Tesla is busy celebrating its first month of profitability, and it’s clear that something about their model is working. The simple idea of making electric vehicles a luxury, instead of a 20 mph city car, has been a boon to the entire idea of EVs. The question is, can Tesla bring down the price while increasing the practicality of these cars?
That’s the goal of the Model S. It isn’t going to be for everyone, with a base price of nearly $60,000. But it’s a good step down from the roadster’s $100,000+ pricetag. Tesla recently announced that the Model S would be taking on the practicality angle too, with a model that got a 300 mile range, roughly the same as a gasoline engine. Of course, there would still be no quick fill-up at the end of those 300 miles, but it’s better than the 100 mile range that most EVs are promising.
However, in a New York Times blog post today, Jim Motavalli said that Tesla’s financial officer, J.B. Straubel, admitted that to do that they would need a 85 to 95 kW/h pack, and that he wasn’t concerned at all about creating such a battery. Tesla is building its own batteries now, and while they started off just fusing together laptop batteries, their technology is getting pretty advanced.
But, still, the Chevy Volt’s battery pack is one of the most advanced in the world, and it is 16 kW/h and costs around $8,000. Motavalli at the New York Times asked around and officials at both Ford and Aptera told him that such a battery would weigh almost 2,000 lbs and cost as much as $40,000.
Of course, Tesla isn’t planning on building the car with existing technology, but they do seem much more optimistic about how quickly battery technology will progress. Though, one thing is clear, the version of the Model S that has a 300 mile range is going to cost a hell of a lot more than the version that gets a 165 mile range.