Can't upgrade to 300 mile-pack? Wait, how about to 500-mile pack? Oh! Wait, don't retrofit, just buy a new 1,000-Mile EV

Can't upgrade to 300 mile-pack? Wait, how about to 500-mile pack? Oh! Wait, don't retrofit, just buy a new 1,000-Mile EV

An end to ‘range anxiety’?

When Tesla rolled out its financing product a few weeks ago, it became clear the company was going to wind up with more than a few 3-year-old cars from customers hoping to upgrade to improved models. But some of the old ones might be high enough on mileage that they’d require a refreshed battery pack before they could be resold. Speculation arose as to whether they might get whatever improvements became available between now and then. Musk hinted that might be possible not only on trade-ins but for all owners.

He suggested a 500-mile battery — nearly twice as good as the best they can offer today — could be available at about the 4-5 year mark in the life of Model S, which launched last year. “That’s about the point at which you’d see a significant change and it would allow us in the same volume and weight to put in a lot more range. ” So that would be 2016 or 2017. And when asked whether current owners could possibly purchase it replied, “ I think that’s a pretty good likelihood, yeah.”


1,000-Mile Electric Car

An Israeli-based tech company announced last month it has developed an electric vehicle that can travel 1,000 miles on a single charge. The vehicle is “fueled” by a lithium-ion battery and an aluminum-air energy system that uses the energy released by the reaction of aluminum with oxygen to generate power. And because the system is mechanically reloaded, charge times are quite fast.

The company behind this technology, Phinergy, claims it will have production volumes ready in 2017.


By the way, now I think that Aluminum-air system is just a tease because it is no where as convenient and practical as current tried and true Tesla Supercharge battery model. Tam.

Brian H | 27 avril 2013

The 500-miler is possible now, it's just too expensive, he's said.

jbunn | 28 avril 2013

The "Official" story is that you will not be able to upgrade battery packs.

Having said that, I think that's a bit of expectation setting on Tesla's part. You don't want a bunch of pissed owners down the road IF they can't upgrade.

Regardless, either Tesla will make an expanded battery pack or some third party will once demand is there. But this is just a guess on my part, which is pretty much where we all are right now.

negarholger | 28 avril 2013

It is all a question how much it will cost. Elon said for the S it is technically possible, but in the end does it make economical sense to you. Lets say in 5 years you can buy a new car for with bigger battery for net $50k ( after trade in) and upgrade the current car for lets say costs $35k.... Question is get a new car with added features for $15k more or upgrade the old one. Maybe you are really hot for one of the offered colors of the new car... It is all up in the air right now.

Andre-nl | 28 avril 2013

When the supercharger network is complete, the 500 mile battery will have most owners lugging around a few 100 kg of batteries that they'll never need. Perhaps they'll use them a few times a year, yes, but there should never be a real need.

That few 100 kg of batteries make the entire car perhaps half a ton heavier thanks to the heaver structure/suspension/motor/power electronics. So another option is to give the Model S the same range but significantly lower the weight, improving handling, driving enjoyment, efficiency, etc. What will customers prefer? How much do they really need that range?

Brian H | 28 avril 2013

Once the 500 comes out, the 60kWh will probably be discontinued because it's too feeb and short-range. ;)

Brian H | 28 avril 2013

Which reminds me: no one has mentioned a 500-mile battery would also be more powerful, so the car would be faster than a P85, probably a lot faster.

soren | 28 avril 2013

Isn't the max power output controlled by the inverter who delivers electricity for the motor?
Larger battery would give more miles, but not more speed?

Andre-nl | 28 avril 2013


Tesla could easily put in the electronics to handle the extra power at a very modest weight increase.

Battery chemistries differ a lot. Some are optimised for high energy density, others for high power delivery. The cells in a hybrid are usually of the latter type. The cells in the Model S are an example of the former, so in this case, maximum power is battery-limited.

pbp | 28 avril 2013

I hope that Tesla will help redefining the world of the car market by having EV's that are upgradeable. I fear that if not, we as buyers will have to write off the entire investment, if a 500 mile or bigger battery hits the market. An old ICE still have a residue value as new technologies in the ICE markets have incremental driving ranges and performance.

I have so much confidence in Tesla, that the will redefine the market. What i have monitored about significant new battery technologies is that range will increase a lot by higher energy density, and weight will be drastically reduced, making upgrades possible.

pebell | 28 avril 2013

Don't forget that the "1000 mile battery" is not fully rechargeable. The aluminum-air battery that is added to the regular lithium ion battery to obtain that astounding "1000 miles" number is effectively a "single charge" battery that needs to be swapped out and pretty much recycled after it's used up. So don't think this will allow you to drive a 1000 miles, recharge, and drive 1000 miles back, unless you take it to the shop to have the alu-air battery swapped. I think it's a safe bet that the "cost per mile" will differ a lot between a "lithium-ion" mile and an "alu-air" mile. It would solve "range anxiety", though..

Tesluthian | 28 avril 2013

If you have to add distilled water every 200 miles , ($1.00/gal), I consider that a 200 mile battery, not 500 mile or 1000 mile battery.

Tesluthian | 28 avril 2013

My understanding is one way this works is you have two separate battery systems. First you run 300 miles on the lithium battery. Then you switch to the air battery for 200 miles then add water every 200 miles till the air battery is used up. So the first leg, you would get 500 miles , then you either add water every 200 miles or recharge the lithium battery. Is that correct , or did I misunderstand ?

Tâm | 28 avril 2013

@pebell & @Tesluthian

Thanks for dispelling the 1,000 mile battery's myths. By quickly read the article, I thought it was just like a Tesla Supercharger battery.

I now look forward to the 500 mile battery. I think its range is reasonable. For 300 mile battery, on a standard charge, I can only drive about 200 miles with high speed to keep up with freeway flow and to pass cars, go against weather, wind and hills...

I would expect to do the same and get 350 mile range out of 500 mile battery.

So that is not too much to ask for the range :)

carlk | 28 avril 2013

One possibility is using the lease plan and sell the car back to Tesla at end of 36 month and buy a refurbished one with a higher capacity battery. I would think the premium you pay will be considerably less than buying a new high capacity battery. You could even get your original car with a refreshed battery. back.

Jewsh | 28 avril 2013

Aluminum production uses a lot of power. Consuming it seems as bad as burning gas but I can see the allure.

Velo1 | 28 avril 2013

I think a 500-mile battery, coupled with the Supercharger network, will be the end game of ICE vehicle dominance as we know it. A couple friends that work for oil companies have each told me this is their biggest long-term concern. Although when they said it, they didn't think a 500-mile battery pack would be available for >10 years.

Brian H | 28 avril 2013

It's chemically like burning aluminum instead of gas.

DouglasR | 29 avril 2013

Except that aluminum is eminently recyclable. My aluminum company clients used to jokingly refer to aluminum cans as energy storage devices.

Brian H | 29 avril 2013

Yes, but by the laws of thermodynamics, it takes at least as much energy to un-burn aluminum as it gave off while burning. A much more drastic operation than charging a LiIon battery!

cloroxbb | 29 avril 2013

Well, also, a 500 mile battery would take awhile to charge as well. At least at home. 0-80% would take probably twice as long, so I would hope you have an HPWC and twin chargers... Assuming its composed of the same elements as the battery is now.

noel.smyth | 29 avril 2013

500 mile battery and gas over 5 bucks a gallon in the US, add to that a Tesla Gen III that gets over 200 Miles, and it priced at 30k (with options to get to the 500 mile variety) and Tesla soars as the next great automaker of the world.