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

9 months ago by Jay Cole 149

Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands in front of Model 3 cutaway (with a smaller than 100 kWh battery on board) during launch event last year.

Despite the anticipated arrival of the more affordable Tesla Model 3 in the second half of this year, we have learned very little additional information on the car since the EV’s debut last March.

The next big reveal for the production car is estimated by Elon Musk to occur at the “beginning of spring or something like that…“.

But thanks to a recent series of tweets by the Tesla CEO, which was initiated by Musk stating that Tesla had no plans to increase the top-of-the-line battery sizing found in the Model S and Model X today (at 100 kWh), we can definitely say what the Model 3 won’t be offering.  Namely, a 100 kWh battery option.

The reason for the lack of a 100 kWh offering in the Model 3 (besides we assume some serious product-creep), is stated by Musk to be the wheelbase.

Tesla’s newest cell – the 2170 series, which are now being produced at the company’s Nevada Gigafactory, will be employed for the first time in an EV offering with the Model 3.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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

  1. David Murray says:

    Well… 10 years from now they may change their minds when new chemistry is available.

    1. Sublime says:

      At the risk of making a “why would you ever need more than 640K” type comment… why would you ever need more than 100kWh?

      If battery chemistry improved, you could creep the efficiency up due to lower weight. Maybe eventually getting 3.8 miles/kWh like an i3/LEAF in a 100kWh car. That’s 380 miles of range. A lot of ICE cars don’t get 380 miles of range.

      1. Samwise says:

        100 kWh is already way above the point at which new chemistry should mean less weight not more range. Seriously who can even drive 380 miles without needing to use the bathroom or have a bite to eat! Which is about how long it takes to fast charge these days.

        1. Kdawg says:

          “We want more” 😀

        2. Steven says:

          My uncle was a private pilot, he told me about a time he was buying a plane. The salesman told him it had a five hour range. My uncle responded, but my bladder only has a four hour range.

        3. Mikael says:

          In the cold and on the highway the 100 kWh Model X would not last me more than 2 hours of driving.

          By that time I’m not even in the need of stretching my legs and a five minute coffee break.

          A lot of people will both want and need more than 100 kWh.

          And the Model S/X will have more than 100 kWh within 2 years.

          1. Bob says:

            Even if you can just get 70% of the EPA range, you can go 180 miles with a Model X 100Kwh. In which state can you drive at 90 mph average ?

        4. Geir says:

          People who need a caravan, need more range.
          And in Europe the highway speed limits the range. 165 – 200 kwh gives a car with 500 mile range, thats an ideal range.

      2. codyzz says:

        Yes many ICE (like my truck) has less than 320 miles range, however replenishing that range is much easier in ICE vehicles, so I would say that 500 miles range would be a nice goal for 2025 vehicles… wherein you’d replenish about 300 miles at Superchargers in under 30 minutes. Charging life gets much easier when you don’t have to include the top and bottom 15% of the battery. But I’m sure you know that. 🙂 I’m just helping your statement along. Have a good day.

        1. Steven says:

          How often do you fill up your truck, then in the same day need to fill it up again?

        2. Pet says:

          “500 miles” i second that motion, all in favor say aye

          1. Steven says:

            Waste of money. Giving me faster charging batteries and more infrastructure. I don’t need to haul around 500 miles worth of range on my 30 mile round trip to work and back.

            1. Ahldor says:

              A Nissan Leaf would be sufficient for you. A used one, and they are very cheap.

              1. Christopher Mais says:

                Sarcasm is the poorest form of wit.:-) 🙂

      3. John Hansen says:

        “why would you ever need more than 100kWh?”

        If you live in an apartment.

        About half of Americans live in apartments and can’t plug in at night. The bigger the battery, the less frequent the visits to a charging station. 350 miles of range is pretty good for most people, but remember that charging sessions for apartment dwellers will be more painful than charging sessions on a long road trip, because you won’t necessarily be stopping for a bite to eat. So if a bigger battery reduced your trips to the charging station from once every week to once every other week, that would make it a lot more practical.

        1. codyzz says:

          Huh! I’ve never thought of electric car ownership to reach the point where it’s just like ICE ownership, where an owner would “stop to fuel up” once a week instead of at home in their garage. This makes a broader case for the Chevy Bolt EV than I ever thought possible!! #mindblown

        2. Sublime says:

          People who live in apartments are likely the last demographic for EVs to break into, because of lack of charging availability at night. However when the market penetration hits a certain point, apartment owners will feel pressure/see opportunity to offer charging. That will probably mean wireless charging.

          1. super390 says:

            As I’ve pointed out before, if people live in apartments too sleazy to have their own laundry machines – which must be true because I see plenty of laundromats – then the laundromats might as well use some of their industrial outlets for EV charge stations because people are definitely stuck there for a while guarding their laundry.

            1. Hari says:

              That’s the first time I heard a real solution for the apartment dweller charging problem!

          2. Geir says:

            The new law in Norway, will state that new apartments with garages must have charging. The same for apartments garages that are renovated. The cities are littered with parking exclusively for electric cars, with 24 hours free parking.

        3. Someone out there says:

          That is just a temporary problem. Once EVs become commonplace so will apartment charging opportunities.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Exactly.

            It’s ridiculous to claim that it will become commonplace for PEV (Plug-in EV) owners to rely mostly or exclusively on fast-chargers to charge their car. Nope, people are not gonna wait around at a fast-charge station for 30-45 minutes (or more, if there is a waiting line) twice a week or so; nor are they going to be willing to pay those prices for electricity every time they want to charge their car.

            The solution to apartment dwellers not being able to charge at home, is to pressure apartment owners to install EV chargers in the apartment parking lot, and/or to lobby the city/county to install curbside EV slow-charge points.

            1. That lobbying will certainly happen.

              In California, there already is a law to permit EV charging infrastructure in apartments (I think there is an insurance requirement, as well).

              But, we are DECADES from having these buildings equipped with ubiquitous EV charging. Fast charging will be available.

              Using a car you can actually buy today, the 2017 GM Bolt EV, you could travel all week with that mythical 30 mile average daily drive and charge up on Sunday (maybe while doing the laundry?), while living in an apartment.

              Will people do it? Sure, just like some are doing with a Tesla right now. Will they complain? Maybe. Will they enjoy not buying gasoline? Probably.

              Is charging overnight on the street or in a parking garage a better choice? Of course it is. Schools, work, shopping, etc, will all continue to adopt EV charging infrastructure, too.

              Both will happen.

              By the way, wireless is nothing but a convenience item, and has virtually NOTHING to do with EV adoption or charging availability.

              1. Geir says:

                In Norway there will be mandatory for new apartment garages, and if the garages are renovated to have charging for EVs. Looks like there are going to be fonds to help with this to.

            2. The Bolt EV is closer to a 2 hour recharge experience with current public DC charging.

            3. PHEVfan says:

              Until there is a financial reason for apartment owners to install chargers, they won’t do it. Very few people (so far) own an EV so there isn’t enough demand to generate higher rents for apartments with charging. Until that demand line is crossed, apartment owners will pass.

              As pointed out elsewhere, people spend more than 30-45 minutes waiting at a laundromat for their laundry to wash/dry, so it’s not outlandish to spend that much waiting for your car to charge. Maybe this is an opportunity for Laundromats to install chargers since they have a captive audience already and the larger electricity feeds to run their machines.

        4. a-kindred-soul says:

          In Holland even more people live in apartments. But they charge at the slow charger in the street not far from their apartment.

          You just need a federal/state/city law that states that if an apartment dweller buys an EV, the municipality must allow a charger company to install a slow charger on a parking space or along the street near that apartment. This is a simple solution.

          1. unlucky says:

            California already has a low that says that your landlord cannot stop you from installing an EVSE for your own use. But you have to pay for it.

            Putting charging on random city streets isn’t much of a solution. It’s expensive to do and the spot would probably get ICEd a lot.

            1. DTM says:

              It works fine for me. The parking lot next to the charger in front of my appartement is crossed out for ICE cars.

              But I have a Hybrid, so I don’t really rely on it

            2. David Cary says:

              In Raleigh we have charging on random streets with signs allowing only EV parking. Ok they aren’t random streets but it works.

              When market penetration is 100%, who is going to ICE the spots?

              Around here (southern US), apartments have their own parking lots. They have street lights that they pay for the install and electricity of. Magic won’t be required to put in outlets. Just demand.

          2. andre says:

            amazing the still very low penetration of fast chargers!!!(Cha-demo)even at places as Quebec(cheap,totally clean electricity) it doesn,t helps for dwellers…..

          3. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

            “This is a simple solution.”

            Not in very big, very densely populated, older cities like NYC.

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              EVs are not going to offer a magic solution to urban areas so densely populated that few have cars, because there’s no place to park them.

              But the day is coming when the vast majority of public parking places, both in parking lots and at curbside, will have their own EV slow charger. Cities already install electric power cables along the sides of streets to power street lights and traffic lights; powering curbside EV chargers shouldn’t be any more difficult or expensive.

              This will be a much, much less disruptive, and likely significantly faster, change than happened when we rebuilt our cities to have almost entirely motor vehicle traffic, instead of almost entirely horse-drawn vehicle traffic.

              Up the EV revolution!

              1. JustWilliamPDX says:

                Exactly. The electricity is already there, and with lighting switching to vastly more efficient LED, slow chargers are not much of a challenge.

            2. Nix says:

              If you live in such an statistical outlier massively high density city center, you likely don’t drive a car to work every day anyways.

              If you do, you are the statistical outlier minority, within the statistical outlier population. You can’t expect early rollout of any new technology to address a niche market within a niche population.

        5. ffbj says:

          At least check your alternative facts:
          “While 80 percent of the population would prefer to live in a single-family home, seven in ten Americans (70 percent) actually do.”

          1. Doggydogworld says:

            Indeed. Also, apartment dwellers tend to own fewer cars. Ownership will fall even further in high density areas due to the superior economics of robotaxis.

            1. ffbj says:

              True. I would imagine that will be the trend whereas fewer apartment dwellers even own vehicles. The Minecraft Tesla video:

          2. John Hansen says:

            No need to be rude. I checked my facts. Here is my source. What is your source?

            http://www.nmhc.org/Content.aspx?id=4708

            1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

              Your own source says that only 35% of Americans rent, and that 65% live in their own home. Did you think nobody would bother to check why you were citing “alternative facts”?

              You also made the mistake of equating “renter” with “apartment dweller”. Many renters live in a single-family house.

              1. John Hansen says:

                Ah, you know what, I did read it wrong. I can fess up to that. I was actually reading the “What Type of Structures Do Renter Households Live In?” table, not the first one. So when I take that into account, the number is 19.25%. (37% renters, of which 52% of renters live in multi-unit homes). Also, that number is probably a little low, because it doesn’t include condo owners, who aren’t renters. So let’s say 25%.

                So I did make a mistake reading the data, however, it doesn’t change my initial point _at all_. The original question was, who would want a larger battery? The answer is still apartment dwellers, whether apartment dwellers consist of 50% or 25%.

            2. ffbj says:

              I’m sorry that you think I was being rude when I pointed out your error. I suppose you will think it rude of me to respond, but since you insist…

              I would say that your evidence does not stipulate or support your original point, as can well be seen by the fact that 37% indicated occupancy is for rental properties.

              While that might imply only apartment to you it is certainly true that apartment is a subset of rental, it does not contain all rental.
              Still even then a far cry from your original comment of about half. It’s an interesting question, just trying to some basic numbers in agreement.

              Considering that about 30% of young people, under 30, live at home, cutting down even further your original estimate. Not sure what the exact number is, but probably less than half your original estimate.

              1. Nix says:

                ffbj — you are correct.

                To go further, in addition to people renting houses, there are people who rent condo’s and town houses that have garages or carports or parking garages where 110V is available or could be made available.

                Renters typically are more able to move to a different rental property than home owners ability to move.

                For the short term, renters who want to own a plug-in will have to select rental properties that suit their needs. Just like they currently choose rental properties with a specific number of bedrooms, or specific amenities, etc…

                It isn’t impossible to rent a property where a plug-in can be charged. It just takes effort, and possibly a higher rent.

                1. John Hansen says:

                  Let’s say that more apartments do start installing chargers. Let’s say there is an apartment with 50 parking spaces and they install 2 chargers. That would work fine for now, because there are probably only a couple people with EVs parking there.

                  But lets say that we want to get to 50% EV saturation. Do we really expect that apartment building to install 25 charging stations? Alternatively, you could ask them everybody share the same two charging spots, which involves 25 people coordinating their charging, moving their cars when they’re done charging, etc. That’s just not a realistic situation. In that case, I would rather just drive a gas car.

                  So that’s what I was saying earlier. It makes the most sense for those apartment dwellers to drive a long range EV, so that they can charge infrequently off-site, much like today’s gas station model. And in that case, the longer the range of the EV, the better. If there were a cheap 200kWh car some day, it would need to be charged half as often as a 100kWh car, and that would benefit apartment dwellers.

                  1. ricegf says:

                    ” But lets say that we want to get to 50% EV saturation. Do we really expect that apartment building to install 25 charging stations? ”

                    Why not? When horses were being replaced with Model T cars, I can imagine equestrian enthusiasts asking with the same implied incredulity, “Do you really expect apartments to have a parking spot for every apartment?” But look around!

                    The market will drive EVSE installation. If they need more EVSE to sustain their occupancy rate, then if course they will install more EVSE!

              2. John Hansen says:

                I’ll admit that I was wrong. I read the chart wrong. However, you didn’t need to be rude. And if you were wondering whether you were actually being rude, here’s a direct quote from you.

                “At least check your alternative facts:”

                Are you trying to tell me that you weren’t being rude? Seriously dude, you can correct somebody without accusing them of lying. We’re all EV enthusiasts here.

                Also, changing the number from 50% to 30% (which is what your source says it is) doesn’t change my original point at all. Do you have any interesting discussion to add to that?

                1. ffbj says:

                  …and if you had of done that, checked your facts, then none of this would have been needed.

        6. sum dood says:

          I own a few apartments.
          They all have laundry hookups (two with both gas and electric, one with only gas (gas is superior)). happy to install 220v outlets in the parking areas. Fortunately, the parking areas are exclusive and adjacent to each unit, and each unit has their own electrical meter.

      4. pjwood1 says:

        Weather easily means the need for >100KWh, and Elon wasn’t saying “nobody needs it”. He was talking about product, having “no plans”. This is the guy who once said no major changes were afoot, for a year, for the P85.

        Short ~15 mile trips, warming up a Tesla, can lop >30 miles of range, each. You don’t range charge every time, so you’re starting at 90% and want that ~20 mile buffer before playing roulette. 100KWh may be nicer than anything, yet, but under these circumstances 335 miles can fall in half.

        The good news is with the new Panamera Hybrid weighing as much as a Model S, nobody seems to care about a few pounds.

        1. BenG says:

          Exactly. ‘No plans’ right now doesn’t mean anything about what they actually do within 5 years.

          I’d be shocked if the Model S doesn’t offer a higher capacity battery than 100 kwh within 5 years.

      5. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “…why would you ever need more than 100kWh?”

        1. Because larger cars need more capacity to go the same distance.

        2. Because a capacity that gives you 380 miles of EPA rated range won’t give the average (non-hypermiling) driver 380 miles of range driving at 75 MPH on the freeway.

        3. Because some people actually like to run the heater or the air conditioner when they drive, and that cuts down on an EV’s range.

        4. Because EV range drops in very cold weather. (ICEV range does too, but strangely nobody is complaining about that!)

        5. Because as the battery pack degrades over time, range drops.

        Is that enough reasons for you? 🙂

        1. ModernMarvelFan says:

          ” (ICEV range does too, but strangely nobody is complaining about that!)”

          Because they can refill in 10 minutes or less and almost anywhere near their home or destination.

          When they can’t, they just carry couple more gas cans…

          I am not defending it, but that is how ICE drivers think.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            Well of course you’re right. But still, I find it surprising that we so rarely see it pointed out that gasmobiles lose a noticeable percentage of MPG (maybe 20%?) in very cold weather, just like EVs lose range in the same weather conditions.

            1. no comment says:

              to add to what mmfan stated, it should not be surprising that people don’t complain about the loss of mpg during winter in an ICEV because: 1)it only takes 5 minutes to refill. in addition, ICEVs have more range, so the loss of range doesn’t hurt you so much. it is not uncommon for even a midsize car to have 400-500 miles of range. so the consequences of the winter weather range hit (both in terms of time to recharge vs time to refill, and refill/recharge frequency) are much greater for a BEV. you take the AER hit in a PHEV as well, but then you get the benefits of an ICEV in terms of the implications of that AER hit.

              1. BenG says:

                In addition, the ICEVs have the waste heat from the engine to supply cabin heat, so running the heater does not impact the range as much as in a BEV.

                Prior to getting a Prius some years ago I never really noticed the mileage hit in the winter, but with the constant display of current and recent mileage it becomes glaringly obvious. The Prius, like a BEV but to a lesser extent, also takes a bigger hit on mileage in cold weather from running the heat than a straight ICE because when you have the heat cranked the ICE in the Prius doesn’t shut down at lights or when coasting nearly as readily as it does when no heat is on.

      6. ANewHope says:

        Your… who would need more than 640k comment is spot on. At the moment it does seem like diminishing returns to add more batery power, more cost, more weight, which then probably changes the nature/packaging of your vehicle, so even more cost, and more weight, as you are forced to re-engineer your product for the very few who can afford and want that much cow bell.

        But if say battery cost halved, and energy density/weight halved… Then why not have 200KWh battery power?

    2. speculawyer says:

      Maybe. They would really need greater energy density. I think over 100KWH is pretty crazy. You are just lugging around hundreds of pounds of extra weight that you only use 2% of the time.

      If you are going to regularly go long distances, there needs to be a better solution than a massive heavy battery . . . could be PHEV, hydrogen, swappable battery, trailer battery, etc. But lugging around 100+KWH heavy battery when you normally don’t need it is counter-productive.

      1. John Hansen says:

        “You are just lugging around hundreds of pounds of extra weight that you only use 2% of the time.”

        //troll
        The same goes for the extra seats in the car, the trunk, the airbags (I rarely ever use those!), seat belts…
        //troll

        1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

          And the ICE in every PHEV that rarely gets used.

          No //troll needed, it’s in the name…….

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            The difference is that ICE logged around can be easily refueling for quick turn around where the larger battery can’t recharged as quickly yet.

            Also, additional thing is cost.

            Once battery improves enough, then the appeal of PHEV would be less.

            We aren’t there yet. But I imagine we will be there in the next 10 years or so.

            I still have some doubts on the large/heavy applications though.

            1. no comment says:

              i think that tesla is correct in not seeking to increase the battery size beyond 100kWh. a bigger battery means a longer recharge time.

              i believe that tesla has correctly determined that the biggest threat to their BEV-only strategy is the recharge time for the battery; and increasing the size of the battery just makes things worse. to that extent, it makes sense that tesla would be dismissive of a 350kWh charging standard in favor of charging on a MW scale, because in doing so, you can get the recharge time for a 100kWh battery to the point where it becomes comparable to the time to refill a gas tank.

              if tesla can achieve this objective, it can go some way toward heading off threats from FCEV technology, although there is the question of how scaleable 1MW charging stations would be because it would most likely require redesigns of the current grid network. that said, BEV technology currently has a head start over the comparatively nascent FCEV technology, so if tesla can get the recharge time issue worked out within the next year or two, at least in principle, it would buy them time to get any collateral issues worked out.

              1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

                This is an argument that only an EV basher could love.

                Arguing that battery packs should be smaller because it takes longer to recharge larger ones is as silly as claiming that gas tanks should be smaller because that way it will be faster to fill up! (And I’m not the first to point that out, “no comment”.)

                A larger battery pack gives the driver more flexibility. It’s absurd — what I call “pretzel logic” — to claim that somehow a larger pack is a disadvantage! Nobody is gonna put a gun to the driver’s head and force him to charge a larger pack to 100%, or even 90%, if he doesn’t need that much range for his current trip.

                And that’s not even getting to the issue that larger battery packs can be — and some already are — built to accept a faster charge. Of course, that also takes a more powerful charger, but those are coming too… much to the dismay of EV bashers everywhere!

                Up the EV revolution!

                1. John Hansen says:

                  “This is an argument that only an EV basher could love.”

                  Lol, calm down fella! Having a bad day?

              2. Mikael says:

                The larger the battery capacity the easier it is to charge at a higher power.

                So bigger battery means faster charging in reality.

                1. no comment says:

                  no it doesn’t. you are referring to the c-rate. the c-rate for a battery is limited by the battery chemistry. if you double the size of a battery and correspondingly double the c-rate (or even increase the c-rate by less than double), you would likely wreck the battery.

                  1. Ahldor says:

                    What Mikael meant was that with a bigger battery the power rate will drop later during charging than with a smaller battery. Thus making the average power higher for a bigger battery, for any given amount of kWh.

        2. Foo says:

          ..driver.

      2. WadeTyhon says:

        I think Tesla offering the different battery sizes is the way to go and I hope more car companies do this going forward. Or have multiple options of PHEV/EREV.

        Personally I would be fine with 125-150 miles of EV range, but a little extra buffer is nice since I will be sharing an apartment charger with other residents.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          Yah. Always good to see “EREV” come back. Put Voltec in the Impala, with maybe 10-20 more range miles. The lack of will power to do a good EREV has really sucked. So functional, but the hurdles are a “not green” perception, or OEMs delivering “more gas, less battery” for compliance.

          There’s been this valley in PHEV versus BEV range, for a very long time.

          1. Bill Howland says:

            There is already the Bi-Fuel Impala, which takes the v-6 offering, puts hardened valves in it, and operates the first 80 or so miles on CNG. Then it seamlessly transitions to the normal gasoline tank.

            What THAT car needs is a cheap, reliable home refueler, and I don’t mean that PHILL thing.

            1. Nick says:

              That still leaves you all fossil fuel all the time.

              Need a way to get to a renewable future.

            2. WadeTyhon says:

              Has any car manufacturer come up with a PHEV that uses a decent sized battery + CNG instead of Diesel/Gas?

              That could be an interesting combination, especially for city governments and other fleet use.

        2. All-Purpose Guru says:

          I used to think the same thing until I got a car with about 80 miles range. My actual, real-live experiences tells me that for me to be able to depend on a car as a single-driver– one when I don’t EVER have to take the gasmobile due to range issues– it’s gotta have a range of upwards of 150 miles. 100 willl still mean I have to drive the gasmobile once in a while– which means I gotta still own the gasmobile. Looking forward to a non-Chevy 200 mile range car (and am slowly getting swayed by the great reviews on the Chevy)

          1. WadeTyhon says:

            Yeah, longer range EVs have definite benefits. 🙂 I get by just fine with my Spark right now but there are occasions of inconvenience.

            150 miles I think would be the option I would chose if it were given but 200+ miles is icing on the cake. I certainly will not say no to the larger buffer!

            And some people will prefer even more than that. If it ever makes sense for Tesla to offer a larger than a 100 kWH pack I’m sure that they will.

      3. Knut Erik Ballestad says:

        The need for bigger batteries (higher energy capacity) is inversely proportional to availability of (and speed of) charging infrastructure.

        Meaning that if 1000+ kW charging is available every 50 mile on every road, the need for big batteries simply vanish….

      4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “You are just lugging around hundreds of pounds of extra weight that you only use 2% of the time.”

        That is factually incorrect. You use that extra capacity every time you charge up, because larger battery packs don’t need to be cycled as often, and thus last longer.

        There are many benefits to higher capacity battery packs, including a higher percentage of resale value for the car.

        1. terminaltrip421 says:

          That is factually incorrect. You use that extra capacity every time you charge up, because larger battery packs don’t need to be cycled as often, and thus last longer.

          good call.

        2. unlucky says:

          A car is a depreciating investment. You’re not going to get your money back by buying something (or part of something) with the intent of reselling it.

          You’d do better to not pay for the extra and then not receive the extra in resale than to pay for it and get some if it back in resale.

          1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

            I certainly agree that there is a point of diminishing returns, beyond which it’s not worth paying for extra capacity in the battery. But those who advocate for smaller battery packs ignore several advantages to packs which are at least moderately larger than the minimum they think they need. Several advantages, not just one or two; Nix details one of those advantages in his post below.)

            I wonder how many of those who are calling for small battery packs to be standard offerings, actually drive a Leaf or i3 other limited-range BEV. From what I’ve seen, many or perhaps most of those who do drive such cars say that they not only wish they had more range, they actually need more range than they expected when they bought the car.

            I think it’s pretty well established that there is a rule of thumb for gasmobiles to have at least 300 miles of highway driving range on a tank of gas. Larger cars, which use more gas per mile, have larger gas tanks than smaller cars. I don’t think it’s realistic to believe that somehow EV drivers need less range than gasmobile drivers do.

            Simple logic suggests that competition will drive battery pack sizes up to a dependable 300 miles of real-world highway driving. That of course is just my opinion, and not fact; but I have yet to see any reasonable counter to my argument.

            Sure, you can find individuals who get along with a BEV with less range. We’ve seen posts from such people here at InsideEVs. Similarly, you can find people who could get along with a gasmobile with a gas tank so small the car would only get 150 miles of range.

            But those are outliers. Auto makers don’t aim their cars at outlier customers; they aim for as much of a market segment as they can get.

            1. Stephen Hodges says:

              Boy, I hanker after being an outlier, I think I am an in-lier, having a Leaf with 14kw (waiting for Nissan to start selling EV’s here so I can get a new battery or car). A little extra battery would be a very good thing in my view. It would get over the “oops I forgot something” problem (which I would love a better name for :-))

        3. Nix says:

          Pushy — On top of that, you use the extra battery to charge more miles per minute of charging. More battery cells can take more total juice at the the same C rate than a much smaller battery. So when you charge at 120 kW, it is only possible because you have a big battery. A tiny battery would have to charge at a massively high C rate.

          So each time you plug into a very fast charger, you are using the whole battery, where a smaller battery would not be able to charge at the same rate.

          Big batteries also can take more regen too, for the same reason.

      5. Rick says:

        For that 2% now, you can rent a car if you need to drive that far. Simple cost effective solution until charging is even quicker.

      6. super390 says:

        Based on trends, we’re probably seeing 150 wh/pound soon. Maybe we can get to 200. In which case a 60 kwh car has only 300 lbs of actual batteries. But I would certainly prefer to see an emphasis on smaller EVs and batteries. 200 lbs is not a big deal.

  2. ModernMarvelFan says:

    That basically means that Tesla has no intention of exceeding 350 miles in EPA range.

    I think I would agree since carrying much unused battery adds weight and cost unnecessarily.

    1. John says:

      That all depends on what they have up their sleeves regarding efficiency. The Model S is a very heavy car…get the weight down and range will go up substantially.

      1. ModernMarvelFan says:

        How much more weight can you shave out of it?

        Going Ti and Carbon Fiber will probably knock another 500lbs out of it…

        Battery pack already weighs more than the body shells..

        1. Colin Wright says:

          They can reduce the weight of the battery as density increases. Same capacity, less weight, more range, better handling.

          1. ModernMarvelFan says:

            Battery have been improving far faster in terms of cost than energy density in the last 20 years…

  3. HVACman says:

    Jay,

    Might want to fix your photo label. It says:

    “Tesla CEO Elon Musk stands in front of Model 3 cutaway (with a >100 kWh battery) during launch event last year.”

    Dang math symbols, always getting screwed up…;)

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Indeed, thanks HVACman!

  4. Boris says:

    Was hoping they would eventually do 125kwh with 400 miles range on Model S….

    1. Anti-Lord Kelvin says:

      Well, towards July or September 2018, the 100 kWh battery pack should begin to use the new 2170 cells, with at least 30% more energy density (more like 35% hopefully), so the range might gain some 12 or even 15%, so the Model S 100D at the end of 2018 should have a range of at least 370 miles, but probably more.
      But maybe, when new comers or other century long car makers will come with some 120 or 130 kWh (see Lucid Brand or FF for example), Tesla will be able to upgrade easily the Model S and X to a 120 kWh battery pack, with even higher energy density than the Model 3 new battery packs, some time towards 2020, with at least 450 miles of range.

      1. viktor says:

        Tesla have said that they improved the Model lll batteries by 30% over the Model S but I believe they refer to the first Model S wish was 85 kWh. 30% more would mean 110 kWh and it would fit with the 6% improvements per year that Elon use to talk about.

        1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

          I prefer to compare improvements of battery characteristics of measure with Wh/kg by chemistry.

          Anyone can claim capacity in improvements by increasing a battery cell’s volume.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          “Tesla have said that they improved the Model lll batteries by 30% over the Model S but I believe they refer to the first Model S wish was 85 kWh.”

          I think it’s almost certain you are correct. Those who are hoping for a quantum jump in battery improvement for the 2170 cells, are going to be sadly disappointed.

          Switching to the 2170 cells will hopefully result in significant cost savings for Tesla, but the energy density likely won’t improve much with the change. I think there will be some incremental improvement, because JB Straubel said they were changing chemistry, not just form factor.

      2. super390 says:

        I think what is coming after all the planned cars is the 2nd generation Model S, based on a stretched Model 3 platform. And it will be so efficient that a 100 kwh battery will still get it a record range.

  5. M3 Reserved - Bolt TBD ; ?Ioniq? says:

    More isn’t necessarily better. Few reasons to go above 100kWh.

  6. leafowner says:

    Come on folks….read his post. It says “No plans to take X, S (or 3) above 100 kWh” Did he say “we will NEVER offer over 100kWh???? NO — so what he is telling everyone is that for the foreseeable future, 100 is it…….if technology changes for the positive — then I assume the 100 will be increased. My bet is they will focus on reducing the cost of the 100kWh battery and the car in general.

    I’m not sure about everyone here, but I have been known to change my plans on occasion….

    1. Daniel says:

      ^ what he said.

      1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

        Ditto

    2. ffbj says:

      I originally said that, a few months, ago 100 was it. It’s a case of refusing to listen because you want a different result. Those voices in your head, pay no attention to them. It will help. Maybe.

      1. ffbj says:

        Sorry leafowner. My reply was for Boris since others were saying the same thing about it stopping at 100kw. At least for the foreseeable future.

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I was going to post much the same comment, leafowner.

      I think Elon’s comments here have more to do with fighting the Osborne Effect than they do with Tesla’s future plans. Anybody wanna bet that Tesla won’t be offering a P110D Model S within three years?

    4. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

      leafowner said:
      “I’m not sure about everyone here, but I have been known to change my plans on occasion….”

      FWIW, I was once planning on buying a Model X.

      1. Anon says:

        You were as serious about the X, as you are now about buying a Model 3.

      2. no comment says:

        i saw a model X today, i think it’s a pretty nice looking car.

        in fact, i’ve been seeing more tesla cars around town. they’re still a rare occurrence, but i might see one every few days, as opposed to every few months. i recently saw 2 different model S cars one time while driving around. i would say that lately, i’m seeing about as many tesla cars as i’m seeing Volts.

  7. Someone out there says:

    After 300 miles the benefit of longer range starts to diminish.

    Assume we want to go 600 miles. We start with a full battery and every charger on the way is conveniently located and able to provide 1 C:

    With a 100 mile range car we go for 100 miles, charge for one hour and then go for another 100 miles and so on. That means 5 hours of charging. With an average speed of 60 mph while on the road it’s 15 hours of travel time.

    With a 200 mile car we go for 200 miles, charge one hour and then go for another 200 miles… Now we are down to 2 hours of charging and a 12 hour trip.

    With a 300 mile car it’s just one hour of charging on an 11 hour trip.

    At 400 miles of range we only have to charge our battery half full but that only saves us 30 minutes for a total of 10h 30min.

    Gas cars benefit from long range not because you need to make long trips but because you have to fill up at a gas station. With 600 miles of range in your gas car you only have to go to the gas station a couple of times a month. This problem doesn’t exist for EVs at all so the point is moot.

    Now this is a very rough calculation of course, there are more factors to consider: weather, season, load, an aging battery, not wanting to charge 100% to preserve battery life and so on but it should be roughly correct. 250-300 miles of range should be more or less the sweet spot of an EV.

    1. pjwood1 says:

      Have fun on your 600 mile car ride. Now, I know where “Out There” comes from 😉

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Certainly beyond 300 real-world miles of range, you do hit the law of diminishing returns for battery capacity.

      The problem is that driving conditions can reduce the real-world range quite a bit. 300 miles of EPA-rated range, or even the 335 miles that the Model S100D has, isn’t 335 miles of highway range when driving at 70-75 MPH. That would be more like 272 miles.

      Add in the range loss from running the heater or air conditioner, and add in the range loss from driving in bitterly cold weather… you’d need more than 400 miles of EPA rated range to maintain 300+ miles of real-world range under even the most adverse driving conditions.

      So I am confident that future Tesla cars will have battery packs larger than 100 kWh, despite what Elon says today.

      1. PhilB says:

        These are very good points you make about the range. I’ll also add in some others as follows:

        1. The Tesla S 100D may already be much closer to 400 miles range than most people realize. The 335 mile EPA figure discussed by Tesla is actually a conservative prediction of what EPA will actually publish in a few more months. Tesla needs be careful not to overrate the range before the official EPA figure is in. The actual official EPA range may come in somewhere between 340 and 350 miles rather than 335 miles.

        2. The 335 mile range being cited is a combined city/highway lowball estimate of what the EPA range will be. It is not the highway EPA range. The actual highway range may be significantly higher owing to the low drag coefficient of the Tesla S. For example, the combined city/highway EPA range of the Tesla S P100D is 315 miles. But the highway range of the Tesla S P100D is 338 miles.

        If we consider points 1 and 2 above, we then realize that the actual EPA range of the Tesla S 100D may be well above 350 miles. It might be 360 or even 370 miles.

        If Tesla adds a few more refinements (lower loss batteries, lighter batteries, lower loss drivetrain, slightly better aerodynamics and other improvements, it is quite possible the Tesla S 100D in another year or so could easily exceed 400 miles range without the battery actually exceeding a 100 kWh rating.

        1. PhilB says:

          One clarification in what I said above. When I said exceed 360 or 370 miles, and when I said exceed 400 miles I meant the highway EPA range might exceed those numbers.

          It is the highway figure that mostly matters when it comes to long trips exceeding several hundred miles.

    3. BenG says:

      Solid points, but if you change your long-range travel target to 700 or 750 miles in a day the calculation changes to favor a bigger battery more.

      The 700-750 mile figures are based on the single day trips I used to commonly make to go on vacation in Florida, and it’s about the as much as a typical person can do in one day without overwhelming fatigue.

      I fully expect that we’ll see a 110 or 120 kwh Model S and X in 5 years or so at latest.

  8. Daniel says:

    Seems M3 is going to need at “least” a 60KW battery to be competitive.

    1. John says:

      I’m standing behind my initial guess of

      M3 50
      M3 75

      MS&X 75
      MS&X 100

      The pickup will probably continue the theme:
      MP 100
      MP 125

      I also imagine they’ll figure out how to make all the packs interchangeable to reduce tooling, production costs, and inventory.

      1. unlucky says:

        For M3 I’ll say 60 and 75. It’d be lucky to get 200 miles on 50kWh and I don’t know if Tesla wants to go there.

        Sharing packs is impossible right now. Musk says the wheelbase on the Model S means you can’t put in a bigger pack. With a shorter wheelbase in the 3 it won’t take an S pack.

      2. ModernMarvelFan says:

        “The pickup will probably continue the theme:
        MP 100
        MP 125”

        I doubt it… It has to be more if they want the pickup trucks to still make it to the next SC stations while towing and hauling.

        Some of the efficiency can be as low as easily 1mi/kWh while towing and hauling. So, you need enough battery buffer in the bitter cold to allow the SC coverage.

        I would guess it will be more like 150kWh to 200kWh…

        1. John says:

          I guess I always think about the 90% of trucks I see on our roads that are used as one person commuter vehicles…ugh.

          Give them 100, and then offer the “HD” version with 2 of the 100 packs stacked in parallel?

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Elon has already said the M3 is going to have a battery pack less than 60 kWh. Of course, he meant the base model. Tesla will almost certainly be offering two pack sizes, with the larger one perhaps 20 kWh more than the smaller one.

      So that will likely be somewhere around 55 & 75 kWh, or perhaps Tesla will abandon the multiples-of-five increments for the M3, and we’ll see ~58 kWh and ~78 kWh pack sizes. Given the need to “tweak” the range upward to compete with the Bolt EV, I’m guessing the latter is closer to what we’ll see.

  9. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

    I’d be fine with an M3 that gets 150-165 miles at less co$t.

    200+ is great and all but don’t need it.

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      A software limited Model 3 to 150-165 (100%full) mile range that can supercharge from 20% to full 100% would be the shiz!!!

    2. SparkEV says:

      M3 will cost $35K+, so it must be competitive against other cars at that price range. That means 200+ miles range. I share your view; I, too, wish there’s lower cost option ($25K?) for ~150 miles range.

  10. Jonathan B says:

    Considering the Model 3 has a lower coefficient of drag, weighs less, and will likely have more advanced and efficient electric motors than the Model S, you could easily get the same range as a 100D with an 80kwh pack. If Elon wants to stick with his 215 base range number, you probably only need 50kwh for that.

    Ok, I’m in prediction mode…

    I bet you see the base model 3 with a 55-60kwh pack and range estimate of 240mi. You need to be higher than Bolt, so you do whatever gets you there, but you can’t go too high otherwise you cannibalize the upgrade potential on the bigger pack. Larger pack will be roughly 75kwh and will be good for range of 320mi, combined with a Dual motor option then you’ll see 330mi.

    Around the same time as this gets announced, sometime around April/May, you’ll have a simultaneous announcement of changes to the Model S line. The 60kwh option will disappear and for the same price (or just slightly more), the base model will be 75kwh. Because you can’t have your luxury car have less range than your base entry level car.

    1. ffbj says:

      Well, it will spank the Bolt 0-60 like it was a red-headed step child, but I suppose it will have to be longer range too, or people will say the Bolt beats it. Maybe 60 for the top end.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      It’s going to be extremely hard if not impossible to get more energy efficiency out of an electric motor, since they’re already at ~90-92%. Now, Tesla might be able to continue to improve the efficiency of the inverter and other power electronics, and perhaps the mechanical efficiency of the drivetrain has room for a few percentage points of improvement.

  11. unlucky says:

    I don’t think he means forever. I think he means the current design.

    Also, given the questions about the possible negative effects on safety of making the car heavier with even more cells doesn’t make sense.

    Best to go back, do a redesign to use the larger, more size/weight efficient cells and then work your way back up in capacities.

  12. Pinewold says:

    I agree with 240 minimum range for Model 3. To me the .21 cd is key. If you can get 5miles/kWh, it all makes a lot more sense. 50kWh gets 250 miles of range, 60 gets you 300 and 70 gets 350 miles. I am hoping for 15 minute charging too at 400kW.

    1. super390 says:

      200 wh/mile on the EPA cycle will be daunting in a car weighing over 3500 lbs. The GM EV1 was specified at 120 wh/mile at a steady 50 mph, made possible by its 0.19 cd and about 3000 lbs. But the EPA cycle is tougher. And Tesla will use tires that don’t sacrifice everything for economy.

      1. Pinewold says:

        Agree it will be hard, was impressed by Inoniq getting 124 miles out of 28kWhr with a .24 cd so used .21 for Model 3 and came out over 5 miles /kWhr = 200W/mile!

        Noticed that nobody compared wheelbases so…
        Model S: 116.5 inches
        Model 3: 113 inches

        Model 3 has ~97% of the Model S wheelbase.

        Perhaps we will see 90kWhr or even a 95kWhr if Tesla maximizes the battery size!

  13. stewil says:

    A heat pump combined with an ethanol heater and 10 litre reservoir would go a long way towards reducing the cold weather range hit worries.

    Alternatively, A heated Tesla Jacket for the occupants, with wireless induction charging through the seats 🙂

  14. scottf200 says:

    Why? Have you ever driven in cold winters in rural areas where they don’t have and may not have superchargers for a very very very long time. Been there done that not fun or fast. Plus degradation of the battery. I have 4-ish percent in my first year (25K miles) but should stablize. So my 250 is 238-ish at 100%

  15. floydboy says:

    I wonder if modularity(speed and ease of manufacture) is the key here. I’m thinking 14 kWh rated battery blocks(BB).

    1BB chemistry X = 14 kWh = Powerwall

    16BB chemistry X = 224 kWh = Powerpack

    4BB chemistry Y = 56 kWh = Model 3/Model Y base pack(230 miles)

    6BB chemistry Y = 84 kWh = Model 3/Model Y uprated pack(345 miles/330 miles(performance))

    8BB chemistry Y = 112 kWh = Tesla truck/Tesla bus/Model X uprated pack(300/270/330/315(performance))

    16BB chemistry Y = 224 kWh = Tesla semi(285 miles)

    1. floydboy says:

      Also could be an intermediate pack.

      5BB chemistry Y = 70 kWh = 288 miles.

    2. Jonathan B says:

      I really doubt there will be an intermediate pack option on the Model 3. And as far as the Semi goes, you need a helluva lot more than 285mi of range.

    3. It’s going to take more batteries than that to make a semi-truck (Class 8, 80,000 pounds) go over 300 miles.

      I estimate 2-3 kWh per mile in summer, and perhaps 4 kWh per mile in winter and with hills.

      38kWh = one gallon of diesel

      The very best modern Class 8 trucks can get 8mpg at 55% efficiency (Cummings X15 engine) while fully loaded.

      38kWh @ 55% = 20.9kWh used to propel the vehicle 8 miles

      20.9 / 8mpg = 2.6kWh per mile with diesel energy (and the remaining diesel energy is lost to heat)

      So, short of some miraculous change to physics (or radical improvement in aerodynamics / tire rolling friction), it’s going to take 2-3kWh per mile to move a truck.

      That means 600-900kWh of batteries are required to go 300 miles, which could weigh up to 10,000 pounds of the 80,000 pounds allowed to roll down the highway. That truck will need the diet of a lifetime.

      1. floydboy says:

        No, no, no! You’re thinking the old hydrocarbon transport network, with a long haul trucker. I’m talking electric trains traveling the long distance parts to a central cargo depot. Personnel using electric jacks, forklifts and cranes offloading the goods to electric trucks, which then complete the short and intermediate portions of the journey! No need for huge batteries. Cleaner and leaner!

  16. CLIVE says:

    I will take a Model 3 P75D

    1. Mister G says:

      I will take M3 P85DL and autopilot for $60k.

      1. BenG says:

        That’s going to be more than $80k, I bet.

        For comparison, the loaded BMW M3 that Car and Driver tested last cost $88k. That will be the direct competition for a top of the line performance Tesla Model 3.

        1. Mister G says:

          Hopefully Tesla can keep performance model 3 under $70k because it would be a BMW M3 killer lol

  17. Jonathan B says:

    As far as options on the Model 3 go. Here’s what I’m doing…

    Bigger battery – 100% likely I’ll get it. Assuming that price is reasonable. I’d be willing to pay $5K more for an extra 15-20kwh. That seems fair. Especially since a larger pack degrades more slowly.

    Dual Motors – 75% likely I’ll get it. $5k right now for Model S/X so I’m guessing this option is $4k on the Model 3. I’m less concerned with the slight increase in efficiency but more excited about the potential to own a faster car.

    Performance Option – 50% likely I’ll get it. This one depends on price. If the bigger battery with dual motors is already a sub 5 second car, I may just stick with that, but if we are talking less than $5K more for performance edition, then I’m all over it. I’m totally comfortable spending between $50-$55K with these three options.

    Other stuff – Panoramic sunroof is likely, Autopilot is a yes! cold weather options… nah. Leather? maybe. Faster charger, nah. Fancier wheels… nah. I’ll spring an extra $1K for a cool pain color though.

    I’m fully expecting my Model 3 to get close to $55K with all of the decked out options.

    1. Mister G says:

      Don’t you want a model 3 that will destroy gas guzzling sport cars? I do…a sub 3.5 second model 3 will be awesome hellcat, corvette, camaro destroyer lol

  18. Pat Free says:

    I would be more interested to know if Tesla will ever provide a Model X or S with a battery using new denser 2170 Cells ? Will that be required for benefitting SuperCharger v3 at full >> 350KW power ?

  19. Sonya Wiley says:

    Hey Elon
    I’m very happy your advising the President 2 thumbs way up and I’ve put in the President’s ear brining in Larry Page to the table is extremely important to all of us.

    And let Larry know I have the President’s eye on Google to make sure no one is murdered by Larry taking a stand for me it’s to important not to cover.

    Relay that message my friend,

  20. Thaddeus Pritchett says:

    While I very much applaud Tesla’s investment in charging infrastructure I find that it only set’s us up to be financially raped by the future owners of the electric charging infrastructure. Even now companies providing level 1 and level 2 stations are charging 5 to 10 times the cost of electricity. It is important that we continue to invest in improved storage chemistry. If Tesla won’t invest then I’m not buying any more Tesla’s (I have an S, an X, and a Nissan Leaf).

    The S and X are currently more viable because Tesla, rather than the dealer, provides the charging infrastructure. All three suffer from optimistic range calculation. Once the temperature drops below 35 degrees F you will easily lose 30% of the projected range. None of the car manufacturers has factored the energy lost while charging into their value calculations.

    Using the S or X as a work vehicle in the cold, I can easily run out of battery before I get home for the day.
    There aren’t any superchargers available near the area where I put the cars to work.

    Traveling across country requires that I sacrifice too much time and energy arranging a route that has superchargers along the way or requires going out of the way to get to a supercharger. Some destinations are simply not reachable in the best conditions much less so in the cold or extreme heat. None of this accounts for time lost waiting for the car to charge.

    For the Model X or S to be truly viable replacements for ICE (Internal Combustion Engines) they need to have an optimistic range of 500 miles. To be better than ICE they need a range of 750 to 1000 miles.

    These ranges are not achievable with current battery, anode and cathode chemistry. They are theoretically possible with new chemistry (graphene conductors with polymer reinforced nano tube ion storage. Phenergy, Alcoa and Nissan/Renault are teaming up to produce recyclable (not rechargeable batteries that might approach these ranges).

    If Tesla can’t do it then someone else will. If someone else does it then I will buy from them because it frees me from the hooks of the energy gougers.

  21. David says:

    Hi Jay!

    Just wondering – do you still have the high res Model X wallpapers from this post: http://insideevs.com/new-tesla-model-x-gallery-photos-desktop-sized/

    If you can forward those awesome wallpapers in 8,832 x 5,894 it’d be much appreciated 🙂

    1. Jay Cole says:

      Hey David,

      Erm, I can probably rustle them up for you…but they are archived all over the place. Maybe if you tell me which one or two you want specifically, I will see you get them, (=

      1. David says:

        Thanks, Jay! much appreciated.

        I would like to have the three with the blue model X.

        Here are the links to the low res versions: