On Tuesday, Elon Musk blessed the world with a new product announcement, the Model S P100D: a 100 kWh battery with dual motors and performance upgrades. The P100D will nearly double the lifespan and range of Tesla’s existing battery options.
What’s more, the battery will take a Model S — with the branded “Ludicrous mode” — from zero to 60 mph in 2.5 seconds, making it the “third fastest accelerating production car ever produced,” Tesla announced.
We’ve expected Tesla to release a new battery for a couple weeks, and — given that Uber, this week, stole Tesla’s hard-earned spot in the limelight — now is as good a time as any. The battery will be available for the Model S and Model X. (The SUV-styled Model X P100D with Ludicrous mode accelerates to 60 mph in 2.9 seconds.)
The upgrade is significant. Existing Tesla batteries, depending on which the owner chooses to purchase, get anywhere from 200 to 300 miles per charge if conditions are good, which is sufficient but not exceptional. Not quite enough to make gasoline-reliant fence-sitters jump over to electricity. Gas-powered sedans, unless they’re hybrid, max out at around 400 miles per tank, and many consumers would only be sold on electric vehicles if they could come close to this range.
Now, with the P100D’s 315-mile range, Tesla takes yet another stab at oil barons and gas-reliant car manufacturers. The performance upgrades mean that the battery will have a slightly lower range, but better performance, meaning higher speeds and greater acceleration and torque.
Musk no doubt timed his announcement strategically: Uber just announced its own self-driving fleet, and has been stealing Tesla’s long-held spot in the limelight. Musk’s tweet Tuesday morning boosted Tesla stock a couple percentage points, was favorited 10,000 times, and was retweeted about 5,000 times. With this release, and Musk’s craftiness, Tesla recoups that attention.