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40 kWh battery will not be produced. It's official

Tesla just announced :

Also being announced today is that the small battery option for the Model S will not enter production, due to lack of demand. Only four percent of customers chose the 40 kWh battery pack, which is not enough to justify production of that version. Customers are voting with their wallet that they want a car that gives them the freedom to travel long distances when needed.

The customers who ordered this option will instead receive the 60 kWh pack, but range will be software limited to 40 kWh. It will still have the improved acceleration and top speed of the bigger pack, so will be a better product than originally ordered, and can be upgraded to the range of the 60 kWh upon request by the original or a future owner.

And all 60kw cars have the supercharger on board!

I always thought it was a marketing thing, or a DOE loan requirement. That way, the news stories could always say 'starting at $49,000' even though no one really chose it.

The press release wasn't completely clear. Will the 40Kwh version still be available for order going forward, or will they build the ones they have reservations for and let it go at that?

Seems a little odd. For one thing, the early adopter buyer mix is not the same as the mix of buyers one can expect one year from now.

For another, they never offered the 40 kWh model in Europe, where it would have made more sense (and possibly been more popular), since distances are so much shorter and the car is more expensive.

I think the key here is not production, it's average selling price. I guess the Model S cannot be a $50K car after all.

OMG. The Easter Egg announcement that all 60 kWh cars actually have, and all future cars will have, SC hardware! I assume that also includes the software-limited 40 kWh. version. What about the $2K activation? Is that still an option or ...???

4% is about 1,000 of the 22K orders so far. They will get a 60 kWh performance level, and be able to add the extra 20 kWh for a charge now or later or never.

Never a dull moment.

Brian, the announcement only ever discuss the 40kwh option in past tense "The customers who ordered this option will instead receive the 60 kWh pack"
I am fairly certain that they will honour orders for the small number of 40s ordered so far with software limited 60s but offer no further 40ksh orders.

A new form of chip tuning will be invented. How to access those hidden 20 kWh on your Model S?

I think jail breaking will not be an issue, Tesla will simply refuse all service, updates, supercharging and warranty claims on a car with any evidence of jail breaking, having an unsupported iPhone or Xbox is one thing, risking a $60,000 vehicle is rather different.

I think is a april fools day posting, just like google nose beta. they have not updated the design studio. I'm one of the 40kWh order and would love for this to be real simply because I will have 40kWh available for decades to come, not to mention the performance increase. but I would not get my hopes up today (tomorrow if this announcement is still valid I will be jumping on the couch)

The timing is indeed strange but it would be one of the crudest April Fool's jokes ever. Tesla must know that all the 40kwh holders are on edge anyway. To play such a joke on them would be foolish - pun intended.

They sent out an official email as well, so it is legit.

And Forbes picked it up, noting that the release was dated March 31 to avoid any suggestion that it was an April Fools' joke.

This makes the Tesla "40 kwh" battery one of the best if used regularly for ~100 mile distance travel, because it will have a guaranteed battery longevity buffer of 30%.

In other words, when you hit " zero" you still have not drained the battery fully. This buffer will prolong battery longevity. Definitely desirable.

Conversely, it's basically irrelevant for most drivers who won't be regularly fully draining their batteries. By their normal usage they will be retaining a very large buffer.

@Logical - I'm not quite sure what you mean by "buffer" - would seem to me they would software limit the battery from being fully charged…

if by buffer you mean that the battery will never be fully charged and therefore you don't have the problem of battery degradation due to full charge all the time then I agree with you…

Mhmm. Do I sense a 2k refund for those of us 60 owners who paid up to get Supercharging. (Fingers crossed)

No, because the $2,000 means your SC is active. I think people will still have to pay $2,000 (or some price) to software activate SC.

I think this is the great news for tomorrow. that this limited 60kw version will be also available in Europe, just in time, before the production versions should have to finalize. :-)
This would boost the sales of Europe. the 40kw version is more obvious for Europe than in America.

what Tesla announced today is quite simple (and a good idea IMHO):

a) 40 khw reservation holders will receive a 60 kWh battery, software limited to 40 kWh of capacity - pay $10,000 (the current price difference) and they will remove the software restrictions and you'll have a 60 kWh battery.
b) all 60 kWh cars have Supercharger hardware built in - it is enabled/disabled in software. Pay $2000 and they will remove the software restriction (again the cost of the Super Charger option.

from a supply chain, logistics, simplification point of view this is an excellent announcement for Tesla as a business, and I don't think it's too bad as a customer.

being able to "add" battery capacity in the future (original owner, or 2nd or 3rd owner) and enabling Super Charging in the entire product line (there is no not a single Model S without SC hardware) make the car more desirable, marketable, and less confusing in the market place (attempting to explain to my family the differences in the 40, 60, 60 w/SC, 85, 85 Perf was just too confusing…simple product lines/features sell things if the overall product is desirable - when I see a complex product configuration matrix I see a complex sales environment, not conducive to easy sales story.

there is now the following products

40 kwh model - software limited - limited production run (existing reservation holders)
software upgradable to 60 kwh for a fee
------------
60 kwh model w/SC Hardware - SC enable/disable in software for a fee
85 kwh model w/SC Hardware - enabled by default
P85 kwh model w/SC Hardware - enabled by default

What kind of badge do you think they will put on these 40's?

Yea, I am sure that $2,000 will be still needed to _activate_ SuperCharging.

However, there is one question: Will that "new" 40kWh cars support SuperCharging (will it be able to activate it) now when 60kWh battery will be used as base platform?

I don't think the 40kwh option is going away. I think it is going to be available going forward, and will simply be a full 60kwh, supercharger-ready Model S, but software- limited to 40kwh, not supercharger-capable. The option will be available for the price difference.

Guys: think about this... Tesla is brilliant: 1) they have simplified production greatly. 2) They have heavily incentivized purchase of a Model S for those who were on the fence about possible purchase of a 40kwh vs some other car.

BRILLIANT.

Furthermore, let's say you really want a Model S, and you drive a LOT daily, so that with your regular driving you can just make do with 120 - 140 miles range, but after 10 years or so the battery degradation is making the daily drive really tight: well you can unlock more range. SWEET.

This announcement makes the 40kwh actually a great car, not some borderline- acceptable EV.

@rebeccap88: I was thinking that the badging will be "60-"

Makes me wonder... Would the 60kW battery be a software downgrade of the 85kW? Nah... April fool's again! :)

WOW, this makes the 40KW model a true bargain. that battery will never get near the full charge and should last very long with its intended range.

@dortor

I think what Logical is getting at is that you could set your software-limited 60kwh Model S to charge at Max Range rather than Standard on a regular basis and not worry that you're degrading the battery. It is indeed a good deal for those who are getting it.

According to the article I just read it's only retroactive though, no future 40kwh orders will be taken. (Though the article could certainly be wrong)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2013/04/01/tesla-motors-model-s...

@noel.Smyth, yes, except it is not really of any practical significance for the average user, who will only regularly be using a small fraction of their car's battery capacity anyway.

However, for 40 kwh purchasers who would have been regularly maxing out their car's battery pack, this is indeed good news.

I hope USA Today is wrong re: no more 40 kwh orders. Well it appears that right NOW you can still reserve a 40kwh on this website... So if you are in the fence, click away and order right now because Tesla will have to honor your reservation.....


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