Regenerative braking on a software-locked 60kWh Model S

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TrevP

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#1
Ran across this video and thought some of you might like to know that a Model S with a 75kWh battery software-locked to 60kWh can indeed do positive regenerative energy capture on a 100% charged battery. Normally this is not possible on a normal battery due to no having any headroom to recapture the energy

Just goes to show that the the system indeed does limit battery access to something like 80% of the true capacity but is calibrated to show 100% charge.

 

TrevP

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That's going to be tough given the lower margins on this car. Tesla can get away with it on the Model S because the more expensive cars are subsidizing the lower cost ones. Trading lower cost for future profits when some of those buyers will pay for the unlock.
 

xxZULAxx

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#4
I
That's going to be tough given the lower margins on this car. Tesla can get away with it on the Model S because the more expensive cars are subsidizing the lower cost ones. Trading lower cost for future profits when some of those buyers will pay for the unlock.
I hear you but for achieving manufacturing speed, one would think, single battery is an answer since software is there already. Basically, nothing new to invent. Second point, this would give Tesla easy way to adjust total miles as well. Bolt already does more miles then 3. What if another car manufacturer comes up with even more total miles. Disadvantage for Tesla is that, unlike Bolt, so far they charged for larger battery.
 

garsh

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#5
Bolt already does more miles then 3.
Don't get ahead of yourself. We don't know the Model 3's range yet. I wouldn't be surprised if a base Model 3 ends up having more range than a Bolt.

If the cost of batteries comes down enough, Tesla could remain profitable while installing software-limited batteries in the Model 3. But I don't think they're going to start off doing that for a few reasons.
  • The Gigafactory will eventually drive down the prices on Lion cells. But it's going to take a few years for production to get to a high enough, stable rate for that to happen. It will be too difficult to make money on a $35,000 base Model 3 if they install larger, software-limited batteries, at least for the first year or two.
  • Cell demand might be too high. If (and this is a big if) Model 3 production goes as high as everybody hopes, the Gigafactory might have trouble meeting the demand for creating cells for all of the various products (Model 3, powerwall, etc). That could also end up being a reason why they wouldn't install more cells than required.
  • Even once the Gigafactory is churning out cells, cell costs are driven down, and Model 3 production is in full swing, the battery will remain a significant portion of the cost of the car. Other manufacturers will also eventually be creating competitive electric cars (I hope). Tesla will need to keep margins down to remain cost competitive, so they'll probably want to reduce costs.
I see this whole "software-limited battery" thing as a short-term experiment. They wanted to stoke demand for the Model S. They already had the software hacks available (from delivering the original S40 with S60 batteries due to lack of demand). Margins are large enough on the S that they could afford to do it without losing money. I don't see software-limited batteries being a long-term solution though.
 
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xxZULAxx

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#6
Don't get ahead of yourself. We don't know the Model 3's range yet. I wouldn't be surprised if a base Model 3 ends up having more range than a Bolt.

If the cost of batteries comes down enough, Tesla could remain profitable while installing software-limited batteries in the Model 3. But I don't think they're going to start off doing that for a few reasons.
  • The Gigafactory will eventually drive down the prices on Lion cells. But it's going to take a few years for production to get to a high enough, stable rate for that to happen. It will be too difficult to make money on a $35,000 base Model 3 if they install larger, software-limited batteries, at least for the first year or two.
  • Cell demand might be too high. If (and this is a big if) Model 3 production goes as high as everybody hopes, the Gigafactory might have trouble meeting the demand for creating cells for all of the various products (Model 3, powerwall, etc). That could also end up being a reason why they wouldn't install more cells than required.
  • Even once the Gigafactory is churning out cells, cell costs are driven down, and Model 3 production is in full swing, the battery will remain a significant portion of the cost of the car. Other manufacturers will also eventually be creating competitive electric cars (I hope). Tesla will need to keep margins down to remain cost competitive, so they'll probably want to reduce costs.
I see this whole "software-limited battery" thing as a short-term experiment. They wanted to stoke demand for the Model S. They already had the software hacks available (from delivering the original S40 with S60 batteries due to lack of demand). Margins are large enough on the S that they could afford to do it without losing money. I don't see software-limited batteries being a long-term solution though.
For some reason, software limited batteries make sense to me especially with the new cells. Simply since 1 battery is much faster to produce and maintain rather than 3 different kind of batteries. When it comes to cost, its not only batteries (material) but also maybe different machines and another set of people to make it? Just thinking from the speed perspective since technology is there already.

As for other manufacturers, 2017 Bolt and 2018 Leaf with their 200+ range are nice competition. Looks like some others are thinking of joining in as well.