Anyone who has followed Tesla’s story over the past few years will know that one of the key points being talked about against car manufacturers is the upcoming competition that comes from more experienced, more capable carmakers. Critics have argued that once legacy automakers become serious about their electric car endeavors, an inexperienced company like Tesla could easily be offended. This scenario doesn’t happen at all – and if Tesla’s recent range update to the S3XY lineup is anything to go by, it becomes clear that legacy auto is falling ridiculous in the power race.
Tesla’s recent range updates, launched with the “refresh” of the Model 3, are further cementing the company̵7;s area at the top of the EV market. With the new updates, the Model 3 Long Range Dual Motor AWD hit an EPA-estimated range of 353 miles per charge, and even the heftier, heavier sibling, the Model Y, achieved a range 326 miles. The Model X, an incredibly heavy tank of a vehicle, reaches 371 miles per charge, and even the starving Tesla Model S Performance is close to 400 miles at 387 miles per charge.
It should be noted that Tesla made these improvements without any of the major updates it announced on Battery Day. At the long-awaited event, Tesla unveiled the new 4680 form factor of batteries, with 5x the volume of Model 3 and 2170 Model Y cells. Tesla also announced a new vehicle manufacturing system that prioritizes single piece of cast and a pack of structural battery. Other innovations, such as the use of high-nickel cathodes and silicon anodes, are also discussed.
None of these innovations are in Tesla’s currently updated vehicles.
Ultimately, Tesla’s recent updates highlight how far the company has ahead of the pack in the electric vehicle sector. The fact that the electric car manufacturer achieved the 371-mile range for the Model X Long Range Dual Motor AWD with the same 100 kWh battery pack and the same 18650 cells as the predecessor of the Model X 100D is almost ridiculous . This is especially noteworthy considering that the Audi e-tron, which has a battery pack that is almost the same size as the Model X, has a range of 222 miles, and that is the variation of improved already covered
Leading the Tesla range would be even more significant when one considers the Model 3 and the Model Y, both of which use a battery pack of nearly 75 kWh. A comparison of the two vehicles against the competition shows a stark contrast, to the Polestar 2, a car more regarded as a legitimate rival in the Model 3, with an estimated EPA range of 233 miles from a 78 kWh battery. The Jaguar I-PACE, a crossover relatively close in size to the Model Y, follows the same pattern, having an estimated EPA range of 246 miles per charge from a 90 kWh battery.
There are probably many factors behind Tesla’s crazy lead in the electric car sector today, but a good part of it probably has a lot to do with the company’s intense focus on battery tech and development. Tesla has been focused on improving and optimizing its batteries since Day 1, and as can be seen in recent updates to the S3XY lineup range, this obsessive optimization chase has many things to offer. These efforts do not mimic all legacy automakers at all, as veterans seem to be content with using off-the-shelf batteries from suppliers for their EV programs.
Yet perhaps the most uncomfortable reason behind the legacy auto distance from Tesla vehicles today is something simpler: hubris. While legacy automakers have been saying for years that they are serious about their future transition to electric cars, their actions are much less well known than their words. Now, it’s almost as if Tesla’s competitors in the EV sector are just too comfortable watching the car-making manufacturer improve over the years. And now that Tesla has become a force that is very difficult to ignore, they are trying to reach.
Unfortunately, it is very difficult to catch a moving target. By the time legacy drivers can reach where Tesla is today, it is almost certain that the manufacturer of the electric car will be ahead. This distance is likely to be even further away, as Tesla’s next-generation battery technology will still enter the picture. When the production of Tesla’s 4680 cells is in production and its vehicles are built using battery pack structures, the gap between the electric car manufacturer and its competitors will certainly be more significant. And that, at least legacy auto, is a scenario worthy of the final work of a tragedy.