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Tesla increases Model 3 range through software update

As promised during the launch of the base Model 3, Tesla has started pushing a new software update that is boosting the Model 3’s range by 15 miles.

When Tesla launched the $35,000 Model 3 last month, the automaker surprised many by announcing that it will increase the range of all existing Long-Range Model 3 vehicle delivered to date.

CEO Elon Musk said at the time:

“There’s also some things we’ve been able to do for existing customers that are pretty cool. Tesla is as much a software company as a hardware company and we’ve been able to via firmware improve the range of the long-range rear wheel drive car from 310 miles to 325 miles. This will affect all customers including those that were all long range cars shipped to date and new cars. So both existing and new customers will get a 15 mile range increase from 310 to 325.”

Now, Tesla started pushing to its fleet that range upgrade in a new 2019.5.15 firmware update.

Some Model 3 Long-Range owners started reporting the longer range on a full charge (via u/OompaOrangeFace on Reddit):

Tesla Model 3 range

Update: Not every Model 3 Long Range owner getting 2019.5.15 are reporting seeing the range increase. The rollout might be gradual.

Musk claims that Tesla found new efficiency in the motor, inverters, and they feel more comfortable now.

“We do find ways over time and have done this many times in the past where we are able to improve the efficiency of say the drive inverter or the motor or we get a bit more comfortable with how much energy you can extract safely from the battery pack without causing it long term harm.”

Tesla also announced that they would also be increasing the peak power output of the Model 3 Performance by about 5 percent.

Electrek’s Take

This would be more impressive if we didn’t know about how Tesla played around with its advertised range numbers for the Model 3 in the past.

We previously reported on how Tesla played with EPA ratings to advertise all Model 3 versions with 310-mile range even thought the Long Range version was able to get more.

Tesla was already able to advertise the range of the Long Range Model 3 at 325 miles, but they chose not to — presumably in order to be able not to advertise the range of the less expensive version as being longer than the more expensive dual motor and performance versions, which are not seeing the same range increase even though they use the same battery pack.

Therefore, I am skeptical of this being about Tesla finding more efficiencies or simply deciding to advertise the higher range on the Long Range RWD Model 3 now that they are selling even less expensive versions.

I’d like to be proven wrong though.

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