Tesla Model S Is Officially the World's First 400-Mile Electric Vehicle: Here's How They Did It

TeslaPublished on 16 Jun 2020Last edited on 23 Jan 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng
Keywords: car-techelectric-vehiclefull-sizeluxury-carsedantechnologyteslaupdate
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Tesla introduced the Model S in 2012 with a 265-mile range. Since then, continual updates have brought its range closer to the 400-mile mark. Starting 15 June 2020, all North American Model S Long Range Plus models have an official EPA-rated range of 402 miles, becoming the world's first to reach this milestone. Tesla explained how they managed to do it.

Weight Reduction

Experience and knowledge from the engineering design and manufacturing of Model 3 and Model Y in recent years have fed back to that of Model S and Model X. Improvements thereby make mass reduction possible without sacrificing the premium feel and performance.
Further weight savings arise from Tesla's in-house seat manufacturing and lighter materials used in the improved battery pack and drive units.

New Wheel Design

Tesla's new "Tempest" Aero wheels reduce aerodynamic drag compared to previous designs. When paired with a new custom tire specifically designed to reduce rolling resistance, the new wheel design contributes to a 2% improvement in overall range.

Improved Drive Unit

The rear AC-induction drive unit now features an electric oil pump in place of the old mechanical oil pump. The new unit optimizes lubrication independent of vehicle speed to reduce friction. Improvements to the gearbox in the front permanent magnet synchronous reluctance motors shared with Model 3 and Model Y have further increased efficiency while driving on the highway.

More Regenerative Braking

The new drive feature, HOLD, blends regenerative braking with physical brakes when the driver eases off the accelerator pedal. Regenerative braking now works at a lower speed and deceleration rate, combining maximum energy regeneration with exceptional ride comfort.

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