (No Plan to use new Model 3 2170 cells in Model S & X for now, no plan to change the Chemistry of 18650 cells, nor increase the capacity beyond 100KWH in current Model S & X. So what is the plan to charge 3X faster on SC v3 ????

      1. anon says:

        Perhaps in 8 years from now, battery upgrades will be available.

      2. John says:

        It’s kWh, not KWH.

      3. Carlos Ghosn says:

        I drive a Leaf; I would be ecstatic to have even 200 miles range.

    2. pjwood1 says:

      We all throw different math on what range means. For “335 miles”, and Tesla, I’d translate into 20 mile one-way commutes, assume no workplace charging, and would still am still looking at just 3 days, before needing a “fill-up” in cold weather. Such 40 real-mile days, consume 80 miles of range. Add one triangulating, miscellaneous 20 mile trip, with cool down, and that’s all it takes before needing a charge the eve of day 3:

      335
      -80 miles range, day 1 sub-40 degrees, 40 mile round-trip
      -80 miles range, day 2 ” ” ” ” ”
      -80 miles range, day 3 ” ” ” ” ”
      -40 miles range, extra 20 mile trip, + cool down day 3
      -25 mile buffer, before empty
      -33 mile buffer, to avoid constant range charging. 90% charge = ~300 miles of “Tesla range”.
      _______
      -3 miles left

      Granted, it can be crazy to think this way if your home has an outlet, and you don’t frequently travel. But the competition, here, is a gas car lasting a week (before the inconvenience of having to stop someplace, pay 3X for your energy, get messy and fill up). Just this morning I over-heard the whisper, “I don’t want to sit for an hour” when EVs came up during a “my next car” chat. Not having to stop, or charging faster (given that 350KW will only be for 10-20 minutes) are still big EV hurdles. I think Musk is only trying to sell from his current crop.

      1. pjwood1 says:

        “350kw for only 10-20 minutes”, meaning a rapid taper down in KW after about ~60KWh have loaded back into the battery. Still, who needs more than 60KWh to finish a trip??
        (350kw)(10/60minutes)=Kwh

      2. darth says:

        If you can’t charge your EV at home at night, you don’t need a longer range EV, you need a different home.

        And if you need to travel farther than 600 miles (1 SC stop, about 10 hrs of driving) there are things things called “planes”. They go way faster than a Tesla. You’ll save a lot of time.

        People who “don’t want to wait around for an hour” don’t know how EVs work. I use DCFC about once a week, but never wait around bored. Usually eating lunch.

        1. FreePat says:

          @darth. You may be right on point 1, that people willing to purchase an EV will need to secure some sort of charger at their home carpark, and may have to change home if not possible. This said as most people consume per day for their daily local commutes – of say 50 Miles high average – less than 20KWH, the lowest 3.6KW chargers available in Europe will be more than enough for that typical 8H stay purpose. Higher chargers in the hierarchy of possibilities are only required outside Home and Work carparks, for medium or long distance trips above daily average.
          But on Point 2 you are missing a key point. People who are used to purchase Higher end German cars >$100K for years like me, exclusively justify them for their up to 15 x days per year where they typically need to drive up to 1000 Km = 625 Miles at 130km/h on the main European motorways, with all family and their luggage on board, driving to their preferred vacation & family locations. So whoever positions an EV in that price range needs to be able to make the job here. And I can tell you that waiting for 15mn instead of 45mn in the middle of nowhere to Supercharge with all that content on boad is not at all the same thing. My view is such people will chase more Battery capacity till they reach 500 Miles on a charge that could retain at least 300 Mile real at 130Km/h in that vacations use case. I bet that will be between 160 and 200Kwh. Then same will highly value more than current 120KW capping for Tesla 100Kwh models, hence why I wont order my Model X 100D before I understand what Tesla models could fully leverage future SuperCharger v3 meant to deliver far more than German 350KW for children toys, hence charge 3X faster. This is core requirement in that segment, not nice to have greenies luxury.

      3. sveno says:

        Hey my Nokia also lasted for a week but I think we both know why I (and almost everybody) switched to a smart phone that you have to plug in every or every other day.
        Same thing with EVs – they are so much better that they are worth it.

      4. Anderlan says:

        Why no top off (or to 80% as recommended to let your battery live forever) at home? You’re like my wife never plugging in her iPhone. Just plug that damn thing in for 20 minutes and let it hit 80% then use it for a day and repeat! (I know it’s hours for an L2…I think I’m ranting on my wife.)

    3. mx says:

      Doubt it.
      Expect continuous improvement.
      This is sales talk, “buy now”.

      1. mx says:

        ( Nothing wrong with that. Do buy now, lease, and pick up a new model in 3 years. )

  2. Sublime says:

    I agree about increasing the charge rate, but that only helps the middle ~70% of the charge. So to take advantage of that, you can use 70kWh. Which means you only get about 2 hours of drive time at 80mph.

    I think 3 hours of drive time between 20 minute stops is what the gasoline world has become accustom to. It might be possible to get close to that with improved charge curves and rates, but I think it will take 120-150kWh to really get there.

    1. James P Heartney says:

      Two points:

      • 80 mph is speeding on every highway in the U.S.

      • The Highway Code recommends taking a break (of at least 15 minutes) every two hours. Two hours needs to be the maximum period of time without a break from driving i.e. take more frequent breaks if necessary.

      Why are you demanding Tesla enable your unsafe driving habits?

      1. Joe Brown says:

        The speed limit on several interstates in the mountain west is 80 mph. Try driving at the speed limit with a strong headwind at 20 degrees F, which is not uncommon outside the California bubble.

        1. Bacardi says:

          AP does allow you to go 10MPH over…

          In addition to the states already provided more and more high speed projects are coming online…

          Those who wear tinfoil hats believe big oil are backers of the high speed limit movement…

      2. Moose says:

        U.S =/= World. And why should Tesla adhere to a Highway Code in the U.S.?

        It’s actually a moot point. If Tesla don’t increase battery size someone else eventually will. Range is not about “need” but about “want”.

        1. James P Heartney says:

          So you’re saying humans outside the U.S. have better driving endurance? The recommendations are for optimal safe driving limits for people, not countries.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Do you know anyone other than yourself — even one single person — who follows that “highway code”? I’ve never even heard of such a thing. Sure, we’re advised to take frequent breaks and stretch our legs on long drives, but I’ve never seen it formalized like that.

            We’re advised to drink 8 glasses of water a day, too. I don’t know anyone who does that, either.

            And if a car’s top speed isn’t at least 5 MPH over what the top Interstate speed limit is in most places, then people are going to avoid it in droves. Suggesting that nobody should be driving at 80 MPH on long trips may be good advice, but it’s naive to think that people are going to suddenly start driving safer just because they’re driving a BEV.

            As Moose already said or implied, people don’t buy cars based on how they “need” (or “ought to”) drive. They buy cars based on how they want to drive. Any auto maker who ignores this reality isn’t going to be in business long.

      3. Kdawg says:

        There are several states with 80mph and even 85mph speed limits.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_the_United_States

      4. mxs says:

        Sorry … are you one of he saints who suggests to never break a speed limit? Or you are being just hypocritical, like 99% of people writing similar things are?

        1. Sublime says:

          Exactly, my post is based on the reality around me. Between cities on the interstate in the southeast you are likely to get dirty looks if you go under the speed limit in the right lane.

      5. zzzzzzzzzz says:

        “• 80 mph is speeding on every highway in the U.S.”

        Huh? You are confusing USA with California or whatever is your home state. And it isn’t even whole of the world. Check here for speed limits in the US:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_in_the_United_States
        7 states have 80 mph limits. Driving +5 mph over it is common in many places.

        Much of the Europe is 130 km/h (81 mph) for cars or unlimited on some German highways in good weather.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Speed_limits_by_country
        Driving 5-10 km/h over limit is common too if traffic permits.

      6. Leadfoot Larry says:

        Texas State Highway 130 has a maximum speed limit of 85mph. On other rural highways in Texas, Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Nevada, South Dakota and Utah, it is legal to drive 80mph.

        http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/laws/speedlimits/mapmaxspeedonruralinterstates?topicName=Speed

  3. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    I agree with Musk.

    1. Sublime says:

      If I was Musk, and had the entire industry chasing me, I’d say I was sticking at 100 too… while I worked on a 120kWh – 150kWh model to be introduced in a year or two.

  4. Paul Stoller says:

    That’s too bad especially for the Model X, at least for those who tow on a regular basis. Not enough capacity to get between a lot of superchargers when towing.

  5. Delta says:

    “Who needs more than 640k”

    1. Kdawg says:

      “If you really like it, you want more.”

  6. Four Electrics says:

    Most hybrids get around 500-600 miles per five minute fill, and X gets much less range than the S. Longer range is handy when skiing or camping, where there is no charging infrastructure nearby and one must round trip on the same charge. For the X that limits practical round trip range to about 125 miles, considering vampire drain and efficiency losses; if you use heat or A/C it’s even less.

  7. Tummy says:

    They are probably slowing development of updates while they focus on bringing new machines to market, Semi, Y, new S…

  8. Someone out there says:

    Since there’s no competition right now it makes sense to wait a while. I think that around 2020 everyone will start pushing past 300 miles and there will probably be a kind of race to have the most range, like the Mhz race between Intel and AMD in the 90’s.

    1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Well said, sir.

      There have been a number of good points made in this discussion, but I think this is the most pertinent. The minimum distance for gasmobiles on a single tank of gas is 300 miles. Tesla’s top of the line is now better than that, so I think it’s time for Tesla to look elsewhere for improvements.

      Despite the Tesla-bashing post by “Four Electrics” suggesting 100 kWh is totally inadequate, Tesla’s top-end BEVs have so much more range than others that there doesn’t seem to be much point to increasing the range at this time.

      In the near term, Tesla should concentrate its resources on decreasing charging times, developing new models to expand the market, increasig the number of its service centers (to reduce wait times), and work on expanding Supercharger availability in the busiest areas.

      No matter what the range is of BEVs, there will always be people who want more. Provide 400 miles, and some will ask for 500. Provide 600, and some will demand 800.

      You can’t please everyone. Not even Tesla can do that.

  9. pjwood1 says:

    Musk once said ~no major introductions to come in the next year, when P85 was king. Months latter, ‘The Announcement’, and an AWD car killed P85 market values (@3 instead of 4 seconds, to 60). There’s good and bad here. Tesla has a standing reputation for bringing new tech, as available, and not sprinkling it on to create profits and milk its introduction.

    I’ll always remember how they dropped the time of “the flagship” a full second. No other maker would do that, unless they saw gas-cars as the competition. I wouldn’t bet it won’t be the same way for range.

  10. PhilB says:

    My view is that in the long run EVs need an EPA combined range of 400-500 miles if they are to truly dominate the market over the ICE type vehicle. But for the time being (over the next year or so) at this stage of market development, 335 miles is enough range to continue to grow the market.

    In the long run a 400-500 mile range is needed because people simply don’t want to wait 30 minutes or longer to charge their vehicles when on a long trip. Keep in mind that people also want to leave a sizable buffer of 50-75 miles in the battery to avoid anxiety and also keep in mind that on days with less than ideal weather conditions or higher highway speeds, the EV range will be reduced from the regular EPA combined rating. Since the EPA range of the Tesla S 100D is 335 miles, this means on a bad weather day, or with high speed driving and considering the range buffer I’ve talked about, the actual effective range before the owner wants to recharge may be only 250 miles or even less. That simply is not enough for larger market acceptance. While most people have a daily roundtrip drive of 40 miles or less, many people will occasionally drive 200 miles one-way to a destination city and then drive back on the same day. Occasionally means they do this at least several times each year to visit family, friends or for business. While such trips are rare, they still will desire a car that can do this and they don’t want to worry about finding a fast charging station and charging for a half hour (or longer) at their destination. If it was 5-10 minutes or less (like filing with gas) then charging would be no problem, but a half hour or longer is too much time for many people.

    My view is that further refinements to the battery (to allow larger usable charge window) and further refinements to the car drive train and aerodynamics, will result in a future version of the Tesla S being able to get nearly 400 miles range on a 100 kWh battery. And nearly 500 miles EPA range on a 120 kWh battery rating. My best guess is that Tesla will eventually have a 120 kWh battery but that will be several years away. Just a guess I could easily be wrong.

    1. James P Heartney says:

      Over the long range, we’ll be getting purpose-built self-driving vehicles for long trips that you’ll rent. They’ll have usable sleeping bunks, and will stop and charge themselves as necessary. It’ll arrive at your door in the evening; you get in and sleep through the trip, wake up next morning at your destination fresh. If it takes an extra half hour for charging you won’t notice, or care.

  11. peetah says:

    the only way it will increase by the sound of Elon wanting to save weight is if new form factors or technology can pack more energy into the space and/or weight…then he may consider a 400 mile car.

    So far the other automakers have been all talk and no production proof the claimed 400 mile range they say that they can get. and it won’t be until that happens and there’s pressure from competition that he may even consider it…

  12. Francis L says:

    When I travel 335 miles, I would need to drive 5 hours.

    I will need to stop for eating/toilet, so probably at least 30 minutes. What a good time frame for a supercharger.

    I wont stop because of the car, I will stop because of me.

  13. William L. says:

    I like the idea of sticking to 100, hope they make the car more efficiency and improve the range that way.

  14. MT says:

    I live where winters are frequently harsh. I have a 68 mile one way commute on roads that where normal speed is just under 80 MPH. Sometimes I make side trips that add up to an extra 30-40 miles.

    I frequently work 14 hour days, so I’m only home as little as about 5 hours sometimes, so I really want something with enough to run my commute twice without charging.

    Also, I’m not buying a car with “just enough” range, because I know batteries degrade with age.

    I want a Model S, but 340 miles of range just isn’t quite enough buffer for me. I know my case is a bit of an outlier, but I don’t think I’m that far outside the normal for high earners.

    I want a 400 mile car, mostly due to range degradation concerns combined with not wanting to use more than half of the battery capacity on cold days.

    Maybe I’m being too conservative, but this is a VERY expensive car we’re talking about.

    I will very likely buy a Tesla soon, but it can’t be my only car immediately. If the Model S gets a battery upgrade to 400 miles, I’ll be among the first in line.

    1. Priusmaniac says:

      My old Prius 2 can make 400 miles, so why should I give in and settle on 300 miles. That may be ok for a first ev but there will still be room for improvement until something like 150 KWh instead of 100 KWh. And on the charging side those 150 KWh will be charging in 10 minutes at 1 Megawatt instead of the 100 KWh that charge in 40 minutes at 130 KW. So, ok for now but it is only for now, not for the next decade.

  15. Tom says:

    Realistically 300 miles is more than enough for anyone. If you consider that is 150 miles from home (300 round trip) most people don’t do that more than a couple times per year. BMW at one point offered something like X days per year you could just show up at the dealer and take an ICE car on that trip if you needed. Frankly nearly everyone would be better off renting from say Enterprise for those rare trips. But I also realize that’s not how most people do things. Most people waste tons of money to have a vehicle sit there doing nothing. An SUV to drive to work….not an efficient plan. But as I keep posting here decisions by consumers aren’t usually based on efficiency. They are influenced more on wants than needs.

    1. Mark.ca says:

      There you go! Reading through comments you would think all Americans do is vacationing and take long work commutes. Most will be just fine driving an ev and rent a car once or twice a year for a longer trip but that will be too logical. instead we buy trucks so we can fit all our groceries and be able to carry the mattress when we move. Good deal!

  16. DTM says:

    I’m alright with 100 kwh, but I won’t settle for less than 600 real kilometers/ 400 miles

    So the car should be more efficient

    1. unlucky says:

      Personally, I don’t think EVs will really take off until they can drive 550 miles on a charge. That’s what the average person demands and while there is a market for shorter range cars it’ll be limited at best.

      I think the market will really open up when EVs finally break the 800 mile mark. Do that for under $25,000 and I’ll buy one and so will my friends.

      1. Mikael says:

        Once again unlucky when thinking. You at least have the proper username.

  17. Johan says:

    For model S, any improvements of the battery technology should be used to decrease the weight of the car.
    Less weight makes a lot of things better, most importantly tire wear which is arguably the biggest source of “pollution” from an electric car.
    More range should come from less weight and even more efficient drive train.

    1. Bacardi says:

      From cradle to gave EVs are cleaner than ICE vehicles…However, they’re still not pollution free, the bigger the battery the more pollution it takes to produce…Furthermore the grid while it continues to get greener it doesn’t come from all renewables yet and often coal plants don’t just shut down overnight to be replaced by solar panels, they’re converted to less dirty natural gas…Two carbon capture plants are coming online (TX & Miss) and if they’re effective, may further delay greener conversions…

    2. John says:

      I agree. Odd that no-one else pointed this out. The next gen 100 kWh will be lighter and results in longer range.

  18. unlucky says:

    100kWh seems like enough for the near future. Tesla may be able to add a bit of range with better efficiency though. The Model S/X are the least efficient EVs on the market. And while their size will always be a hinderance I hope they could make some electrical improvements to up efficiency a few percentage points.

  19. Mikael says:

    Should we start betting on how many months it will take until the next battery capacity upgrade?

    My bet is on less than 12 months. And to pick a month…announcement of the upgrade in April 2018.

    1. unlucky says:

      In all seriousness I think any time spent on this is not a good use of Tesla’s time. It’d be akin to the silly project to retrofit a longer range battery into the Roadster.

      They should be working on Model 3 and then after that mostly on Model Y. They do need to refresh S at some point but 3 and Y will produce more money and more results for the company (and EVs in general) that that’s where they should be putting their resources.

      Some day, after there is heavy competition in the premium EV segment they might want to add more range to increase customer interest. But right now isn’t that time. And maybe that time won’t even come, maybe more superchargers is a better move.

      1. Mikael says:

        It is about giving their rich customers that owns a Model S/X already a reason to upgrade to the latest version.

        Oh you have a P100d, I have a P110d…just like people get the new Iphone model even though their old one works great.

        120k sales at $100k is nothing to snear about. That is most likely more profitable than 400k Model 3 sales anyway.

  20. BillT says:

    100 kWh is pretty marginal for the model X owner who actually wants to tow something in my opinion. But, I agree with Musk doing his best to avoid Osborning the model S/X by stating there are no plans for higher capacity batteries. I think he is fully aware he needs to keep the model S/X revenue coming in until the model 3 can start paying the bills.

    Personally a sedan that will do an initial 250 miles at 75 MPH and then allow me to add 150 miles worth of range with <15 minutes of charging after that would be fine with me. That would let me do a 500-600 mile day with just a couple of stops. In my younger 1000+ mile "iron butt" days it was different.

  21. Orphancarguy says:

    I have been driving a similar route for over 40 years. 1250-1350/775-850 miles, each way, depending on details. That regular route is in addition to lots of other very long trips. City, country, 4 lane at 110 kph/70 mi limit, and 2 lane at 80/50. Over the decades of perhaps 5 to 6 million km (accident free, including in bad blizzards when every speeder is crashing or ditching) I have gotten quite efficient at driving, including stops for my health, and driving steadily gets you there faster than speeding….and in one piece. Last trip, had to come to a quick halt (yet again) because a moose stepped out on the road in front of me. Luckily, I was going 50 mph instead of 80-85. I stop for 15-20 minutes every 2-2.5-3 hours or so of driving. So, for me an EV with a 250 mile+ /400 km+ range (ie 100 kWh) at sensible speeds is excellent and I need nothing more. 20 minutes charging with a minute to plug/unplug included leaves you with 19 minutes of ‘you’ time. for every 20 minutes of charge time. Every time you stop in an ICE for a ‘5 minute fill’ it’s realistically much longer. Stop, fill, move the car from the pump before or after you pay, then coffee/tea and line up and order/pay/eat/drink/ take an optional bathroom break to at least wash my hands after eating, and look! At least 20 minutes has disappeared in a ‘five minute fill’. I bet none of you holding out for 550 miles a charge range have ever logged how much time you actually spend on what at each stop on a long trip. I’d rather spend 14 hours a day on the road and be completely unstressed with seeing the sights, taking breaks, enjoying the ride than speed and spend 11 and be completely stiff, sore and frazzled at the end. Look, if you ‘have’ to drive at 85 mph minimum, why aren’t you taking a plane?

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