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Refreshed Tesla Model S 70 charges you to unlock more battery power

by Todd Haselton | May 5, 2016May 5, 2016 6:30 pm PST

model s 2017

You’ve heard of in-app upgrades, but what about in-car upgrades? Yep, that’s new, and Tesla’s getting it started with its refreshed Model S 70.

Check this out: you can buy a regular Model S and configure it with a 75kWh battery or a 70kWh battery, the latter of which will save you money out of the gate. But, just because you choose one battery doesn’t mean you can’t technically have the other one, and you don’t even need to trade it in for new hardware.

In fact, The Verge noticed recently that Tesla has applied a new sort of upgrade program that actually outfits the cheaper Model S 70 with the same battery as the Model S 75. You can switch from the 70kWh battery to the 75kWh battery, which is already in the car only throttled, by coughing up $3,250 for the unlock. That upgrade will allow you to travel further on a single charge (about 19 miles, The Verge said) though costs $250 more than should you have purchased it from Tesla with the 75kWh battery already active.

This is, of course, a switch from the original Tesla Model S 70, before the recent refresh, which shipped with a 70kWh battery that didn’t have an option to unlock the additional 5kWh of power. “We will continue to offer the 70kWh energy option but we will no longer produce the packs; a decision that is most efficient for Tesla and the most beneficial for our customers,” Tesla told The Verge.

So, basically, Tesla is selling the Model S 70 and the Model S 75, but both have the exact same battery, it’s just that the Model S 70 doesn’t ship with the battery operating at its full potential until you pay for it. Pretty nuts.

The Verge

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...