It appears that Tesla has been able to roll out a range increase for the Model S Long Range once more, with recent reports pointing at the all-electric flagship sedan now having a range of 409 miles per charge. With this, Tesla’s base Model S has edged out upstart Lucid Motors’ entry-level Air sedan, which has a projected range of 406 miles per charge.
The update came in the way of a report from EV news blog Electrek, which cited a Monroney sticker spotted in a Model S produced in November 2020. As could be seen in an image of the sticker, which could be accessed here, the Model S was listed with 116 MPGe and 409 miles of range per charge. This is quite interesting, considering that FuelEconomy.gov lists the current Model S Long Range Plus, which has a 402-mile EPA range, as a 117MPGe vehicle.
The reasons behind the Model S’ new range upgrade remains to be seen, though it may very well be due to optimizations on software and hardware, similar to other upgrades that have been rolled out in the past. Tesla has garnered a reputation for being a carmaker that can draw an incredible amount of range from its vehicles’ batteries, after all, as evidenced by the specs of its current lineup of vehicles.
The Model X Long Range Plus is a perfect example of this. The vehicle is a hulking all-electric SUV that weighs over 5,000 pounds, but it’s able to draw 371 EPA-estimated miles out of its 100 kWh battery. The Audi e-tron, which is pretty similar in weight and size, is only able to draw 222 miles of EPA-estimated range out of its 95 kWh battery pack. That’s 40% less range from a battery that’s only 5% smaller than the Model X’s 100 kWh pack.
With this recent update, Tesla has also leapfrogged the base Lucid Air, which has a projected 406-mile range when it gets released late 2021. And considering Tesla’s habit of rolling out improvements on the fly, it would not be surprising if the gap between the Model S and the Lucid Air becomes more prominent in the coming years.
Ultimately, Tesla’s recent range update, as well as Lucid’s projected specs for the Air, highlights the advantage pure EV companies hold in the electric car market. Legacy automakers still seem to be learning the basics about EVs, after all, while veterans like Tesla and newer companies like Lucid are already focusing on the finer points of electric car making.