Here's everything that was announced at Tesla's battery day
A $25,000 EV, 520-miles of range, and a tri-motor Model S were just the tip of the iceberg at today's Tesla 'Battery Day'
Tesla's dominance in the EV market is indisputable, and although competition from companies such as Porsche and VW is closing in, Tesla's 8-year lead on the industry has been a crushing advantage.
And although by no means a fresh face, the $75,000 'entry-level' Model S is still the best-rounded EV money can buy. With a range in excess of 400 miles and access to one of the finest charging networks available, few competitors can come close.
But this tremendous lead is quickly falling by the wayside as other automakers with far bigger pockets invest billions into EV battery tech. Happily, though, Tesla is by no means standing still, as earlier today, CEO Elon Musk took to the stage and outlined Tesla's long-term plans, emphasizing that much of what was announced today "will not reach serious high-volume production until 2022."
One thing that was noticeably lacking at Tesla's 'Battery Day,' however, was much mention of batteries. With only the introduction of a new cell dubbed the "4680" that is being produced in-house at Tesla, with promises of a 54% increase in range. Although it is unknown if this number has been tested and verified at this time.
Musk also claimed a 56% reduction in the dollars per kilowatt-hour compared with Tesla's existing cells, citing strong innovation in several key technological areas. Claiming that a version of the Model S sedan will soon be available with a 520-mile range, outstripping newfound competitor Lucid Motors by a mere three miles.
The Hype Machine at Work
Hype, of course, is the cornerstone of any Tesla event, and what would hype be if not for a $1,000 fully-refundable deposit. Specifically, for a "Plaid" version of the Model S, with a 520+ mile range, three motors (two on the rear axle, one at the front), a sub-2.0 second 0-60, a 200 mph+ top speed, a starting price of $140,000, and a delivery date slated for 2021.
This, of course, is no new revelation; we've been seeing the Plaid Model S testing at tracks such as the Nürburgring and Laguna Seca for nearly a year now, yet this is the first official "unveiling" of the vehicle to date.
However, with prices starting at $140,000 ($55,000 more than the currently-available performance variant), the Plaid Model S provides an interesting value proposition. As just a few years ago, people were gladly forking over well over $130,000 for a Model S P100D with only slightly more than 300 miles of range and far inferior performance.
But this event wasn't all $140,000 super-sedans as Musk briefly touted the possibility of a $25,000 Tesla entering the market at some point in the future. And although this is not the first time he's floated this idea, little more than a brief mention on stage was given to what may well be a market-changing vehicle should it ever come to fruition.