Can You Upgrade the Range on a Tesla? Options Explained

To be sure, Engadget noted in 2020 that Tesla was supposed to roll out software updates that would increase range. But, as of the time I’m posting this article, those updates have yet to show up. So, I’m afraid you’ll need to hold off on the excitement for the time being.

You can upgrade the range on a Tesla by up to 15%. It can cost up to $9,500 for a software upgrade to full capacity. All Tesla models have the same battery sizes (in their respective categories). The only difference is that the lower cost models are constrained by software to have access to a limited amount of power.

Right now, your only real option to upgrade your Tesla’s range is to buy a model that supports the longer-range you want. 

Battery Range Increases Via Software Updates

I mentioned the 2020 Engadget article on the software update that will supposedly increase your Tesla’s range. However, this is mainly because the update would more accurately reflect the car’s battery capacity.

Note that these updates would affect only some of the 2021 Model 3 and Model Y vehicles fitted with higher capacity battery packs. 

Although the software update I talked about can unlock some of your vehicle’s unused battery capacity or make it more energy-efficient (thereby seeming to marginally increase the range), it doesn’t, strictly speaking, upgrade your vehicle’s range.

Tesla-Range-Increase

Fun Fact

You can install a long-range battery on your Tesla and install a front motor to extend the range, but this isn’t practical for a few reasons: 

  • You’ll need to get hardware upgrades from independent EV repair shops, which can void your warranty. 
  • Very few independent EV repair shops can do the hardware upgrade to extend your range. Even if you can find one that claims to do this, you should be very careful. Again, if your Tesla gets damaged due to a faulty installation or upgrade, your warranty will get voided. 
  • The costs of a replacement long-range battery pack are pretty high.

Statistic 

In 2020, a Tesla software update that disabled the passenger face vent when there’s no passenger in the vehicle resulted in reduced energy consumption. This affected the range of select Model X and Model S cars as follows:

ModelInitial rangeFinal rangeRange increase
Model X328 miles (528 km)351 miles (565 km)33 miles (53 km)
Model S373 miles (600 km)390 miles (638 km)17 miles (27 km)
This table shows the range increases in Teslas after Tesla 2020.4 update.

Did You Know?

Tesla has several safeguards to prevent overcharging and complete battery drain. You’ll find some people suggesting that — to increase your vehicle’s range — you should adjust the power management settings to allow the battery to charge up to 100 percent from the current 90%. 

However, there are downsides to that.

Below is a YouTube video explaining how the above technique reduces your Tesla battery’s longevity and efficiency: 

Possible Ways To Extend Your Tesla’s Range

Tesla provides some helpful tips you can follow to extend your car’s range without any software or hardware upgrades. Let’s go through some of them below. 

Use the Energy App

The Tesla Energy app analyzes your driving habits and provides insight into your car’s charging needs. You can access this app from your vehicle’s touchscreen by tapping the energy icon. With it, you can have a better idea of your car’s charging needs, boosting energy efficiency and battery life. 

White-Tesla-Model-3-Charging

As an added resource to this article, I wrote a related post called: How Many Miles Can You Go in a Tesla? Find out how accurate the range estimates are and how long Teslas actually last.

Adjust Your Driving Style

Your driving style has a significant impact on your Tesla’s range. 

If you want to drive your Tesla in a way that increases its range, you should: 

  • Avoid high driving speeds.
  • Avoid stop-and-go driving.
  • Minimize uphill driving.
  • Avoid driving in cold weather, rain, or headwinds.

Adopt Sound Charging Habits

Sound charging practices can enhance your vehicle’s battery life and boost its range. Here are some handy pointers to keep in mind. 

  • Charge your battery regularly using low-voltage chargers.
  • Only use DC fast charging when going on long trips.
  • Don’t extend the preset battery charging limits.

Other Tips

Aside from the above, you can also: 

  • Lighten your Tesla’s load and remove unnecessary weight or cargo.
  • Take the rear racks or roof racks off when you’re not using them.
  • Close all windows while driving to reduce aerodynamic drag.
  • Change your air suspension to low or very low when driving at high speeds.

As an added bonus to this article, I’ve created this easy-to-use charging calculator. Simply input your model, charging wattage, and charging percentage, and you will get the estimated time it will take to charge a Tesla in terms of hours. You can play around with numbers a bit just to see how charging time changes:

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Tesla Charging Calculator (Time):

Estimated Time It Takes To Charge Your Tesla

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Possible To Upgrade to a Larger Battery Capacity?

Tesla will only install a larger battery if your current pack dies under warranty, as they only have a larger pack as a replacement. A replacement pack from independent EV repair shops is very costly.

Why Is My Estimated Battery Range Less Than Expected After Charging?

The estimated range reduces over time depending on the battery’s age, how often you use a supercharger, and driving style. The range decreases slightly in the first few months before leveling off. 


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Erwin Meyer
Erwin Meyer

Thanks for visiting evspeedy.com. The goal of this site is to be a helpful resource for Tesla and EV owners as this is where my passion lies. I was a TSLA shareholder before the hype and still am. I also believe in Tesla’s speedy mission to accelerate the world to a sustainable future.