A new, longer-range Model 3 could pack 100 kWh of battery capacity, and over 400 miles of range.
It was early this year, at a Tesla shareholder meeting, that CEO Elon Musk said "it [would] not be long" before the electric vehicle manufacturer had a production passenger vehicle capable of 400+ miles on a single charge. Not long after, a Tesla hacker found evidence pointing to a future Model S variant with 109 kWh of usable battery capacity.
But of course, it won't just be the Tesla Model S that delivers on Musk's 400-mile-range promise, and a new leak suggests that a new Model 3 variant with 100 kWh of battery capacity - 33% more than the current Model 3 Long Range - is in the works.
The evidence was uncovered by Tesla hacker Zeus M3 and shared on Twitter. The hacker managed to gain access to Factory Mode in a Tesla Model 3, digging up a software configuration for a car with a 100-kWh battery. The presence of the configuration suggests that such a battery has already been installed in some number of cars, although they're most likely test cars, and not saleable production examples.
Now, if this 100-kWh Model 3 delivers the same efficiency as the current Long Range variant, the car should pack about 430 miles of range per charge. In reality, the weight of the extra battery cells could offset some of the boost in capacity.
Still, delivering anywhere near that sort of range would represent a gargantuan leap; the current Model 3 Long Range is capable of just 322 miles or so on a full charge. It would also send a powerful message to the likes of Karma Automotive and Lucid Motors, both of which had hoped to snatch some market share away from Tesla by beating them to market with their own 400-mile EVs.
Tesla has not confirmed a 100-kWh Tesla Model 3 with more than 400 miles of range as of yet, but with Tesla's Battery Day 2020 presentations still on the way, an announcement could come soon.