Tesla to Extend Range of Model S With Software Update

2012-43 STY Cars Tesla Model S H

The electric Tesla Model S can be charged at home via a conventional electrical socket or, for a quicker charge, a 240-volt outlet.


The update will "end range anxiety," Tesla CEO Elon Musk predicts.

In a move that will become commonplace as cars are increasingly connected to the cloud, Tesla Motors plans to improve the range of its Model S via an over-the-air software update, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced Sunday.

The update will “end range anxiety,” Musk pledged on Twitter.

So-called range anxiety is the primary reason drivers remain leery of all-electric vehicles. The Model S currently has a range of 200 to 270 miles, depending on configuration, more than double the range of other electric vehicles.

But even with a growing network of supercharger stations that can charge a Model S to 80 percent capacity in about 20 minutes, drivers must plan longer trips carefully to avoid becoming stranded.

In December, Tesla used an over-the-air software upgrade that improved the range of the Roadster, its first car, by 40 percent, to 400 miles.

Such upgrades are yet another way Tesla is challenging the traditional automotive industry business model. Just as software upgrades to computers are used to add features between major hardware updates, over-the-air updates to cars allow current owners to reap improvements that would ordinarily be reserved for buyers of later models.

Tesla will announce details of the upgrade in a press conference Thursday.