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Tesla's 75-kWh Model S battery isn't new, it's been here the whole time*

*Apparently, Tesla's been using the larger battery since the Model S refresh rolled out, but buyers can't access its full potential without paying more.


Cheesy romantic movies tend to have some variation of the line, "You've been looking for love all over the place, when I've been right in front of you this whole time." Now, Tesla could very well say the same thing, as it's been advertising Model S sedans with 70-kWh battery capacity, despite the cars possessing 75-kWh batteries.

While Tesla only announced the 75-kWh battery option this week, the Verge reported and Tesla confirmed that it's been putting 75-kWh batteries into every refreshed Model S with a stated 70-kWh capacity. According to a Tesla spokesperson, the 70-kWh battery has been discontinued, but the Model S 70 trim will still be offered.

This might seem like deception, but it's not. Removing the 70 trim entirely would raise the price of a base Model S by $3,000 (the cost of opening up the additional capacity), and not all buyers need that range or want to spend the additional coin. Using one battery with two distinct capacity levels saves the company money, as it only has to purchase one size of battery. At any point, the owner can open up the extra range with an over-the-air update.

Note that this does not apply to Model S vehicles still rocking the original face. Those cars do, in fact, have 70-kWh batteries, so upgrading is out of the question. It should also be noted that, if you do upgrade to full battery capacity, Tesla will replace your badge the next time it's in for service.