If you read the new Tesla Roadster announcement Annika wrote about earlier today, you already know about the “Ludicrous mode” and how Elon wants to have one in the new Roadster a few years from now. Well, Tesla wants to enable a Ludicrous mode in current version Model S, too.
They’ve done this by designing a new electronic fuse for the battery which enables the pack to output 1500 Amps instead of 1300. Tesla’s electronic fuse monitors the current used at a millisecond level and reversibly cuts it when it reaches 1500 Amps, instead of melting down like a regular one. Well, this is not something very new, as 99% of homes already have this kind of technology implemented in their mains circuit. But to have that in cars is a bit more complicated – engineers who ever played with power transistors and controllers know what I’m talking about.
Also, the main pack contactor has been upgraded to use a new space-grade alloy named “inconel”, instead of steel, to bear the extra current passing through without heating up (too much) and also being able to switch.
Getting back to the Ludicrous mode, this increase in current allows for a new 0 to 60 time: 2.8 seconds. However, Musk has been kind enough to let us know that they’ll be planning even better acceleration for the upcoming Roadster.
Everything has a cost, though. Enabling this option in new cars would take an extra $10k out of owners’ pocket, and retrofitting a used Model S would only take $5k plus labor, and only during the next six months.
Other good news from Elon was that you’ll be able to upgrade the battery pack to 90 kWh and that they’ll be increasing its capacity by 5% each year. He even honestly recommends people not to take the upgrade unless they really need the extra range – something to be appreciated.
You can read his blog post here.