Some Tesla owners already have the 75-kilowatt-hour Model S

tesla 75kwh battery pack already in model s updates front 34
It was revealed yesterday that the Tesla Model S will get the 75-kilowatt-hour battery pack option introduced on the Model X, but some owners already have it. Tesla has already shipped cars with the larger pack without telling anyone.

Tesla has been installing the larger battery pack in new cars, but uses software to limit its energy capacity to the 70kWh the firm has been advertising. Current owners will have the option to unlock the extra capacity with a software update, according to Teslarati, which cited the story of an Australian customer who was told there would be an “option to upgrade via firmware.”

All 70kWh Model S sedans built after a recent facelift actually have the 75kWh pack, a Tesla spokesperson subsequently confirmed to Autoblog. Tesla will continue to offer the 70kWh option but will no longer build the smaller packs, the spokesperson said. Existing owners can upgrade their cars for the same $3,000 Tesla charges to new customers who select the 75kWh option over the 70kWh one.

Read more: Tesla aims to build 500,000 cars per year by 2018

Tesla deemed the software approach more efficient than continuing to make two separate packs, alongside the 90kWh pack offered in higher end variants. The company actually did something like this very early in the Model S’ life cycle. It originally planned to offer the car with a 40kWh battery, but changed its mind before any cars were built. The few people who ordered the smaller battery got cars with 60kWh packs, with software that cut capacity to 40kWh.

So the Model S is now, officially, available with 70, 75, and 90kWh battery options. The 70kWh version is also the only Tesla still available with rear-wheel drive; dual-motor “D” all-wheel drive is mandatory on 90kWh models and every Model X variant. It’s possible Tesla will offer rear-wheel drive with the 75kWh battery on the Model S.

Depending on your perspective, Tesla’s battery tactics are either a nice surprise for customers, or a somewhat cynical attempt to get more money out of them after delivery. Tesla owners will probably be pleased to find out that they have extra battery capacity, but they also have to be willing to shell out more cash to access it.


Bosch is developing a Rosetta Stone for autonomous and connected cars

Bosch and start-up Veniam want to create a common language that autonomous and connected cars can use. The two firms have developed a connectivity unit that transcends the national boundaries of technology.

19 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great stocking stuffer ideas), we've rounded up 19 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth…
Emerging Tech

Scoot your commute! Here are the 9 best electric scooters on the market

Electric scooters are an affordable, convenient way to minimize your carbon footprint and zip around town. Check out 8 of our current favorites, whether you're working with a budget or have some cash to spare.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.

The Aston Martin Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake is the sexiest wagon ever

Aston Martin has revealed new photos of the limited-production Vanquish Zagato Shooting Brake. The Vanquish Zagato line now includes the Shooting Brake, Coupe, Volante, and Speedster, each with bespoke styling.

Nissan and Italdesign’s GT-R50 concept will become a $1.1 million reality

The Nissan GT-R50 is a customized sports car built to celebrate the 50th anniversaries of both the GT-R and design firm Italdesign. Underneath the sleek bodywork sits a 710-horsepower engine fortified with race car components.

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.

Ford’s new Shelby GT500 Mustang will have 3D-printed brake parts

Ford's new $45 million Advanced Manufacturing Center will focus on emerging technologies, including 3D printing. One of the staff's first jobs is to print parts for the 700-horsepower Shelby GT500 Mustang.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

This freewheeling Army truck-turned-tiny home is a labor of love

Most tiny homes are models of efficiency but one British metal worker has redefined the idea, converting an old Army truck into a mobile tiny home that comes with a bed, a sofa, a shower, and a beer garden.

Take a friend stargazing at 202 mph in the 2019 McLaren 720S Spider

McLaren has introduced the 2019 720S Spider. As its name implies, it's a convertible variant of the 720S coupe. The company promises the Spider retains the coupe's dynamism and agility thanks in part to the widespread use of carbon fiber.

Gateway’s born-again Ford Bronco boasts classic style, 2018 muscle car power

Illinois-based Gateway Bronco has received a license from Ford to make brand-new examples of the first-generation Bronco. Every build starts with a Ford VIN and a donor vehicle, but Gateway upgrades every part of the car.