New Tesla Model S Options: 90 kWh Battery, Ludicrous Mode, Cheaper Base Model

JUL 17 2015 BY JAY COLE 182

Tesla Introduces The Single Motor 70 kWh Model S From $70,000

Tesla Introduces The Single Motor 70 kWh Model S From $70,000

Today, Tesla CEO Elon Musk held a quick press conference to announced some major changes to the Model S sedan.

Do Owners Get New Decals With 90 kWh/$3,000 Upgrade?

Look For P90Ds On The Road Soon!

The most significant was the arrival of a 90 kWh battery pack upgrade option ($3,000) for new customers, to better suit the Model S lineup, given the recent update of the base model to 70 kWh over the older 60 kWh version.

As for the base model, a single motor 70 kWh S sedan can now be had – and for $5,000 cheaper than the 70D, starting from $70,000.

And finally, “Ludicrous Mode” is now a real thing – for $10,000 more; which means that the top-of-the line performance Teslas can now zip to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds.  The new mode also brings up the quarter mile in 10.9 seconds.

Unlike earlier performance upgrades that have been done over-the-air, there is actually new hardware needed for this upgrade.  This means a $10,000 outlay for new buyers, $5,000 for current P85D owners (at least for the next 6 months in consideration of their costumer’s recent, and already somewhat outdated, purchase).

How Much Is 2.8 Seconds Slips To 60 MPH, And 1.1 Gs Worth To You?

How Much Is 2.8 Seconds Slips To 60 MPH, And 1.1 Gs Worth To You?

Mr. Musk says that the new 90 kWh battery upgrade will give an additional 15 miles of range; with the new 90D netting 300 miles of range (if driven at  around 65 mph).

Update: There has been some reporting confusion in the media surrounding whether or not current 85 kWh Model S owners can also get their battery upgraded to a 90 kWh pack, and what that cost might be.  As we understood it, no such option was being offered, so we reached out to Tesla for clarification and was informed via a spokesperson that “You cannot retrofit the battery pack. Only retrofit is available to P85D customers is the ludicrous mode.” 

Which basically means that existing 85 kWh Model S sedans can have their packs replaced with a new 90 kWh pack featuring the new improved chemistry, but not the old unit itself upgraded for the $3,000 fee and then retained (we assume a residual trade-in value would be placed on and given for the original pack).

Hence the statement from CEO Musk stating that he “wouldn’t recommend doing so (upgrading to 90 kWh) unless your usage is on the edge of current range.”  While adding, “On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference.”

The Tesla "90" Series Of Cars Will Be Available For Delivery Starting In Late August

The Tesla “90” Series Of Cars Will Be Available For Delivery Starting In Late August

Of course Tesla tweeted out a little brag on the new high performance P90D Model S from $118,000:

Ludicrous Mode Arrives?  Next Up Is Obviously "Plaid"

Ludicrous Mode Arrives? Next Up Is Obviously “Plaid”

…which apparently irked someone in legal and/or another car company, as the tweet was re-worded a couple times before landing on this configuration:

Tesla Model S Acceleration Tweet V3.0

Tesla Model S Acceleration Tweet V3.0

Tesla also got in on the Space Balls move joke about “going to plaid”, but they did it in such a way as to promote an all-new Roadster available in 4 years.

There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid.”

The "Fine Print" On 90 kWh Battery

The “Fine Print” On 90 kWh Battery

During the press conference there was not much news around the upcoming arrival of the Model X other the re-confirming its deliveries to start in 2 months time.

The Tesla CEO did note that “Ludicrous Mode” would also be available on the performance X, and should give the utility vehicle a zero to 60 time of about 3.2 to 3.3 seconds.

For the Model 3, the latest update is that it is still off a bit more than 2 years.

Mr. Musk was asked what impact he thought these new options would have on sales going forward on the Model S:

“I have no idea, we are just trying to make awesome cars.”

As for market reaction, shares dipped on the initial announcement, perhaps reflecting the markets desire to see ‘bigger’ news, but they quickly recovers and are now mostly unchanged.  (Real-time quote can be found here)

Update: Full Tesla PR Blast Below


– 90 kWh battery pack option for $3k
– 70 kWh rear drive Model S for $70k (effectively ~$50k after incentives & gas savings)
– 2.8 sec 0 to 60 mph upgrade to “Ludicrous Mode”

First, I should address something that might be on your mind, like: “Where the heck is the Model X and the Model 3!? You should really get on that.” Don’t worry, those remain our focus and good progress is being made on both. X is on track for first deliveries in two months and Model 3 in just over two years.

Now, on to the awesome news of today. New buyers now have the option of upgrading the pack energy from 85 to 90 kWh, which provides up to 15 miles of additional range. This takes our current longest range model, the 85D to almost exactly 300 miles of highway range at 65mph.

Existing owners can also purchase the pack upgrade, but I wouldn’t recommend doing so unless your usage is on the edge of current range. On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year. Better to wait until you have more time on your existing pack and there is a larger accumulated pack energy difference.

70kWh for $70k

We are now offering the 70kWh version of the Model S in the single motor version for $5k less than the dual motor, consistent with the price differential for the single and dual motor 85 kWh car. Importantly, enough options are now standard that you will have bought a great car even if you pick the base version. Various purchase incentives mean the actual net price is around $60k and annual gasoline and servicing savings are around $2k. These savings are captured immediately if you lease the car.

Luuudicrous Mode

While working on our goal of making the power train last a million miles, we came up with the idea for an advanced smart fuse for the battery. Instead of a standard fuse that just melts past a certain amperage, which means you aren’t exactly sure when it will or won’t melt or if it will arc when it does, we developed a fuse with its own electronics and a tiny lithium-ion battery. It constantly monitors current at the millisecond level and is pyro-actuated to cut power with extreme precision and certainty.

That was combined with upgrading the main pack contractor to use inconel (a high temperature space-grade superalloy) instead of steel, so that it remains springy under the heat of heavy current.

The net result is that we can safely increase max amp throughout from 1300 to 1500 Amps. If you don’t know much about Amps, trust me this is a silly big number of Amps to be going through something the size of your little fingernail.

What this results in is a 10% improvement in the 0 to 60 mph time to 2.8 secs and a quarter mile time of 10.9 secs. Time to 155 mph is improved even more, resulting in a 20% reduction.

This option will cost $10k to new buyers. In appreciation of our existing P85D owners, the upgraded pack electronics will be offered for the next six months at only $5k plus installation labor.

It is important to note that the battery pack size upgrade and the pack electronics upgrade are almost entirely independent. The first is about energy, which affects range, and the second is about power, which affects acceleration.

There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid.


Model S already offers the highest possible safety ratings, the longest range of any EV, and over-the-air updates that continuously make it better. The performance improvements we’re announcing today demonstrate, yet again, that an electric car can soundly beat any gasoline car on efficiency and pure performance.

Today’s three new options give customers the ability to order the Model S for their lifestyle:

90kWh Battery

Model S with maximum range. Available as an option on all 85kWh Model S, the new extended range option gives customers the ability to order a 90kWh battery. The upgrade increases range on all 85 kWh Model S by 5%.

Ludicrous Speed

Ludicrous Speed decreases the 0-60 mph time for Model S 10% to 2.8 seconds with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Time to 155 miles per hour is now 20% faster than a standard Model S Performance.

Model S 70

In line with our mission to make our cars increasingly affordable, 70 RWD offers the best value of any Model S released to date, $5,000 less than the current lowest priced Model S with all the current standard equipment. Model S 70 RWD starts at $70,000.

Here are a few examples of what a customer can now order:

Model S P90D: truly Ludicrous performance; 0-60 in 2.8 sec with a quarter mile time of 10.9 seconds. Motor Power: 259 hp front, 503 hp rear, 253 miles range

Model S 90D: the longest-range Model S ever produced, 90D travels up to 270 miles on a single charge. 417 hp

Model S 70: 230 miles range, 0=60: 5.2, 328 hp

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182 Comments on "New Tesla Model S Options: 90 kWh Battery, Ludicrous Mode, Cheaper Base Model"

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Is Ludacris on top of Insane?

It would be such a pleasant surprise if they instead named the option ”Musk” mode.

TESLA…Stop screwing with current models and get the damn Model 3 on the street!!!!!! The Model X folks also might like their cars.

Be reasonable. We all know the Model 3 is waiting for the gigafactory to open first. Don’t act as if they’re not working on it!

Screwing? Improving and preparing for the rolling out of Model X. BTW my guess was the right one onr the other page. I said “bigger batteries” Yess! Every one owe me a beer 😉

Biggest news today is that the new 90 kWh pack has new battery chemistry with silicon anodes. Most likely the next generation of battery chemistry beyond this one is the version going into the Model 3. This step wise improvement is necessary to bring about the Model 3.

No. TESLA Keep That Model S assembly line busy. With more options and greater market share penetration.

Yep. Keep the Model S rolling off the assembly line. And keep tweaking it. Every day I’m sure you are learning new things, improving the car, using those things learned for designing the next car, improving manufacturing efficiency, etc.

This is something that blow-hard Bjorn Lomborg doesn’t understand. You can’t just R & D your way to the future. You have to actually build it, deploy it, learn, and refine it.

Absolutely! This is why, when I read about a new battery technology (daily? weekly?), I balk at it because it is not in production. Without real-world manufacturing and testing, it’s just theoretical.

The new battery and Ludicrous mode are part of the Model X.

These are also great exercises in improving the reliability of the Model 3.

With billions of miles driven on these powertrains and batteries by 2017, you can rely on the engineering put into the Model 3.

Model X deliveries are scheduled for September of this year (2015).

A bunch of the “upgrades” to Model S were clearly designed for the Model X and “backported”. Model S and Model X share most of the same production line.

To be followed by Maximum Plaid. Nice Spaceballs reference.

And here I thought the plaid mode was a reference to the shirt usually worn by the Model X test driver. Totally forgot about Spaceballs.

At the press conference he said, “OMG, I’m completely surrounded by ***holes.

Major +1

So there will be another Roadster.

“There is of course one speed faster than ludicrous, but that is reserved for the next generation Roadster in 4 years: maximum plaid.”

That is interesting. And since the Model 3 and Model Y will come before it it’s fascinating that they expect to get three models out in just 4 years.

It’s probably just Elon being optimistic, but it’s interesting to know his mental time frame and plans.

Interesting to some, useless for most people. There is a huge gap in what he says and what he achieves. If he could do what he says, he would have delivered 35K cars last year and launched Model X in 2013, and improved battery costs by 50% by now.

Giga factory: Was SOO urgent last year! Now, it is stuck at the pilot plant, and the structure. Meanwhile, real advances in battery are happening elsewhere.

This guy is a big talker, that’s all. Let’s see if he can sell 55K with this discounted 70 kwh.

Hm, Tesla is the only car company that has a >200 mile BEV for sale. About ten other car companies keep telling us about their >200 mile car that will be released three years from now (always three years, regardless of the current year). In reality, doesn’t it seem like all the other car companies are the big talkers? Don’t let reality get in the way of your arguments though. 😀

Yeah, agreed, lets give Tesla some credit where it is due:

1). Bigger (ok 6% aint much but it IS bigger) battery.

2). Rest of parts now compatible with quick acceleration (the electrical industry usually uses silver and/or silver plating seeing as it is the best conductor, and silver oxide is still a good conductor as things oxidize, but if he’s find an alternative material that works ok, so be it).

3). Somewhat reasonable $70,000 pricing, which, if I ever get an S which is doubtful at this point, but should I ever buy another Tesla, it will be at this end of their pricing spectrum.

Hey Elon obviously named Ludicrous Mode after you, you should be happy.

Better a big talker than a small talker.

Ludicrous speed!

I hope they name the next improvement plaid 😀

The next one must be Warp Mode… anything else would not be enough.

Some nice upgrades, not sure 10k worth for the Ludacris mode… but nice.

Those buying a “supercar” would have no objection, IMO.

Super cars AND commuter cars both can complete the Nurburgring. Can a Model S do that? Anyone knows how long it takes a Model S to cover it?

You’ll just have to wait for the videos, like everyone else, troll. 🙂

Poor baby. As Tesla dashes from success to success, it’s getting harder and harder for a Tesla basher like you to find something to whine about, innit?

And your plan to make money by shorting TSLA stock — not working for you, dude.

Yes we know your Prius can, lucky you troll

A bit over 9 minutes. Not sure why you think the car would have trouble completing a lap.

However, the P85 DOES reduce power midway through the lap. Maybe you read something similar and stopped reading after the headline, or maybe you’re simply trolling.

For their sedan, Tesla chose energy density over sustained power output. I suspect they will make a different tradeoff for a future sportscar.

When the hell is anyone in the United States going to drive the Nurburgring?

> When the hell is anyone in the United States going to drive the Nurburgring?

I may live in the U.S. but I have relatives in Germany. If I can ever convince them to buy a Tesla, you bet your ass I’d take it there.

Why the heck would anyone drive a luxury sedan on the Nürburgring “Green Hell” road race circuit? Just to prove it can’t maintain top speed for an entire circuit? Well okay, mission accomplished.

The Nürburgring racetrack is for actual race cars, or at least sports cars. You may note that despite the Model S’s amazing performance in the 1/8 mile drag race, it’s not actually a sports car.

The 70k 70kwh model s is the big news if you are not a race junkie. Whatever that rich people can buy more expensive faster cars, the cheaper version brings this car closer to the budget of the common man. I still can’t afford it though…

Hardly anybody was interested in the 40kwh model, and not many chose the the 60kwh …

The 40 has a too short range to use the supercharging network. The 60 has a doubtful range for the supercharging network. The 70 kwh enables normal use. The 40 and 60 were like buying a Smartphone with a slow processor, unusable for most cases!

S60 has about as much range as Model 3 will have in 2017-2018. There are some stretches on the current Supercharger network that are tough to gap with a S60, but eventually they’ll be filled in for the 3.

Model 3 have more range than advertised, you can bet on that!

And you can also bet that other promised 200 miles cars from the ICE car makers will have less…

Yeah, it is nice to see them reduce the minimum price needed to get into a Model S. Even the RWD 70KWH version is pretty quick and it allows you to get into that beautiful car.

a $70,000 price tag being “closer to the common man”?!? are you kidding”?

none of these announcements is particularly significant in general, so this announcement sounds more like a PR stunt. “ludicrous mode” is substantially underpriced in my opinion. for that kind of feature, $10,000 is pretty cheap. although the implication that the tesla model S is designed for upgradeable battery capacity is noteworthy.

It is good for advertising and Press conferences are cheaper than tv ads.

Not a lot to do to make these variations. Pull a motor from 70D, drop the price. Do some software changes and increase the price for some options. The press coverage is good for them.

A few of us “investors” track orders from the various forums. The rate of new orders did seem to be dropping lately and this was well timed.

Yeah, sort of underwhelming, though your criticism of nothing for the masses is a bit off point, since Tesla has never done anything for the masses, so far.

‘Tesla never did anything for the masses’? If you mean the western masses, there never would have been a Chevy Volt without the Tesla Roadster from what I hear. If you mean the masses in China, India, and Africa, I am not sure what any car company has directly done for any of them. Maybe Tata?

Perhaps I should have been more specific in saying they never produced anything for the masses, though in a larger sense they are doing something for regular folks, the masses, by driving ev technology forward.

Interesting that you think that a new company wirh little experience should already have low cost vehicles.

It would seem you have no appreciation for what is necessary to produce low cost, yet quality, vehicles.

You are putting words in my mouth. I did not say they should be doing so, just that they had not done so.
Personally I think that Tesla is far more capable of deciding what they should or should or should not be doing than I or you or any others that comment here.

Lots of ‘common men’ do not hesitate to borrow $70k to buy a truck they don’t need.
Depending on where you are the $70k is closer to $50k which is fairly close to the average new vehicle price.

$50,000 gets you a benzo e-class; maybe that is “average new car price” where you live, but it isn’t where most of us live.

You know he name is Benz right?

The Tesla Model S 70 RWD ends up being much cheaper than a high-end truck.
1) $7500 Fed tax-credit.
2) Any applicable state credits.
3) Save $1500 per year or so in gasoline.
4) No oil changes, smog checks, etc.
5) Free supercharging when traveling long distance.

…and hours to recharge the tesla when you aren’t using the supercharger network versus 5 minute to refill the truck. what a deal!

I see that despite the time you’ve spent reading hundreds of articles and thousands of comments about EVs here, you still don’t recognize the rather important difference between charging time and waiting time.

About 90-95% of EV charging is done at home, where the driver doesn’t have to spend time waiting.

3$ to refill the car vs 100$ to refill the truck, what a deal!

Not going to refill a Tesla for $3 except maybe in spme overnight TOU situations. A full refill of an 85 takes more like 95-100 kWh from the grid.

wasn’t 70K the last listed price on the 60KWh MS? Now you get more battery and supercharging for “free” basically. Price is slowly coming down on the lower end.

Yes. Compared to the base S60, the base Model S70 also has an improved battery warranty, improved acceleration and top speed, some pieces of the tech package are now standard (nav, xenon headlights, keyless entry, HD backup cam, Homelink, etc), improved active safety features etc.


Two very insightful comments about the in readable amount of extra value that has been added to the base Model S in the past few months.

The S70 is an awesome car for the money.


when some of you guys actually start buying this “bargain” then your comments will be a bit more credible.

Tesla introduced the 70D on April 8.

Q2 2015 was Tesla’s highest US sales quarter ever. They sold (per InsideEVs) 6900 Model S vehicles, up from 3900 Model S vehicles Q2 2014. (77% increase year-over-year)

I don’t know how many of those vehicles are 70D; it’s more capable car than the S60 it replaced, but also somewhat more expensive.

Single-motor 70 kWh brings the price back down to the previous 60 kWh price, or a bit lower considering the included supercharging. It’s possible this may cause another sales bump.

“no comment” said:

“when some of you guys actually start buying this “bargain” then your comments will be a bit more credible.”

So, no one can have an informed opinion about the Tesla Model S unless he buys one? Presumably, then, you never let any auto mechanic work on your car unless he actually owns that model. And no one should listen to any obstetrician who’s never given birth to his or her own baby, right? 😀

I’m guessing you don’t actually practice what you’re preaching here… or even actually believe it.

already bought one, thanks for asking.

The P90D is faster from 0-60, than a Lamborghini Aventador, with launch control. There are really few cars, accelerating that fast.

Tesla has done the amazing. They make a car that can accelerate with the fastest gas guzzling super-cars . . . but can also be charged with solar power and driven for pennies per mile.

There are places that sell five pound hamburgers and dare you to eat them. Doesn’t mean it is a great idea to do so. There are some things taken to excess and as such, Tesla is starting to look desperate to sell novelty over sustainability.

You’re more a glass half empty kind of person I presume?

Green Machines don’t have to be humble or fugly anymore, to be cool.

He can’t handle just how cool Tesla’s makin’ EVs.

Model S is the worlds fugliest piece of car.

If that’s truly the case, and you’re not being merely a contrarian– then you must want to STAB out the eyes of the designers that brought you the:

Nissan Leaf / Cube / Juke
Toyota Mirai
Mitsubishi iMiEV
Chevy Spark EV
BMW i3

You have my deepest sympathies. The world must be a horrible place for you to suffer in. 😉

obvious troll

Bonaire has some money riding on this if he is an investor in Tesla ( I am not ). Therefore since he has money at risk, I think we should cut him more than the usual amount of slack.

Oh stop. No one is forcing you to buy their high-end models. They make them available because people want them, they get a lot of free press with them, and they are very profitable.

We are all looking forward to the Model 3 so they can make a bigger effect on the planet. But to get there, they need to make some money with high-end models.

Key phrase: Halo Effect.

The ‘spensive Teslas pay for the cheaper ones. Squeeze the willing rich who want braggin’ rights to range and speed. This pays for:

World’s biggest battery factory (GiFt)
Affordable long range EV’s (Model 3 Sedan and Xover)
EV Specific Software (Autopilot, AutoCharge etc.)
EV Specific Drivetrain Innovations
EV Specific Battery Innovation and Manufacture

…and a sustainable future for the masses.

Don’t see what’s to bitch about. *shrugs*

Exactly. I guess Bonaire doesn’t realize that all auto makers advertise their high-end cars heavily, for the very reason you just gave.

Compared to other auto makers, Tesla does a lot of things differently. But certainly not everything.

in order for the “spensive teslas” to “pay for the cheaper ones”, tesla would have to be profitable on sales of “spensive teslas”. the reality is, they aren’t. right now, tesla is in a bad place because the cars are too low priced for the sales volumes that they realize to be profitable on sales of “spenive teslas” alone. mercedes-benz, for example, does not use sale of the s-class to subsidize sales of their less expensive cars. instead, they cover their fixed costs on profits from their higher volume cars; what cars like the s-class do, is allow them to pad their profits. but if m-b had to rely on sales of the s-class alone, they would be in a very tough situation.

for tesla, the model s is about publicity and establishing name recognition. their ability to establish a profitable enterprise depend upon development of a higher sales volume car. tesla has a long way to go to get there although i am certain that they are aware of that.

“no comment” said:

“…tesla would have to be profitable on sales of ‘ ‘spensive teslas’. the reality is, they aren’t.”

And if you repeat that lie often enough it will magically become true? Right, troll?

27% On each Model S is not profitable? When you develop and expand as fast as they do, you reinvest heavily in new markets regions and technologies.
BTW Amazon is still not “profitable”.

your statement: “amazon is still not profitable” is incorrect; amazon was not profitable LAST YEAR. amazon has been operating for more than one year; for example, they were profitable the year before.

Amazon’s financials are very tricky to read and some analysts are saying that they’re “managing earnings” (meaning we have no idea what the real situation is).

Tesla is pretty honest about what they’re doing: earning 25% gross margins and then throwing all of that and billions more of borrowed money into expansion.

I don’t know if you can call the Model S their Halo car since it is their ONLY car.

the model s is the “halo” for the upcoming tesla cars.

No, it is a way to finance the capital needed for a ‘mass market’ car by selling expensive indulgences to the wealthy who want them. I drive a Think EV, they went bankrupt starting form the bottom end of the market, Tesla is being very clever about this.

even if you had a BEV that sold for the same price as an equivalent ICE, most people are not EV enthusiasts, so they are going to look at the attributes that are important to them and compare a BEV and an ICE. there are more problems that just price that are a barrier to wider market acceptance of BEVs. that’s why you are seeing most of the new product announcements being PHEVs.

“no comment” said:

“…there are more problems that just price that are a barrier to wider market acceptance of BEVs.”

Another troll lie you keep repeating in the hope that someone will believe it’s true.

If BEVs were inherently “not as good” as gasmobiles, even at the same price, then the Tesla Model S wouldn’t be found consistently at or near the top of luxury sedan sales in America, every month.

PHEVs are a way to Sabotage and delay good BEVs.
All other ICE car makers do not want to let go their lucrative business of early replacements, repairs and mintenance of this archaic technology.
Lucrative for them means that WE are the suckers.

“More problems than just price”?!?

OK, so on a road trip it takes 40 minutes to charge instead of 10 minutes to get gas.

And there are some ultra-remote places where it’s hard to find fast charging.

And I suppose there’s “habit” — “I’m used to gas cars”.

Those are the only “problems” I can think of. I can think of dozens of problems with gasmobiles.

The fact that the Tesla sells more electric cars than most other manufacturers (sometime more than the Nissan Leaf) even at the price they are selling them proves that Tesla is right on track.

$1k/kWh ain’t bad, considering that EV batteries in much lesser packages were selling for $1500 to $2000/kWh a short three years ago.

Was the 5kWh battery upgrade going to be offered to existing MS 85 owners?

Yep, according to the blog I was following. $3k for the upgrade for 85 owners.

Yes, but I think the upgrade price will be $5k + installation (labor). $3k is the price of the option at time of ordering.

I don’t think it’s nailed down, yet, but if “$5,000” to upgrade an existing 85kwh car, it sounds like it would still require the other $10,000 to get the fuse that unlocks 1500, rather than (just) the 1200 amps the some are saying is the current max of the current P85D. Of course, that would mean you have a P85D, to spend more $$ on.

$15,000 for .3 seconds. Who’s in?

the people who are most interested in this feature are used to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a car.

what tesla is offering is a bargain, relatively speaking.

Heck, Mike Tyson offered to pay $10k just to punch a gorilla. Talk about “Ludicrith” (said in a Mike Tyson voice).

i like the way that tesla has engineered in the possibility of upgrading battery packs in existing cars instead of requiring purchase of an entirely new car.

Yes. It sounds like they’re planning on supporting existing cars with bigger packs, for many years after the sale. Similar to the (yet to be released) Roaster Battery Upgrade Kit.

Pretty cool. 🙂

Does the cheaper base model include supercharging as standard as in the 70D?

Yes, from the configurator, all model S (both 70 and 85) standard features include:

•Free long distance travel on the Supercharger network

With emphasis on ‘long distance’ 😉

Tesla spyware is controlling your driving.

Not yet, but soon. 😉

Does “Ludicrous Mode” mean “void warranty if used”?

And will it ever be possible to upgrade the battery of (at least newer) Teslas? So like if I got a job quite close to my home and a small battery is enough, but if I have to change to an other job which is much farer away…? No, using a SC on my way from/to work is not an real option and I’m thinking more of a Model 3.


I’m under the impression that the eight year, unlimited mileage drivetrain and battery warranty remain in effect regardless of which mode you drive in.

I have to wonder if they will continue to honor warranty for those who do weekend drag racing events in the P models. Most autos out there void warranties for cars put on a race track.

I think is a reasonable question to ask. Certainly the wear and tear will be greater to the vehicle if it is abused in this way.

Tesla will have the all the data too.
They probably have some sort of reasonable use clause in their maintenance contract.

Why would using a factory installed feature void the warranty?

Not feature, but intended use.

Tesla has a clause against “racing” in the warranty and so does all ICE makers.

Well, with normal cars it’s quite normal that you’ll get problems with the warranty if you take part at a race etc. with that car because the car is intended for normal driving – and “Ludicrous Mode” sounds like the opposite of “normal driving mode”.


When you pick the 5kw option the tags at the top switch from 85 to 90

The cheapest Tesla is still $85,000 for us Canadians. In fact, the HST is more than the $8,500 government rebate. Note that this rebate is applied after taxes.
So (base + HST + reg/doc fee) – $8500
$81600 + $10608 + $1,300 – $8500 = $85008

I like the 5% to 10% of range every 2 years or so. But some how I feel That Elon is trying not to over promise. I say this because the Nissan man promised more!

At any rate I think that in a hand full of years we will see EVs getting close to 500 miles per charge. I also suspect that the charging time will at least stay the same for larger batteries if not faster.

All in all this is very good. I hope that the price of batteries drops too. I suspect that it will and it might drop even faster than the increase in energy density.

For another $10k you can get Ludacris to ride along with you in Ludicrous mode.

Maybe “Ludicrous Mode” is just an elaborate ploy to get Ludicris to buy one, so Tesla can get free advertising when he drives it around in one of his videos….


Two years late, Panasonic finally delivers batteries using a silicon anode! Originally scheduled for 2013, they arrive in 2015 (source:

I’m pretty sure they are regular graphite anode batteries, probalby just slightly tweaked. Regular laptop NCA started at 2900 then moved 3100, 3400 last year 3600 was announced but wasnt available, for small single cell purchases. currently 3500 is available as Sanyo brand (Panasonic owns it)

I essentially agree with buu, These cells do not have regular Silicon anode which promises 10x better energy density than carbon. Because the problems with stability (very poor cycle life) of Si anode still not been satisfactorily resolved.

But they probably have SiO (Silicon monoxide) additive to regular carbon anode. SiO additive improve almost all parameters of Li-Ion cells in particular cycle life and power density, but energy density is improved only up to 5%. I think that almost all new high energy density 18650 industrial cells already use SiO, so it is nothing special. For example Sanyo NCR18650GA .

Interestingly, with these improvements it can now beat the Hellcat on drags.

Yes. Expect even MORE videos of Tesla vs Whatever, all over again. 😉

Sadly, I’m sure you’re right.

Oh well, nobody is forcing me to click on the 497th Tesla Model S drag racing video article at InsideEVs.

that is true, but my objection to posting of racing videos is that it promotes stupid behavior and there are idiots who will watch the videos and attempt to do the same; often on public roads. although here i do have to give insideevs some credit because they seem to have stopped posting race videos that actually were filmed on public roads.

You’re not fooling anyone by mixing some truth in with your Tesla bashing, troll.


This is unfortunate. Such a meagre bump in capacity for such a huge price indicates that the Model X will cost quite a bit to get decent range. Tesla is either gouging or they don’t have any battery improvements to realize.

Elon once said that they could produce a car with more range, but it wouldn’t be great. How true.

$3k is a HUGE price? Upgrade from 85kWh to 90 kWh is only $3 000 when configuring new car.

Well, that increase costs $600/kWh, which is quite a steep price in 2015.

If you have been following Tesla for more than a few months, you recall they used to sell a 25kWh upgrade for $10000

PROFIT for Tesla to reinvest.

Also, there was a serious complaint when Tesla started shipping Autopilot-ready cars — the people who got the ones just before the Autopilot-ready cars were ticked off that they paid the same amount as the people who got the ones just after.

My bet is this: the moment Tesla runs out of its old 85 battery supply, the price of the 90 will drop to the existing price of the 85. This is really a “get it early” premium.

5 kW is not a huge increase, and is doable with current production capacity. $3k for just 5% more range; not sure that makes much sense, but it does get them some new range numbers for the press.

I still think bigger packs are yet to be after X Reveal and GiFt are online.

Agree that extra battery for $3k is lame. Should have replaced 85 with 90 at no extra cost.
Ludicrous and range options are couple not independent (+$13k)

Why??? Do you get a free TV each time the folks that built your TV offer a better or larger one? A new computer when they build a faster one?

It really depends on how much faster and more powerful the new computer is. A example is I’m upgrading my old computer to be ten times more faster and ten times more powerful then the old computer. I’m also upgrading due to a very demanding new program that loves eating up tons of ram. But if I didn’t have this one program I wouldn’t at all be pressured to mess with my computer.

As for how this relates to Tesla. Me personally I really wouldn’t care if Tesla had a 5% range improvement much like a 5% improvement in my computer wouldn’t really help me. In fact I would expect something like this to be included in the existing price.

5% increase seems like nothing, but there are peoples that are spending between 10- 25 K$ to stage their cars to get .3 seconde

Do you expect the manufacturer to give you those upgrades “at no extra cost” like the person I responded to?

Well GM managed to increase capacity while keeping Volt price same or lower. We will see if Tesla can afford to keep upping the prices of the S or the market will demand better value.

Tesla is now offering the entry level 70 kWh Tesla Model S for the same price it previously offered the 60 kWh Model S. Furthermore, Supercharger access is now “standard equipment” instead of being a $2000 option.

How is that not every bit as good as the Volt upgrade, or even better?

It’s hardly fair to compare the very top-end version of the Tesla Model S to the much, much cheaper Volt. GM doesn’t offer different sizes of battery packs in the Volt.

This stale news as far as I care. The reason why it isn’t wow news is Tesla jacks up the price for the 85 to make it into the 90 by $3000.

The only real 20% breakthrough in all of this Tesla releasing a $70,000 model S which could raise sales by maybe 200 to 500 every four weeks.

Seriously, “Spaceballs”? Elon, do you not know what a lame movie that is? When “Hardware Wars” lampooned “Star Wars” in 1978, it was cutting edge and funny. Contrariwise, “Spaceballs” was already stale the day it came out 1987. And really, “Ludicrous” mode? I’d say that’s silly, or even ludicrous. Oh, wait… 😉

But hey, there is some meat here in this news; it’s not just whipped cream and Twinkies. The announcement that Tesla plans to increase range (and battery size) by 5% per year… now that is real news! Some had been predicting a battery pack to 100 kWh, but clearly Tesla set its sights on something more modest. It will still be interesting to see just how big the battery pack options are for the Model X, and whether or not Tesla will offer a larger top end battery pack for their CUV.

Too bad that the InsideEVs team was wrong about Tesla starting to take Model X reservations today, though. 🙁

I appreciate a company that has fun with it’s disriptive products, and simultaneously promoted a classic sci-fi parody.

Inside jokes are great. Can’t wait for Plaid. 😉

When is Musk going to make the announcments that really matter? It’s beginning to seem like these announcements are more about keeping everyone from asking about the Model X delays than they are about what is being announced. The “End of range anxiety” announcment was ridiculous, and offering a slightly different Model S variant every three months is getting old, fast.

I’m rooting hard for Tesla but how about getting the X out and then give us something about the Model 3 to chew on so we don’t start looking hard at getting a Bolt or long range leaf, both of which will beat the Model 3 to market.

What makes the Bolt interesting is that GM only talked about making a bolt about ten weeks before they started having them show up in a test herd of Bolts. Tesla meanwhile has been yacking about a model 3 since at least 2012 when the model S came out.

What makes the bolt interesting is NOTHING.

Is GM making a Gigafactory? …Nope

unlike tesla, GM is not “all in” with lithium ion BEV technology. most of their product announcement are PHEVs or conventional hybrids that use PHEV-based technology. the Bolt is more of a positioning, “halo” car to establish EV credentials.

What makes the Bolt interesting is that GM is actually going to make it and the price is $37500. That alone makes it quite an interesting car.

Yes and unfortunately the Model 3 will likely be quite a bit more pricey than promised.

Ocean Railroader said:

“Tesla meanwhile has been yacking about a model 3 since at least 2012 when the model S came out.”

Tesla’s plans for a third generation vehicle, originally code named “Bluestar”, later named “Model E” before finally settling on “Model ≡”, has been a part of Tesla’s long term business plan since even before they started making the Roadster.

Why do you think that’s a bad thing?

While you don’t care about the announcements made because you are more interested in other models, judging by the media reaction, others are highly excited about the announcement. There are juicy details about tech too (for example we know that Panasonic’s promised silicon anodes are finally in production, used in the 90kWh pack here).

As for Model X, today’s announcement says deliveries begin in 3 months. Model 3 timeline haven’t changed (2 years). I think Tesla is making a good decision not to release so much information about the Model 3 so soon. All that does is make people continually complain about the wait (as they did with the Model X), and you give false expectations as projected specs change nearer production. Tesla is doing similar with Model X launch (withhold information on development of production version).

Tesla back during Model S development was too open about the features they were planning and in the end there were a lot of details that didn’t make it in the final cars (while not a whole lot of people took them to task for it, it’s still not a good thing to do).

Tesla said deliveries for Model X begin in two months.

“On average, we expect to increase pack capacity by roughly 5% per year.”

That’s the real news, I think.

This reminds me of the old Detroit slogan “Race them on Sunday, sell them on Monday”.

Basically Tesla is aiming to be the top stock sedan on the drag strip.

And that will help them sell cars.

The battery from the 60 KWh went to 70 KWh, which is a 16,7 % increase. The battery from the 85 KWh model go to 90 KWh, which is a 5,9 % increase.

Is there a reason why those percentages are so different, since the 60 KWh upgrade was initially indicating an 85 KWh upgrade to 99 KWh?

Because blindly extrapolating from two data points is risky.

I believe the 70 kWh Model S has more cells than the 60 kWh Model S.

The 90 kWh S (reportedly) has the same number of cells as the 85 kWh, but instead uses a chemistry tweak to increase the capacity per cell.

I recall Tesla previously indicating they would increase the cell count on the current Model S 85, and probably will for the Model X, in addition to the chemistry tweak.

Yes that could be a possible explaination.
I wonder if Staubel or Elon will get into those details later on.
Of course if they also change the number of cells, it becomes much more difficult to make predictions. For instance they could fill up the fronk although that could mean security issues, or really compact them to the max, or even for the Model X, make a double layer instead of a single one like now.
Anyway, if 5% per year is the rate, we will have a Model S99 by 2017 then.

Straubel is the coorect name.

The explanation is quite easy. Till now Tesla uses the same 12Wh cells in all models. That means that 85kWh battery was full populated with 7104cells. So design a battery within the range of 0-85kWh was not a big deal. There were just used a lower cell count.

But to design a battery with higher capacity you need higher capacity cells. Tesla probably uses new 12,6Wh cells in 90kWh pack. The sad thing is that these new cells is the only progress from 2012 to 2015. So right now these cells are the best what we have got and further prediction is very unclear as you already say.

protomech said:

“Because blindly extrapolating from two data points is risky.”

Well said.

The upgrade from 60 kWh to 70 kWh was made for business reasons. Only 4% of sales were 60 kWh Model S’s; it’s reported that about half of current orders are 70 kWh units, altho that is probably only the initial rush and won’t last.

Contrariwise, the upgrade from 85 to 90 kWh has engineering limits, rather than business limits. Increasing the capacity in that manner must be done by using higher ED cells, because the Model S pack was designed to hold only enough cells for the 85 kWh version; I don’t think there’s room to put more in.

I am an early Tesla buyer who is as ignorant as dirt about all of this. I have the original small battery. Maybe someone can tell me this in in a “for dummies” style:

1. Is there any alternative to increase my range other than to call up Tesla and pay them 10,000 to punch a button and give me not that much more range. Given the speed of tech advances in just about every realm, I wonder if there is some less expensive after-market solutiion brewing?

2. Do any of the just announced upgrades apply to my now-primitive (but still much liked, except for the range) machine?

1. Original meaning 60 kWh software limited to 40 kWh?

The biggest improvement would be simply swapping the battery for a 90 kWh battery, for > 2x the range. It will be expensive.

You could make some aero mods to the car to improve highway range slightly, possibly with a compromise to safety. Increase tire pressure the maximum cold rated pressure, DIY aero rims, remove windshield wipers + rain x the windscreen, remove side view mirrors and replace with cameras.

2. No. This announcement is all about hardware changes (single motor 70 kWh, chemistry tweak, replacing fuses with active electronics).

remove windshield wipers? LOL

They are hidden above below the hood, why would you remove what you cant see and has a purpose LOL

Even if mounted below the hood line, the wipers and the gap between hood and windshield will still create turbulence.

The Model S is already very aerodynamic given its large frontal profile, so smaller changes on other vehicles will have a relatively larger improvement here. However, the maximum gain is likely to be quite small, and brings some increased risk (wipers can be used to clear debris from the windshield, bird crap, torrential rain or road water thrown up by a truck, etc).

@Dan, i’m sorry that I don’t believe you, but it is an interesting question. Give a call to Tesla and learn what would be required to ‘renew’ an early S40 or 60 to a P90D.
At the very least you might increase your resale value in having a unique car, and being able to spread your payments out longer, if you find that you do Like the car and want to keep it.
I’m thinking that any S60-in-Green owners might like to know what the cost would be as they cannot replace to same color.

Dan Flanigan said: “I am an early Tesla buyer who is as ignorant as dirt about all of this. I have the original small battery.” Please be more specific. Do you mean you have a 60 kWh Model S, or are you one of the few who managed to get a 40 kWh Tesla Model S? “Maybe someone can tell me this in in a ‘for dummies’ style: “1. Is there any alternative to increase my range other than to call up Tesla and pay them 10,000 to punch a button and give me not that much more range.” If you have a 40 kWh Tesla Model S, then so far as I know, you have no option but to call Tesla and pay the fee to unlock your car to the 60 kWh version. You can search the website to see if there is any discussion about “hacking” the system to unlock the other 20 kWh, but even if that’s possible, it would void your warranty, so I certainly can’t recommend it. “Given the speed of tech advances in just about every realm, I wonder if there is some less expensive after-market solutiion brewing?” Not yet, at least.… Read more »

I look forward to the soon upcoming Consumer Reports video titled:

Why We Purchased A Tesla P90D With Ludicrous Mode

Fantastic updates to the Model S. 1) lowering the entry point so that more people can afford the car. RWD traction is still fantastic even in bad conditions, so the car isn’t really compromised compared to AWD. Also the Model X entry price is not affected by this change. Is this this their secret weapon on the demand side? (some think it was the mobile showrooms) 2) another battery with the new chemistry. Now we have 70 and 90. I was a little surprised that they would announce this prior to the Model X reveal. However, 90 isn’t really that big of a change over 85, especially as a percentage. The low-end battery went from 60 to 70 which is a bigger percentage change. I would not be surprised if they were holding more cards in this area – and by end of September we may also see a 110KWh battery and the exit of the old-chemistry 85KWh, for a completely revamped range of 70, 90 and 110 batteries. 3) extra speed claims more victims in the supercar category. As far as the convention auto business is concerned, the Model S is the Inconvenient Truth of cars! How annoying that… Read more »

“Model S with maximum range. Available as an option on all 85kWh Model S, the new extended range option gives customers the ability to order a 90kWh battery. The upgrade increases range on all 85 kWh Model S by 5%.”

“Model S 90D: the longest-range Model S ever produced, 90D travels up to 270 miles on a single charge. 417 hp”

I’m missing something:
(Focusing on the non-Performance dual motor model)
Model S 85D = EPA 270 mile range
Model S 90D = 270 mile range

Why are the range numbers the same? Is there a typo or did they add 5kWh to the pack for no gain in range?

Perhaps the S 90D hasn’t been officially tested yet.

The InsideEVs article copies what is available on the Tesla design studio page now:

That page does not claim a specific range in miles for the 90 and 90D models, though it does claim a 6% improvement in range with the range option.

Do we believe that model X will be released on time? Tesla is claiming it’s two months away but we don’t even have a design studio yet.

How long did the design studio go live before the Model S release?

I ordered an X when the first design studio went up, I am guessing that they don’t need more reservations than the ~20k they already have? (I ‘traded’ my X60(D) reservation for the extremely short-lived S60D the day It was offered).

You can turn 6 upside down and you will get P90D badge as result, ya know…

Mayhemm asked:

“Do we believe that model X will be released on time? Tesla is claiming it’s two months away but we don’t even have a design studio yet.”

I won’t presume to have any inside knowledge which would allow my guess to be better than anyone else’s. But that said, it seems Tesla is trying very hard to get the Model X into production — trying in a way they haven’t before. They’ve made Model X production part of their guidance for sales/deliveries for this year, which means if production is delayed yet again, it’s going to seriously affect the company’s projected income and profit margin.

My guess is that the X will enter production either on schedule, or no more than 2-4 weeks late. Note that’s only a guess based on what InsideEVs has reported in its various articles, particularly the “Monthly Plug-In Sales Scorecard” articles.

well damn

Just get the Model 3 out before you hit 200K cars sold in the US so that I can get my tax credits! Oh and you better keep up with the supercharger networks. If those become too big of zoo by then, I’ll buy a Bolt, Leaf2, or another high range BEV.

Look forward to seeing what expressions the passengers pull in ludicrous mode demos.

At the rate Tesla’s going, soon you’re going to need full medicals like astronauts before you can drive one just to make sure your heart can take the strain. 😉

My parents just ordered a 90 rwd.

If your headlights get foggy visit:
The Tesla’a Headlights are made no different than any other vehicle (PolyCarbonite Plastic)
Also, I wish the Tesla had a small lawn mower engine just in case you forget to charge it…