Elon Musk Hints At 50 Percent More Range For Tesla Model S: Video


The first deliveries of the Tesla Model X electric crossover are to take place next Tuesday, September 29, and Tesla plans to unveil its less-expensive Model 3 sedan next year.

The company also continues to test its "Autopilot" autonomous-driving technology.

But while Tesla Motors works to diversify its products and add more technology, it also continues to work on a fundamental electric-car issue: range.

DON'T MISS: Tesla Model 3 Will Benefit From Lowest Battery Costs Of Any Maker: Jefferies

In a Danish television interview, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said the company will steadily increase the range of its electric cars over the next few years.

In the interview (the relevant section begins at 6:22), Musk said that Tesla could increase the range of the Model S to 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) "within a year or two."

Musk noted that the Model S distance record already stands at over 700 km, although that isn't really achievable under everyday conditions.

Tesla Model S at Supercharger site in Ventura, CA, with just one slot open [photo: David Noland]

Tesla Model S at Supercharger site in Ventura, CA, with just one slot open [photo: David Noland]

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Last month, two Norwegian drivers cover 728.7 km (452.8 mi) in a large loop that began and ended at the Supercharger DC fast-charging site in Rødekro, Denmark.

However, achieving that record required maintaining an average speed of just 39 kph (24.2 mph).

As far as reliable range in the 600-mile neighborhood, Musk said that it will definitely be possible in 2017, and perhaps earlier.

ALSO SEE: Norwegian Drivers Set New Tesla Model S Distance Record: 450 Miles (Video)

By 2020, he expects a range of 1,200 km (745 mi) to be achievable.

That's the point when Musk wants Tesla to be selling 500,000 electric cars per year.

By that time, Autopilot autonomous features should be fully available as well.

2015 Tesla Model S P85D Supercharging in Rocklin, California, Feb 2015

2015 Tesla Model S P85D Supercharging in Rocklin, California, Feb 2015

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That technology is still in beta testing, but Musk said the company expects a "wide release" next year month.

The first phase of Autopilot is expected to consist of an automated-passing function, but Musk wants to build it into a fully-autonomous system.

MORE: Tesla To Launch Automated Passing Function, Timing Still Uncertain

He said that should be possible within three years, and that it may take another year or two beyond that for regulators to formally legalize it.

"If civilization still exists" in 20 years, Musk believes the majority of new cars will be fully autonomous, and a good portion of them will be electric.

[hat tip: Brian Henderson]

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