Originally posted on CleanTechnica
As important as the Tesla Model X is, it’s still a car for the 1%. It’s the Tesla Model III that Musk is banking his hopes for an EV-dominated future on. He’s already said that the $35,000 price tag must be achieved without tax credits, and now he’s saying that the 200 miles of driving range has to be attainable “in real world” driving conditions.
During the Q&A session announcing the new navigation features for the Tesla Model S that will make running out of juice practically impossible, Musk made the following comment in reference to a question about the range of the more-affordable Tesla Model III.
“200 miles is minimum threshold for an electric car. We need 200+ miles in real world. Not 200 miles in ‘AC off, driving on flat road’ mode.”
The Tesla CEO then went on to say;
“Anything below 200 miles isn’t passing grade. Most people looking for 20% more than that.”
So what’s he mean by “in the real world”? More than just a MTV reality show, the “real world’ phrase is often tossed around in reference to the driving range of electric vehicles. The EPA-rated range of electric cars is generally attainable, but only in what even automakers must admit are ideal conditions; flat roads, minimal air conditioning use, and optimal battery temperature. Cold weather, steep hills, and cranking the A/C can all reduce battery life by anywhere from 10% to 50%.
When Musk says the Model III must be able to travel 200 miles in the real world, he is implying that more range might actually be built into the pack by the EPA’s standards. No matter what Tesla does, cold weather and steep hills are going to take away from the Model III’s range. The only way to really overcome that is to build extra capacity into the battery itself. Does that mean the Model III might actually end up rated at 240 miles, instead of the 20 Musk has repeatedly said?
We’ll see. If you want to listen to the whole conference call, check out this link from Transport Evolved.