Tesla Calls Model S Plaid the Best Car in the World

Tesla Model S Plaid delivery event highlights and summary is below.

The refreshed Model S has a drag coefficient of 0.208.

Elon Musk drove the Model S Plaid around a track and then onto the stage.

Elon says Tesla has to show that electric cars are the best cars hands down. The fastest, coolest, best acceleration and other factors.

No previous production car has gone under 2 seconds in 0 to 60.

The Tesla Model S Plaid goes 0 to 60 in less than 2 seconds.

It has a 200-mile top speed and fastest quarter-mile time.

The motors have carbon-sleeved rotors. They needed to create new machine to make it.

They have the lowest drag coefficient of any car ever made. The drag coefficient they are quoting includes the wheels in motion. This is the true drag coefficient.

They have 30% better cold-weather range because of the better heat pump.

They will continue to increase the power of their superchargers. Currently 250 kilowatts. But they will go to 300 kilowatts, 350 kilowatts etc…

The car is the safest car as well. Faster than any Porsche and safer than any Volvo in one car.

There is more room in the second row of seats. They are legit back rows.

There is 36-watt USBC charging.

It has a new UI.

It anticipates where you want to go with priority to what is on your calendar.

60 frames per second for state of the art games like Cyberpunk. PS5 level gaming.

They delivered the first 25 cars and will be a few hundred per week this month. They will be a thousand per week next quarter.

David Lee all of the other Tesla youtubers covered the event. Emmett Peppers was at the event and he got one of the first 25 Model S Plaid.

There will be many Tesla Model S Plaid drag race videos and reaction videos to driving in the Plaid.

SOURCES – Tesla, Tesla Daily, David Lee Investing
Written by Brian Wang, Nextbigfuture.com (Brian has shares of Tesla)

75 thoughts on “Tesla Calls Model S Plaid the Best Car in the World”

  1. Probably efficiency is some percentages higher, because highest 5min average output on super charger is more likely ~245kW, onboard charger might have ~95% and depending on season or the cars electrical demand for all systems, a Model S car's losses during charging might add up to around 15%. People report on long term efficiency experience from ~79-83% for every day usage and mixed charge currents (but that are no current numbers). Summary to that might leave a 2-6% for cable losses (1-3kWh on 50kWh battery) and improved cables (and liquid cooling) might balance/stabilize higher super charger current losses to that previously known level.

  2. > What ICE allows you to do that today?

    I want my electric car to be better than ICE in every respect, including range.

    That doesn't mean I won't buy an electric before then, but there's no reason we shouldn't push the tech as far as it will go. If someday one of those infamous "battery breakthroughs" delivers on an electric car with a 2000-mile range, I want one.

  3. Very interesting … what a little piecewise integration of that red curve does. I put together a little PERL program, 15 second recharge intervals, following the Version 3 charger curve by battery SoC condition; all that, for a 50 kWh, 62, 70 and 82 kWh version.

    Basically, MuskCo has come up with a charge-rate algorithm that can 95% charge any of its models in 60 minutes. At the lower (battery cap) end, an 85% charge of a 50 kWh cap battery happens in 22 minutes. Correspondingly longer for larger batteries.  

    But even the 95% charge of a 82 kWh battery happens in 59 minutes. Clearly the engineers had a mandate. Total charge of ANY Tesla Model 3 in 1 hour or less.  Uprate the charge at the beginning so that urgent customers get the most 'bang-for-the-clock'.  The curve's decline rate … dependent one might expect off the state-of-charge SoC, AND the temperature of the battery, probably chosen to optimally impact life-of-battery in total charges.  

    Well done. 
    No fires!
    For sure, no fires!

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  4. plug-in ~10kW (weight?) fuel cell range extender for rent for (planed) long range on customer cars?

  5. That's an interesting question:
    found that 250kW is for about 75mi(120km), within 5 minutes charging time
    20.83kWh, for Model 3 needing about 22.6-25.6kWh/100mi,
    charge efficiency ~0.68-0.77 or cable&charger(firmware)&battery loss ~57-80kW (4.7-6.7kWh for 5min) and battery is preheated for a Tesla on it's way to a v3 super charger.

    Full range 313mi (1:48 hrs, 0-100%) charging cost ~$6.1/100mi.

    If someone could measure temperature before/after super charging on a v2 (air cooled) (v3, light oil (1.8kJ/(kg*K)? cooled) (v4 350kW? ~2*400V DC) supercharger, that would enable guessing power loss inside a cable length. Without this stucks at this point without battery and charger efficiency.


  6. I hope there will be an aftermarket solution at least for people who want their wheel to be an… actual wheel.

  7. Best car in the world to hit the concrete side of a bridge at 180. And the best car in the world to kill a family of 8 in a mini-van making a left turn when they have no idea how fast this dragster is hurtling towards them.

  8. Cant you just add a second chargeport?

    Like the Semi: I thought the Semi had like 8 connectors or something.

    Battery pack would need to be split up though, and would need to be able to handle that kind of power.

  9. 400+ miles would mean more than 5 hours of consecutive driving. Do you think that's really needed?

    Even ICE cars dont have thát kind of range on average (average is about 350 miles on a full tank).

  10. Granted, it would only be useful for long road trips, but with it augmenting the luggage space, too, it would be very handy for those. As well as being handy for power outages.

    Imagine you'd been a Tesla owner during the California wildfires, and your car had been at low charge when the power went out…

    The obvious problem is that these cars are probably being bought by a combination of purists who'd be offended at the idea of a fossil fuel genset, and the wealthy who can afford multiple vehicles for different purposes. The number of Tesla owners who rely on the Tesla for all purposes AND would be open to a fossil fuel range extender is probably pretty small.

  11. The Aussie company might claim one dollar hydrogen with CCS, but they haven't built it yet. The Suiso Frontier pioneer LH2 tanker is supposed to ship it to Japan at 253 C below zero – presumably they'll have more insulation and a lower surface to volume ratio than any car, or aircraft, tank. Amount of boil-off expected en route is not stated. Volume of the tank is 1,250 m3, which could hold the energy equivalent of 10kg of uranium fuel pellets. You could put those in your pockets and fly to Japan (avoiding the airport scanner), no refrigeration needed.

  12. The background of that first image sort of reminds me of the national flag of Germany just before the swastika.

  13. Hence why I 'pegged' you with so many +1 checkmarks today.
    I generally kind-of-sort-of agree with you, even when
    I don't do so publicly.

    Keep up the fine work, Friar Tuck.

  14. To me, the *range* of a car has always meant how far it would go after hitting empty on the gauge.

  15. Yes, and use the extensive Hydrogen infrastructure to top it up when you go on a roadtrip across the country.

  16. Just kind of wondering out loud…

    How exactly do 'they' get 250 kW into a car?  Yes, I went and read up, it looks like 480 V DC is used.  At that level, only about 500 amps are required to be tolerated by the cable, the connector head and so on.  For passively cooled 'fat' cable, perhaps 10 W of heat per foot isn't outrageous.  So, since P = I² R, R = 10 ÷ 500² … or about 40 µΩ per foot.  And that takes, oh, some FAT copper.  № 10 gauge is about 1 mΩ per foot, and about 10,000 circular mils.  Basically 25× the number of circular mils required.  Oh, what's that, 0000 gauge, I think. 

    Clearly, this could be mitigated by active cooling of the cable.  in-sheath non-ionic liquid being pumped through at good speed.  Or in a hollow tube in each of the + and – conductors.  That'd do quite nicely.  The irony being that very light motor oil (think WD 40) would be the right solution.  Completely non-ionic, too. 

    But active cooling has its own complexities, masses. Trick is, to get away with quite-a-bit less copper and only modestly more circulating coolant. I bet it could be done at 50 W/foot. Sound egregious, perhaps, but is it? A 10 foot charging cable wastes 500 watts, out of 250,000 or less than 0.2% … who cares. And the wire-gauge goes from № 0000 to № 2, dropping from 1.3 lbs/foot to 0.4. (2 wires) Much more handle-able.

    ⋅-⋅-⋅ Just saying, ⋅-⋅-⋅
    ⋅-=≡ GoatGuy ✓ ≡=-⋅

  17. And I tried it on a short drive. Not going there.

    Does Tesla have an actual steering wheel as an option?

  18. Lucid needs to hurry. The vehicle looks great, but the company risks missing the market, as market expectations quickly more forward.

  19. Correct…and this is a continuation of Tesla's strategy to use expensive cars to extract money from buyers so that Tesla can then make lower cost cars. The S/X platform brought in enough money to fund designing and tooling the 3/Y.

  20. These plans use cryo H for other reasons, so the electronics and motor cooling is *free*. Airplanes where the H pressure tank would weigh too much. Will it go to trucks? Cars? The reason for H is to use energy that is hard to use *live*, as from solar or wind, or hard to adjust to load, such as nuke. Only because H solves these two variables is it worth the effort. Make CH4 instead? C capture from fossil CH4? Ammonia? These are not secrets. They all look about the same to me. Money is being spent, against your strong conclusion about H. Bets will pay off, or not. Many possible combinations of things. The main point is that the solution to these variability problems is a huge deal. It makes a lot of the captured energy essentially free, esp if used at the site for cooling. These problems are cited as key problems to renewables. Power beaming helps too. I just don't like more power lines and batteries.

  21. Why would you ever want to go over 500 miles on a charge? What ICE allows you to do that today?

    Friend of mine has an Audi Q5 tdi, he regularly gets over 1000 km in city driving.

  22. You do realize, don't you, that current electric motors are pushing 90-95% efficiency? You're not going to do deep cryogenic superconducting motors in a car drivetrain just to wring out a few percent in motor efficiency that you already threw away cryocooling the hydrogen. You have any idea at all how much energy it takes to cool a kg of hydrogen to liquid? Over 3 KWH per kg! That's 10% of the energy content of the liquid hydrogen! And that's the theoretical limit of efficiency, real world is more like 10 KWH per kg to liquify it. More like a third of the energy thrown away to get that liquid.

    You'd never make it up on a few percent boost in motor efficiency.

    There are good, solid engineering reasons hydrogen didn't catch on as a fuel. It SUCKS as a fuel.

    Well, it's decent as an upper stage rocket fuel. But it sucks for most other applications.

  23. Hydrogen is just a pain to move around and store. It's a deep cryogenic if you try to liquify it, and even liquified its density is really low. It can gradually seep through solid metal. It embrittles metal. And you have to MAKE it.

    LNG has none of those problems. You can liquify it at reasonable temperatures, it's fairly dense, easily moved through pipes at room temperature, it doesn't leak or embrittle metal, and it comes out of holes in the ground, and can be produced by easy fermentation processes from biological wastes.

    There's basically nothing H2 is better for, except maybe feeding fuel cells.

    If you were going to insist on using hydrogen fuel cells, this means of storage would likely be much more practical than distributing the gas:


  24. Well, I will grant that I had my airbags go off while doing a hand over hand turn, with my forearm an inch from the steering wheel center, and got one heck of a bruise.

    But it was bouncing off the door handle that fractured the ribs. I was 't-boned' on the driver's side.

    I don't see how 8&4 would work on long drives. I guess I could test it on my next road trip.

  25. Well, I think Tesla is being a bit purist about their mission to transition the world to a "sustainable future". Please consider that the 18650 cells is a rather small fraction of all their batteries.

    Sure, in the very short term having a larger range would mean producing, say, 25% fewer Plaid S, but only for a year or two when their 4680 cells are being ramped. Plus, they could increase their purchase from alternative sources to compensat (CATL, LG Chem, BYD ). And we are talking about 25% lower of, say, 25k-50k, i.e. 6-12k units less. Which is a drop in the ocean compared to Teslas production volume of about 1 million vehicles per year.

    I do hope that ranges will increase over time. Sadly, I think that only when the other manufacturers start offering 400+ miles of range will Tesla do the same…

  26. I used to routinely drive LA Austin straight. I admit, I did have to stop for gas. Took minutes from my life.

  27. The deciding factor for me is that the batteries would have to be numerous enuf for total large scale failure, in each microgrid location. Seems more likely to succeed with larger gas tanks and fixed conversion units than just more and more batteries everywhere. Both pipes and power beaming make it a lot easier to move energy than shipping batteries in an emergency. The goal is microgrids forming an emergency share response if needed, not one big grid that creates deadly emergencies. Really cheap batteries could work, I will admit!

  28. Because I routinely go about 350 km to the swedish "alps" for skiing. With the snow and hilly terrain, that would be equivalent to the "standard conditions" range of about 700 km, or 440 miles. Last year, we went 540 km through the swedish mountains to a different resort. To do that with an BEV, I would need about 1080 km of range, or 675 miles.

    On these routes, there are very few superchargers, and the one that are available are of the 12 kW (!) type. Also, I like to get up early and actually get a couple of hours of skiing on the first day after driving.

    I am by no means unique. There are plenty of user cases where the chargers are far between and where you would want to have some range left when you arrive.

    We drive a toyota land cruiser that allows us to go the 350 km trip without filling up the diesel tank and leaves us with some range when we get there. And we have plenty of space. There is simply no BEV that is up to the task.


  29. To be clear, and this seems obvious, the *range* advantage of H is due to the infinite quick fillings, not the tank size. Think!

    I knew a guy who pushed (fixed place) CH4 fuel cells for independent neighborhoods in the 80s. Ammonia fits in here somewhere too. The most important thing about energy in these matters is that the cost is everything. There is no difference in electrons. Australian co claims dirty coal to H with C capture included for $1 kg. Is liquid H that cools your superconducting motor and wires better than CH4 pressure tank? Liquid CH4? These are all H to me, assuming you throw in cost to make CH4 from Space Solar instead of H2. It could be cheaper for all I know. My concern is with batteries and overland power lines v *gas* storage/production and power beaming. Cars and planes are not a big issue here, special problems to solve obviously. But the overall H situation will have an impact here too.

    The main problem starts with the grid, a fixed 60 Hz slug of metal that goes all together, down. Power beaming is point to point, with the path variable so that it seems to be everywhere, at just the needed strength. Crucial for our future. I live in Texas. This removes the need for grid batteries, as does the piping of a gas. Both together then are ready for Space Solar, as the first power beams will be Earth to Earth, redirectors the only things in Space. (more)

  30. With the advent of airbags 10 & 2 has fallen out of favor with many sources in favor of 8 & 4. Apparently 10 & 2 can lead to broken thumbs and other injuries like punching yourself in the face when the airbag goes off.

  31. Here in Brazil we have had natural-gas vehicles going near twenty years. They're nice enough if you don't have to climb a lot of hills; I think just about all taxis in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo should be CH4-powered to this day, since (at the time when I had a car) it cost about half as much as gasoline to run the same distance.

    I don't think we ever heard it being touted as green, but on the other hand it's certainly a present-day technology: all the R&D has been done.

  32. I'm not dismissing it out of hand. Battery power wasn't ready for prime time back then either, but it's come a long ways.

    Until hydrogen moves away from natural gas as source, it seems straightforward that natural gas is better than hydrogen as a fuel source for vehicles. First, natural gas by definition is cheaper than hydrogen since you skip a processing step. Also the engines are a simple modification from well-proven existing gasoline engines, and it's easier to store and transport natural gas. But NGV's haven't caught on either, so hydrogen has to be further from practicality.

    What's the cost for a hydrogen fuel stack and tank for a passenger vehicle today? Car companies don't like to give out that information, we don't even know if they're making money yet on the limited FCV sales so far.

    Also, you come here repeatedly touting hydrogen as a way to increase range, yet the best vehicle on the market for range (Hyundai Nexo) has a range less than the Tesla you want to "fix" with hydrogen.

  33. That certainly settles the issue. No need for further thought. The past always determines the present. Deterministically.

  34. I bet on O'Neill and Janov in 1977. My picks are far better than yours. Far earlier, too. Am I right about H? Long term certainly. Liquid H cooled superconducting drive trains anyone?

  35. I got caught up in the hydrogen hype years ago, and lost a bunch of money in stocks because I didn't listen to the negativity. Turns out the negativity was well-founded reality.

    I still think natural-gas vehicles could be done economically and with less pollution than gasoline, I wish those vehicles would have taken off. It also skips the step of converting natural gas to hydrogen, since 95% of all commercially available hydrogen comes from natural gas.

    But it's clear now that electric is the future. You can't fight it.

  36. If it's not licensed for the road, you can avoid at least some of those fees. But yes, I'm not planning to retire that way.

  37. H as in Hydrogen? That's so 2003. GM went bankrupt, in part because they poured so much money into hydrogen research and had nothing to show for it.

  38. The trailer idea might be something you could rent if you're doing a National Park trip across Utah & Arizona & don't ever want to hit a city. Otherwise it's pretty much totally unnecessary. Yes there are a few places you want to plan ahead, but same thing with a gas-powered car.

  39. Why would you ever want to go over 500 miles on a charge? What ICE allows you to do that today?
    The Porsche Taycan (electric) goes 227 miles on a charge, the Porsche Cayman (gasoline) goes 340 miles on a full tank, I don't hear anybody having range anxiety with the Cayman (I had to search a bit for those specs and do some math, as nobody cares if you can't go 350 miles on a gas engine).

    With the Tesla charging stations, you can grab a quick bite to eat and the vehicle will be back to 90%. No Big Deal.

  40. I suppose it could work if the steering response is non-linear. You'd only be having trouble with very sharp turns, which you only do at low speed anyway.

    But it seems upside down; Normally you're at 10 and 2, this steering wheel looks like it demands you be at 8 and 4.

    If you look at a airplane steering yoke, you can see what I mean:

  41. Looks kinda reminiscent of a black panther, or maybe the main character's dragon in the "How to Train Your Dragon" movies, especially those headlights.

  42. Risky, very risky, but you might be right.

    Then again, another consideration is, in the US, capital gains on this would not be 15% or even 20% (plus 3.8% for Obamacare or NIIT, if you are, say, married filing jointly with taxable income over 250k).

    The sale would be deemed to be of a collectible, which means 28% (and you would still get hit with the 3.8% NIIT, more than likely if you are playing around with items like this, so about a third of what you eventually sell it for will go directly to Federal income taxes.

    Then, in all but a few states, it not only get taxed, it gets taxed as income. This ranges from 0% in a few states, up to 13.3% in California (so you could be losing over 45% to taxes when you sell it).

    Bear in mind, too, that there are lots of other taxes associated with cars (and almost everything, for that matter) beyond just income tax and capital gains. Often, politicians try to hide these with euphemisms like duties, fees, permits, fines, assessments, inspections, licenses, and use-taxes, to name a few. Good luck. This might be part of why people investing collectibles tend towards paintings and such.

    Also, as earned income (wages and such) continues to drop, relative to unearned income (investments and such) as a percentage of all income, it would make it quite likely that tax rates on capital gains could go up considerably over the next thirty years. I believe I heard our new president is already pressing for 39.6% capital gains tax on high earners.

  43. Um… your steering wheel is missing the top half. You know the part where you hold it at the ten and two position? The part that helps you go hand over hand when turn the wheel? Or is the wheel just a cosmetic afterthought at this point, and this is really just a robot car that drives itself?

  44. Regarding the range:

    Average range of ICE cars is 350 miles. My car goes about 400 miles. I only fill up the tank once a week maximum.

    For roadtrips in holidays, I usually do this:

    • Start driving at 3 AM to 7:30 AM, drive about 300 miles.
    • Breakfast 7:30 AM – 8:15 (avoiding rush hour)
    • Drive 8:15 – 12:30, drive about 300 miles again if lucky
    • Lunch 12:30 – 13:15
    • Drive 13:15 – 18:00, drive about 300 miles again
    • Dinner 18:00 – 19:00
    • Drive last part.

    If I see this correctly, you could do this with a 400 mile range car + fast charging + having enough charger options along the route.
    Now, consider that charging infrastructure will increase significantly in terms of options and power per charger in the next 2-3 years. The life of a car is about 30 years. Having a 520 mile car might make sense the next 2 years with the relatively low charging infrastructure in the US in some places, but after that 400 miles is plenty. You'd probably never ever use those last 400 miles, bit of a pitty of the batteries…

    Also, the above would be even more doable if there is traffic along the way.

    Could it be that Tesla chose not to bring the 520 miles to production, due to the battery shortage? They might be happier selling 25% more 400-mile cars than 520-mile cars. Especially since those 400-mile cars will probably take a lot of options (super rich customers), including the high-margin Autopilot.
    Now, if batteries are not the bottleneck, they could bring the 520 to production.

  45. Could it be that Tesla chose not to bring the 520 miles to production, due to the battery shortage?
    They probably make more by selling more vehicles.
    They probably realize that if they add the 520 miles option, about 90% will upgrade to 520 miles, since these are non-cash constraint customers.

    They might be thinking:

    • Let's sell 25% more 400 mile cars, than have the option of a 500 mile car.
  46. Range extension needs are being handled by H, trucking industry, esp self driving, for obvious reasons. Switch to H.

  47. Some car reviewer pointed out the battery EVs seem heavy in steering. Good as dragsters, tho. Replace most of the batteries with a fuel cell that can recharge a little more than the normal continuous use, and a tank. The size over the *use* can balance to provide as much acceleration and uphill extra as desired,as can the number of batteries. Drive it in Calif until the rest of the world wakes up to H. Musk can still make all battery versions too.

  48. Bit of a rich man's toy, it's not remotely within the reach of the average person. Still, a very nice car.

  49. That would NOT be an improvement, given the low density of H2 storage, and the basically total lack of H2 distribution infrastructure.

  50. It's more range than I've ever gotten from an IC car. I don't see how you can complain about range like that, though there are still areas of the country you'd have to avoid, or at least very carefully manage your charging stops.

    I still think that the idea accessory would be a trailer, roughly the size of a popup camper, that included a large fuel tank, genset, and added cargo space. It could function as a range extender for long road trips, and an emergency generator for your car.

    That's the sort of thing I'd want, if I was going to rely on an electric car for all my driving needs.

  51. 390 mile range for a car as large, heavy, and powerful as this is pretty impressive.

  52. Lucid has been around for 15 years–almost as long as Tesla–and has yet to make a car. Easy to make a car luxurious when it's pure vaporware.

  53. This was a big "meh".

    The range is so and so for 130k USD. And the gadgets, wireless charging… That's a nice to have, but nothing game changing.

    What I find a bit disappointing is that Tesla did not use the fact that the Plaid will stick with 18650 to increase the range. Presumably, the model 3 and Y in production will stay with 2170 cells. New models – the Y and the cybertruck – will use 4680 cells. So there should be a lot of 18650 "left over", which would allow to boost the pack size by, say, 30%? To reach over 500 miles? And how about getting more suppliers for 18650 batteries?

    And this begs the question: When is Tesla going to give the consumer the range that they would like? We know they could…

  54. I'd love for Lucid air to do just that, but I don't think that their cars will be available any time soon in volume. It's difficult to build production capacity and ramp production, much more difficult than building the car. If it takes Tesla a couple of years to build a factory and reach decent volume, how long will it take Lucid air? Lucid Air is much less experienced in production…

  55. Wait till Lucid air start churning out their luxurious cars, their starting point is even more advanced.

  56. That Knight Rider style steering wheel is going to be polarizing for drivers. I would like it though…

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