Elon Musk: Upcoming Tesla Model S update will end ‘range anxiety’ with software upgrade

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Tesla Model S owners may have no issues racing a snowmobile, but they might get a little worried when there is no high-speed charger for the vehicle’s battery nearby. That could all change later this week, according to a hint dropped via Twitter by Tesla co-founder and all-around smart guy Elon Musk.

On Sunday, Musk tweeted that Tesla is about to end “range anxiety” for owners of any of Tesla’s Model S line at a press conference on Thursday. While this sort of major upgrade seems like it would require new hardware, the change will instead be rolled out via an over-the-air (OTA) software update.

The “range anxiety” Musk refers to is due to the relatively short distance that some Tesla models can travel between lengthy charges — between 183 and 270 miles for the Model S line. Since it takes an hour for even the fastest at-home charger to replenish 58 miles of range, Tesla owners have to plan longer trips carefully.

In its efforts to alleviate range-related concerns, Tesla has been expanding its network of Superchargers, which can deliver up to 170 miles of range in 30 minutes, but has also been upgrading vehicles to improve their range. The company recently released an upgrade package for its Roadster model that extended the range to 400 miles, though this required substantial hardware changes.

While part of the impending update might be the “torque sleep” that Tesla previously announced would extend range of the dual-motor Model S vehicles, Musk specifically mentioned that this update would extend to the entire Model S range, which includes single-motor options. How? We’re not sure yet, but we won’t have to wait long to find out. The press conference announcing the update is scheduled for this Thursday, March 19.

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