North American models of the Model S Long Range Plus are going farther than any electric vehicle has gone before -- and for less money, too. Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) revealed in a blog post on its website last night that it has upgraded the car to achieve an unprecedented feat: an EPA-rated range of 402 miles.
While this will surely curb some drivers' range anxiety (the fear that their vehicles will run out of battery power before reaching a charging station), it's not the only thing that Tesla is offering to entice new drivers. The company is also reducing the price on the vehicle by $5,000.
According to Tesla, the range of the new Model S Long Range Plus vehicles, manufactured at the company's facility in Fremont, California, represents a 20% increase in range compared to a 2019 Model S 100D with the same battery pack design.
Tesla says it applied the knowledge which it learned from designing and building the Model 3 and Model Y to reduce the vehicle's weight, stating that "weight savings have also been achieved through the standardization of Tesla's in-house seat manufacturing and lighter weight materials used in our battery pack and drive units."
In addition, the vehicle gained a 2% gain in range from the addition of new tires, 8.5-inch-wide aero wheels, which make the vehicle more aerodynamic and reduce rolling resistance. Upgrades to the rear AC-induction drive unit and a new drive feature, HOLD, which helps the vehicle's regenerative braking to work at lower speeds and deceleration rates represent additional factors.
While the company is recognizing increased demand in China, it's hard to tell how it's faring domestically at the moment. While it's possible that reduced demand has motivated Tesla to reduce the price tag, we'll have to wait for the company to report its Q2 deliveries to know for sure.