A rumour that there are Model Ys with 4680 batteries out on the roads in the US with an ultra-long driving range of 800km has sparked intense debate on social media. But if true, it is more likely to be a fact-finding mission on range, rather than a new offering to customers.
Taking to Twitter on Tuesday morning (Australian time), “Doctor Jack” who says he is “On Twitter mainly for the $TSLA, @elonmusk, #SpaceX, #TSLA community, to stop misinformation, & help share knowledge, all for the betterment of humanity,” posted about some Model Ys he’d been told about by “a little birdie.”
According to “Doctor Jack”, he was told the cars in question have had their range unlocked via software.
He said: “Turns out the rumors about the temporary software locking of the true potential of the 4680 Model Ys may be true. A little birdie told me that there are 4680 Model Ys currently being driven by Tesla employees with a 500 mile (800kms) range.”
Turns out the rumors about the temporary software locking of the true potential of the 4680 Model Ys may be true . A little birdie told me that there are 4680 Model Ys currently being driven by Tesla employees with a 500 mile range. 😳
— Doctor Jack (@DoctorJack16) July 11, 2022
The tweet itself is impossible to verify, but it certainly caught the attention of the Twitterverse, with 1,332 likes and a “winky face” emoji from @Teslascope, the account that represents a third-party Tesla driving platform.
Some respondents to the tweet were understandably skeptical about the news, but accepted that maybe Tesla has just packed as many 4680 batteries into some Model Ys for testing purposes.
“I doubt the AWD standard range has extra kwh, there might be factory test units with that range though,” said one Tweep.
Another surmised that if Tesla’s calculations shared on Battery Day in 2020 that increase range by 54% had been borne out, the Model Y Long Range’s current EPA range of 318 miles could be boosted to 490 miles.
Others said they believe that if Tesla were to sell a Model Y with ultra-long-range it would be a waste of resources – which let’s face it is in line with comments made by Tesla boss Elon Musk at recent earnings calls and on social media.
Cell constraints are holding back Cybertruck production, for one thing.
For another, Musk has said he doesn’t think more than 400 miles range is necessary.
Clarifying with Electrek in 2021 why Tesla had cancelled the Plaid+ Model S, he said: “What we are seeing is that once you have a range above 400 miles, more range doesn’t really matter. There are essentially zero trips above 400 miles where the driver doesn’t need to stop for restroom, food, coffee, etc. anyway.”
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model 3 and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.