Posted on August 22, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Guest blog post: Jason Mueller grew up working on his '69 Chevy where he found his love for automobiles. With the cost of gas these days, that truck isn't feasible so he rides his electric bike where he resides in Costa Rica working with A-1 Auto Transport. One day he looks forward to buying a Tesla.
After months of speculation and many intriguing clues both from the company, Tesla Motors [NASDAQ: TSLA], and from hackers, media outlets, and drag racers — it appears that something is brewing with Tesla's battery power — it might be going from 90 kWh to 100 kWh. This battery boost would likely increase Tesla's real-world driving range to more than 300 miles, a significant milestone for production electric vehicles. But, are these enticing clues leading us to something real, or, are they unsubstantiated rumors?
Let's rewind and look back to where this all started. Rumors began to surface when infamous Tesla-tinkerer Jason Hughes hacked into his Model S firmware and found code leading him to believe that Tesla was working on a Model S P100D. Hughes immediately tweeted it to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. To increase curiosity within the community, Tesla released a photo on its Facebook page of a Model S directly under a 💯 emoji symbol (see below). Of course, that led Tesla followers to anticipate the company was definitely engineering a 100 kWh Tesla. But, neither Tesla nor Elon Musk has confirmed claims made by Hughes — the 💯 emoji meant, perhaps, 100% electric — not necessarily a larger battery option.
Fast forward... this month the RDW, the Dutch vehicle registration authority, just provided approval for a 100D battery pack for both the Tesla Model S and Model X. Then, we saw a refreshed (new) Tesla Model S P90D with Ludicrous mode that was able to achieve an astounding quarter mile time "in the 10s" at 10.8 seconds. This past week, another video surfaced showcasing a refreshed Tesla P90D achieving a lightening fast 0-60 MPH time of 2.65 seconds (see below). Many speculate that these improved track times could mean that Tesla already has bigger battery power/range "baked" into its battery packs now which can be unlocked later for a fee post-announcement.
And this weekend, according to InsideEvs, Tesla announced that: "a 2-year lease option is one of our most popular requests... [so] we listened and are launching a limited time test of a 2-year lease on Model S and Model X. Starting at only $593/month... available on all Model S and X orders placed by September 12th." Why would this matter when trying to decipher Tesla's next battery upgrade?
Perhaps this is this foreshadowing something — does the cutoff date have some hidden meaning: "why set a specific/arbitary deadline of September 12th? Perhaps there is another announcement set for the 2nd week of September that will shake up the lineup – such as the AutoPilot 2.0, Model 3 news, or even that long-anticipated P100D reveal?" Hmmm, I guess we'll have to wait and see. Or, even better, get an awesome deal on a Model S right now. Either way, if and when the P100D arrives, it'll surely add some serious performance and range to Tesla's current offerings.