Tesla touts speed and driving range with new upgraded battery

Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:41pm EDT
 
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By Alexandria Sage and David Shepardson

SAN FRANCISCO/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA.O: Quote) crowned itself the maker of the world's fastest production car on Tuesday, saying a new version of its Model S all-electric sedan can accelerate from 0-60 miles per hour in just 2-1/2 seconds.

Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company will offer a larger upgraded battery pack for performance versions of its Model S and X vehicles that will extend range, while also allowing for super fast acceleration.

Tesla has long laid claim to bragging rights in the highly competitive luxury car market. But Tuesday's news is unlikely to change the equation on a host of challenges the company faces, from production and finances to regulation.

The new 100 kilowatt hour battery pack means the high-end version of the Model S sedan, called the P100D, will be the world's fastest accelerating car in production, the Silicon Valley automaker said. The new battery pack is also available for the performance version of the Model X sport utility vehicle.

The Model X is already the quickest SUV ever, Tesla said. But with the 100 kWh battery pack, it said the Model X P100D -- as the new performance model is known -- will now accelerate from 0-60 mph (0-97 kph) in 2.9 seconds.

The new battery also extends the driving range of the vehicles, taking the performance version of the new Model S beyond 300 miles (482.8 km), Tesla said.

Musk said that meant a driver could now travel from San Francisco to Los Angeles in temperate weather without recharging.

"These are very profound milestones and I think will help convince people around the world that electric is the future," said Musk on a conference call with journalists.   Continued...

 
A Tesla Model S charges at a Tesla Supercharger station in Cabazon, California, U.S. May 18, 2016.  REUTERS/Sam Mircovich/File Photo