Prediction: Model S/X production will switch to design refresh version on ~25 Jun and the switch will be announced on ~18 Jul 2019

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Love

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So how many > 300 mile trips do you take per year?
Probably no more than 4.
I think what @SalisburySam is eluding to is that 325 miles of range does not net you 325 miles of range due to weather conditions, road conditions, internal air conditioning, etc.

On a trip back from Seattle with a friend in a P85 Model S, we had to hit every single Supercharger on the route due to freezing temps, speed, trying not to freeze inside! We effectively lost half of our charge to anything but driving.

So in the example that's been used already of 300, that's now 150. It would be nice to see that improve... either by increasing the max from 300, or by making efficiency breakthroughs in the other areas so that 300 = 300.

I'd actually like to see both things take place, and have a car capable of ...example: 450 getting me 425 or close. The future is coming, these things will happen! :)
 
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slacker775

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Way back when, I was originally shooting for the 35k M3 with the ~220 miles of range. My longest drive tends to be round trippers to Orlando which winds up being ~220 miles all told. Having gone LR, I can charge to 100% - or maybe just in the ball park - and have enough to get there and back without having to worry about charging. Since I make that trek perhaps 20 times a year, plus a lot of stuff around the bay area, having that extra range is really nice. If I really had to, I could make do w/ 220-250 miles of range, but 300ish really does seem to hit a sweet spot. If I had 500 miles of range, that'd be nice and convenient. I wouldn't charge as often, I could get all the way to Miami without having to charge, but by-and-large, wouldn't really change my overall experience and happiness. Only 200 miles and there would be more occurrences of range anxiety, more hunting for charge stations on my route, ultimately just more occasions where charging would 'get in the way' of life and that wouldn't be awesome. I only have to take bio breaks so often!
 
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John

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In a discussion like this people tend to focus on the ideal. "More range would be much better. I want more range. They should provide more range."

They also dwell more on bad events (being stuck on the side of the road, scrambling for charging, being late) than to more more frequent good ones (my car is full every morning).

We say we want it all, but in practice, that stuff costs money, people make trade-offs, and they buy what they can afford given their priorities.

Would you agree to sit in a parking lot reading or checking email for four hours in exchange for a week-long, all expenses-paid vacation?

In the rest of our lives, we intuitively know that shooting for the ideal in any one area of our lives is expensive, and that we have other expenses that compete for our dollars. We purchase "good enough for me for this."

You'll find a fair number of folks on this forum who gladly spend over $2000-8000 to try to preserve the brand new look of their cars, because that's a huge deal for them, effectively a hobby. For other people, the $55 paint touch-up kit (fix it after it happens) is a more practical option. But the vast majority of people just try to keep their car reasonably clean and live with the rock chips and scratches so that they can spend their money on other things.
 
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garsh

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no word on adding a heat pump to better handle the cold temps and not affect range as significantly?
No. I'm a little surprised at that too. I always believed that a heat pump didn't require much more hardware than an air conditioner, and therefore would be a preferred choice for heating an EV. But there are probably reasons that I don't understand that make it too difficult to implement - plus, you'd still need a resistive heater when temps get too low for a heatpump, so maybe that's why it wasn't worth developing for Tesla.
 
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Feathermerchant

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To go from A/C to heat pump requires a reversing valve and a lot of other engineering to be sure liquid refrigerant does not enter the compressor. It may require larger condenser and/or evaporator.
The heat exchanger that cools the coolant would then also have to heat it and may need to be replaced.
With a heat pump there can be frost on the outdoor coil and that is normally defrosted by operating in cooling mode with no airflow. So more engineering and software.
 
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garsh

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The heat exchanger that cools the coolant would then also have to heat it and may need to be replaced.
@Ingineer provides a tour of the Model 3's cooling system in this video. He also shows the cabin AC system starting at about 4:20.

Given the incredible engineering that went into the main cooling system (which can also heat), Tesla should have all of the expertise needed to design an appropriate heat pump. They probably just had better things for that team to work on (like battery/inverter/motor/computer cooling/heating for Model Y/pickup/semi/roadster etc.).

 
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MelindaV

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@Ingineer provides a tour of the Model 3's cooling system in this video. He also shows the cabin AC system starting at about 4:20.

Given the incredible engineering that went into the main cooling system (which can also heat), Tesla should have all of the expertise needed to design an appropriate heat pump. They probably just had better things for that team to work on (like battery/inverter/motor/computer cooling/heating for Model Y/pickup/semi/roadster etc.).

and already in the works...
Tesla US Patent Application 20190070924 said:
...In order to overcome the above-described shortcomings, among other shortcomings, a first embodiment of the present disclosure is directed towards a vehicle thermal management system that includes a vehicle heat pump system, a battery system coolant loop, a drive train coolant loop, a coolant circulation system, and control electronics. The vehicle heat pump system includes a compressor, a cabin condenser, a cabin evaporator, a cabin blower, and a chiller. The battery system coolant loop is in thermal communication with a battery system. The drive train coolant loop is in thermal communication with at least one drive train component. The coolant circulation system is configured to selectively cause the battery system coolant loop and the drive train coolant loop to be in thermal communication with the chiller. The control electronics are configured to, based upon at least an ambient temperature, a cabin temperature and a battery system temperature, control the coolant circulation system, and control at least one of the compressor or the cabin blower to operate in one of an efficient mode and a lossy mode, wherein in the lossy mode the compressor generates a greater amount of heat than when in the efficient mode.

https://patents.justia.com/patent/20190070924
 
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Flatsix911

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I predict the following timeline for Model S/X design refresh:

Around 25 Jun 2019, Model S/X production will switch to the refreshed design
Around 18 Jul 2019, Tesla will announce that they have made the switch

Other details and commentary:
  • New Model S/X will support Supercharger V3
  • New Model S/X will have Track Mode
  • Model S/X design refresh will include Model 3 style center console + touchscreen + air vents
  • The new horizontal touchscreen in Model S/X will be dead center between the front seats just like Model 3. This has the following advantages:
    • Passengers can watch movies too
    • When driverless FSD is supported, passengers can see navigation, time left to destination, music playlist etc on the screen
    • There won't be any need to create a vertical version of the firmware just for the low volume Model S/X. After the Model Y, Model S/X sales will drop to below 10% of Tesla sales.
    • There is no need to create a different version for right-hand-drive cars when the screen is exactly in the center
  • To reduce complains about S/X screen switching from vertical to horizontal, they might mention that the horizontal screen will be better to watch movies on when they add video playback support and free Wi-Fi at Superchargers
  • The new S/X battery will use 2170 cells
  • The battery capacity will remain at 100 kWh
  • There will be a minor range increase because of weight reduction. S100D range could increase from 335 mi to 350 mi
  • I think there is now an urgency to make the switch sooner rather than later because Model S/X not supporting Supercharger V3 is like a slap in the face to new S/X buyers.
  • I'm 80% sure of the timing. This is related to Tesla's quarterly production calendar. In the last few days of June, they will start making EU cars that will be delivered in Sep. Therefore if the switch is to happen in Q3, production must switch in the last few days of June. I don't know the exact date. Therefore I wrote around 25 June 2019. It could be 24 June or 26 June but I think it will be the last few days of June because as soon as it's too late to deliver cars in the US at the end of each quarter, production switches from US to EU. Similarly, the announcement could happen on 17 July or 19 July. I don't know the exact date. 18 July is a best-guess. By the way, check out my other prediction here about Autopilot which turned out to be OK.

Getting closer to the Model S/X Refresh and new Model Y according to Electrek... https://electrek.co/2019/05/29/tesla-model-y-production-fremont-report/

Now CNBC reports that “several current and former employees” are saying that Tesla has chosen the Fremont factory and they have started making preparations:

“Making way for Model Y production in Fremont will require Tesla to combine Model S and Model X production into one line, according to the insiders.
These lines at the car plant take up a significant amount of floor space today, at least partly because the S and X are each made with a lot of parts.”
They referenced the fact that Tesla has recently been canceling factory tours and Musk said that it was because of “upgrades” being made to the factory.

CNBC also says that Tesla aims to start production of the refreshed versions of Model S and Model X with the new interior in September.
We took an exclusive look at the refresh in this gallery last year.
 
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garsh

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I finally got around to reading that patent.
Holy crap, this is going to be awesome!

They're not simply replacing the cabin air conditioner with a heat pump. They're integrating the cabin heating/cooling heat pump with the rest of the car's cooling system! This thing is going to be great!
  • This is going to completely replace the resistive heater. "But garsh, heat pumps don't work well at low temps!" I KNOW! Read on...
  • First, they're planning on using heat generated by the battery and drive units to help heat the cabin. Seems like a reasonable choice for efficiency, but requires great engineering to make this work.
  • Remember that battery heating trick they use on the Model 3, where they run the drive units inefficiently to generate heat? They're planning to do the same kind of thing with the cabin compressor when extra heat is needed!
  • Additionally, they're also planning on running the blower (ie - fan) in an inefficient mode to generate extra heat when needed.
Future Teslas are going to have efficient heating to/at any temperature! This is amazing. They're grabbing waste heat from just about every waste-heat-generating system available in the car!

So unlike a normal car, where the fan is connected to 12v DC and speed is controlled using resistors, Tesla is planning on having AC fans and an AC compressor, and will be adding an additional inverter (or two) to control them, just like they control the car's motors! That's the only way that they control the input current waveforms to allow switching between efficient and "inefficient" modes. I guarantee you that nobody else is developing this sort of system. This is taking the whole "superbottle" thing to the next level!
 
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Feathermerchant

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1) normal cars use waste heat to heat the cabin. Not new. Doing it with an electric car is new.
2) They could be using an inverter for the fans now but more likely PWM like other cars use.
3) Once you have the refrigerant system with reversing valve and heat exchangers in place, the rest is engineering and software.
 

garsh

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1) normal cars use waste heat to heat the cabin. Not new. Doing it with an electric car is new.
Well.... sure, that's one way to think about it.
But waste heat in a combustion vehicle is so damn plentiful and prevalent that you don't have to be very efficient at extracting it. It's a much harder approach to take in an electric car.

2) They could be using an inverter for the fans now but more likely PWM like other cars use.
The patent specifically mentions using an inverter.