Tesla Model S Projected Improvements — Elon Musk Danish TV Interview


Originally published on EV Obsession.

Update: This article has been updated to put some comments in better context.

With deliveries of the Tesla Model X SUV finally (after a very long wait) set to begin in a few hours, what’s next for the company? That’s the question many — especially Model S owners and soon-to-be owners — are asking themself. Well, of course, there’s the Model 3 unveiling currently set for next year; there’s the ongoing work at the Gigafactory construction site; there’s the ongoing work on the company’s autonomous-driving technologies; and, also, there’s the somewhat recently unveiled battery line (Tesla Energy).

That’s all quite a lot on its own, but a recent interview that Elon Musk gave on Danish television had plenty of extra comments on such topics and more.

On thing Musk noted, when prompted, was that a Model S could achieve a range of 1,200 kilometers (745 miles) to be achievable by 2020, amongst other things.

But this is based on extreme cases of record-breaking attempts. Musk commented that the current distance record for the Model S currently stands at over 700 kilometers (achieved by traveling the whole trip at 25 miles per hour).

Here’s a highlight of some of the other interesting comments made by Musk in the interview:

  • He wants to be selling 500,000 EVs a year by 2020.
  • He expects autopilot autonomous features to be available by that date.
  • While the technology is now simply in Beta testing, a “wide release” won’t have too long to wait.
  • While the technology will at first be limited to an automated-passing function, he’s aiming for the creation of a fully-autonomous system. He expects this to be possible within only 3 years, though regulatory hurdles may delay legalization for a few additional years.
  • “If civilization still exists” 20 years from now, Musk thinks that most new cars will be completely autonomous, and many of these will be EVs.

About the Author

's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.
  • James Rowland

    According to the interview, NO.

    Elon says 25% in one to two years and 50% in five years MAY be possible:

    “The record right now for a Model S is 800km” (that being 22mph hypermiling.)

    “My guess is probably we could break 1000km within a year or two” (context still being hypermiling.)

    That’s 25% more. Note the conditional; “could,” not “will.” No elaboration on what would be involved or whether they plan to make such a thing at that time.

    “We could probably make a car go 1200km” (by 2020) – again, “could.”

    So, 50% up from today in FIVE years.

    Is this just expected battery improvements? He doesn’t say, but that seems very optimistic, and far in advance of Tesla’s previously stated projection of 5% average improvement per year.

    Tesla’s had the option all along of stuffing more batteries into their platform, and I don’t doubt Elon can recall their modelling data at will. Doesn’t mean they’re actually going to sell anything with an XL battery pack, though.

    Maybe they have a big secret under their hat that will yield a huge step up in battery performance. I’ll be loving it if they do, but my gut tells me this is Elon doing his usual overpromise gig.

  • Marc P

    Autonomous driving… who wants it…??? NOT ME !