Tesla has officially acknowledged that the recently introduced Standard Range iterations of the Model S and Model X are constrained by software and do not incorporate distinct battery chemistries such as lithium iron phosphate (LFP). In our previous coverage, we highlighted Tesla’s unveiling of the new Standard Range editions of the Model S and Model X. These variants provide respective ranges of 320 and 269 miles. This release presents an attractive option for customers seeking access to Tesla’s premium vehicles at a more affordable price point. Specifically, the Model S commences at $78,490, while the Model X carries a price tag of $88,490.
However, questions began to swirl on how Tesla was building the new, shorter-range vehicles. Was Tesla using LFP cells as it did in the Standard Range Model 3, or was it using software to limit the range?
It turns out it is the latter.
Last night, Sawyer Merritt first reported that the new Model S and Model X configurations were offered with software limitations to offer fewer miles of range at a more affordable price.
We called three Tesla showrooms to confirm, and they were able to give us the same answer. The vehicles are not using any different battery chemistry and are limited by software. Additionally, Tesla has no plans to currently offer upgrades that would unlock more range in the future.
Tesla’s strategy of offering the Model S and Model X at these lower price points could help take stress off of the Model 3 and Model Y, which make up for over 90 percent of the company’s vehicle mix regularly.