Range anxiety may be a thing of the past before we know it.
Earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk was interviewed by the Danish news site Borsen and hinted that the range of the Model S could dramatically increase very soon.
“The record right now for the Model S is 800 kilometers, that is the furthest that anyone has driven a Model S… we are pretty close,” Musk said. “My guess is probably we could break a 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) within a year or two. I’d say 2017 for sure.”
While the record for hypermiling a Tesla is 497 miles (800 km), the Model S range according to the EPA is 265 miles (426 km) on a single charge. A range of 621 miles (1,000 km) would mean that Tesla more than doubles how far the car can drive per charge.
Musk added that by 2020, Tesla will likely be able to make its cars go 745 miles on a single charge (1,200 km). The company aims to increase its cars range by five to 10 per cent a year, he said.
Musk said earlier this month that Tesla’s more affordable Model 3, which will price at about $US35,000, will go into production by 2017. So perhaps this vehicle will also get a range of more than 300 miles per charge.
As for self-driving cars, those will be here sooner than expected as well, Musk said.
“The Tesla that is currently in production has the ability to do automatic steering autopilot on highways, that is currently being beta tested and will go into wide release early next month. So, we are probably only a month away from having autonomous driving at least for highways and for relatively simple roads,” he said. “My guess for when we will have full autonomy is approximately three years.”
However, he added that regulators will likely not allow fully autonomous cars for at least one to three years after Tesla’s cars are ready.
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