Can You Upgrade Range On A Tesla?

Tesla has set the standard in customer interaction. Not only by developing a car powered by alternative energy but also by removing the intermediaries from the customer relationship. With no dealers adding their markup and influencing the relationship, Tesla is free to create initiatives that increase customer loyalty and lifetime value.

Model S Customers with early 40, 60, 70,75, and 80 kw/h battery packs can purchase new 90kw/h battery packs from Tesla directly. The earlier model cars are not compatible with the 100kw/h battery pack, so upgrading this electrical storage device is impossible.

In early 2001 Tesla announced that it would sell 90kw/h battery packs to Tesla model S customers who had earlier, lower capacity batteries. You can also follow specific procedures to improve the battery pack range installed in your Tesla.

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It Is Not Easy To Upgrade The Range On A Tesla

You can explore several options to extend the range of a Tesla. 

Each option revolves around the battery capacity, which is the most significant determinant that dictates the range available in a Tesla car.

Tesla Can Remotely Increase The Range Of Some cars

Many Tesla’s are fitted with capacity hardware with more capability. It is limited by software controls down to the level of performance that the customer initially paid for.

Although many customers had only paid for lower capacity battery packs, larger 75kw/h battery units were fitted to many cars.

There have been three instances when Tesla has remotely increased the capacity of customers’ cars for a short period to help them out in an emergency. Tesla achieved this by remotely transmitting a software update to vehicles in hurricane areas. The instances were:

  1. Tesla Model S and Model X customers found themselves in the path of Hurricane Michael between 06 October 2018 – 16 October 201
  2. Customers affected by Hurricane Florence between 31 August 2018 – 18 September 2018
  3. Hurricane Irma 30 August 2017 – 14 September 2017. The upgrades provide Tesla customers with up to 40 miles of additional range

The upgrades provided Tesla customers with up to 40 miles of additional range.

Did Tesla Offer This Software Update As A Paid For Feature?

When Tesla launched the 75kw/h battery, they offered an over-the-air upgrade to customers who had purchased the  60kw/h version. In 2017/18, Tesla charged $9,000 to upgrade the battery from 60kw/h to 75 kw/h.

It was not a hardware upgrade but rather a software change that unlocked the additional 15kw/h’s from the already installed 75kw/h battery.

As the difference in price between the base model 3 and the long-range model 3 is only $5,000, it was not cost-effective to purchase the increased range.

Can You Upgrade Range On A Tesla
Source: The Software Report

Tesla Will Sell 90kw/H Battery Packs To Model S Customers

Tesla has announced that they will sell a 90kw/h battery to customers with older model S cars.

The upgraded battery is only available to customers with older model S Teslas.

Tesla quotes a labor cost of $2,000 and a battery unit cost of $13,000.

Use A Third-Party Company

Once your Tesla is out of warranty, you can approach one of the few workshops around the country that are prepared to sell you a “new” used battery with a higher kw/h rating.

Three well-known organizations will repair Tesla batteries (rather than replace them) and, in some cases, can offer upgraded replacements to Tesla owners whose cars are out of warranty. These are:

  1. Gruber Motors 
  2. Electrified Garage
  3. Rich Rebuilds

Gruber Motors Has Lots Of Experience With Tesla’s

Gruber motors have been repairing Tesla cars since 2011. They have a solid reputation for providing aftermarket solutions at a much lower cost than offered by Tesla.

Gruber Motors has a process for repairing Tesla batteries that will likely save people a substantial amount of money compared to the Tesla proprietary solutions.

Electrified Garage Will Train You To Work On Your Tesla

Electrified garage offers several services to Tesla owners, which include:

  1. Performance upgrades through hardware and software changes
  2. Formal in-house training to teach people to fix their own Tesla vehicles

Rich Rebuilds Has Produced Youtube Videos

Rich rebuilds collude with Electrified Garage. He has his own YouTube channel with a subscriber base of 1.3 million people.

Rich works with Electrified Garage and recently fixed a Tesla Model 3 for just $700. Tesla had quoted $16,000 for the repair.

How Do You Extend The Range Of A Tesla?

Although it is not a formal upgrade in the range of the Tesla, there are a few behavioral things that you can implement to maximize the distance available from your existing Tesla battery.

Use The In-Car Energy App

By activating the in-car energy app, you can watch graphs showing the impact your driving style has on the range of the vehicle.

Not only does the app show the maximum possible range of the car, but it also shows the predicted range based on your driving style for the last 30 km.

It makes it very easy to make changes and immediately see an improvement in the potential range.

Avoid Frequent And Rapid Acceleration

The immediate boy racer type acceleration Tesla’s are capable of is lots of fun and can put Golf Gti’s in their place. The downside is that range goes down exponentially when you have a heavy right foot.

If you need to conserve range, then practice smooth acceleration from stops, only overtake when there is sufficient room to do so without using maximum acceleration. 

Tesla’s Have Chill Mode

It removes some of the enjoyment of driving a Tesla, but engaging chill mode limits the acceleration and instant torque released to the electric motors adding to the overall efficiency.

Keep The Air Conditioner Off

Switch off high battery draw items like the air-conditioning system. It’s not fun to drive in an uncooled car,  but it is an effective way to add distance to the vehicle if you need the extra range.

Use The Regenerative Braking Feature

The regenerative braking feature will charge the battery if you slow down using the motor’s torque effect rather than the brakes. Who wouldn’t like this? 

It takes a little practice to plan your stopping or slowing down, but it soon becomes a muscle memory action triggered by instinct.

Change the regenerative braking setting to “Standard” to maximize the regenerative braking.

Not only do you increase the available range, but you also reduce wear on the disc brakes.

Maintain Tyre Pressures

Keep your Tesla’s tire pressures at the recommended levels. It reduces tire wear, but it also reduces rolling resistance, which impacts range.


There is no official communication provided by Tesla which offers an over-the-air upgrade of the Tesla range capability. Tesla has provided an increased battery range at a very high cost in the past.

If you own a Model S Tesla, the company offers an upgrade path to a 90kw/h battery. Apart from this, the only upgrade on the range is by using the services of a third-party company that may be able to supply a reconditioned, higher-capacity battery.

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