Tesla decreases size of refresh Model S battery pack but increases range through improvements in efficiency

Tesla has so far been pretty quiet about the internals of the new Model S Plaid. At the delivery event last week, CEO Elon Musk said it included an “all new” motor, but did not get into specifics.

The automaker also hasn’t officially announced the size of the battery pack in the electric sedan. Now we know thanks to the first published tests of the Model S Plaid by MotorTrend.

In their glowing review of the world’s fastest production car, which they called “the best Tesla yet,” the publication confirmed the battery pack is 100kWh. That is down from the 104kWh in the previous generation Model S.

“The battery pack was always the Achilles’ heel of earlier Model S performance variants, so Tesla updated it significantly to take full advantage of the tri-motor system. It’s slightly smaller than before (100 kWh on the Plaid versus about 104 kWh on the Model S Performance this car replaces), but Tesla focused its efforts on improving coolant and electrical current paths.”

Despite the smaller battery pack, Tesla has been able to get more range thanks to improvements in efficiency. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially certified the car this week, given the Long Range variant a range rating of 405 miles (651km), and an efficiency rating of 120MPGe in combined city and highway driving.

That range is up slightly from the previous Long Range Plus record of 402 miles.

Tesla LR EPA ratings
Image via U.S. EPA

Also likely playing a part in the impressive range figure is that it has the world’s lowest drag coefficient of any car of just 0.208. This figure was front and center at last week’s delivery event.

Fremont flyover 4
Image via Tesla Fremont Flyover

While range figures are obviously important when it comes to electric vehicles, it is equally important to compare the battery pack sizes when determining who is leading in the world of battery technology. To be able to squeeze out these kinds of figures in a car that weighs nearly 5,000 lbs is extremely impressive and shows Tesla continues to be in a league of their own.

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