While Chinese competitors such as NIO and GAC have promised performance electric cars or SUVs with 600+ miles of range on the charge that will be available this year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has expressed doubts about the need for such a long-range. Even though Tesla claims the next Roadster 2 would have a range of 600 miles on a single charge, the Model S Plaid+ was meant to have a 520-mile range. In a Twitter conversation regarding the upcoming Lucid Air, Elon Musk claimed touted as a 500-mile electric vehicle. That much isn’t required, he claims:
We could’ve made a 600 mile Model S 12 months ago, but that would’ve made the product worse IMO, as 99.9% of the time, you’d be carrying unneeded battery mass, which causes acceleration, handling & efficiency worse. Even our 400+ mile range car is more than almost anyone will use.
Elon Musk has claimed that 400 miles of range are the current sweet spot for electric cars for the second time since the S Plaid+ was cancelled in June. He stated at the time that “More range isn’t necessary if you’ve reached a range of over 400 miles. There are almost no travels longer than 400 miles where the driver does not need to stop for a restroom, food, coffee, or other necessities.”
The Chinese electric cars that promise ranges of 600 miles or more, such as the NIO ET7 sports sedan, employ a more generous local cycle than the strict EPA one used in the United States.
Furthermore, NIO achieves such a long-range with a bespoke semi-solid 150 kWh battery pack that is pretty hefty, so it would be interesting to see if Musk’s claim regarding range holds when the ET7 model with the large battery pack is released later this year.