And it comes from improved efficiency alone.
Tesla Model Y customers are about to get a nice bump in range as a new software update rolls out to the company's North American fleet.
As we reported recently, the Y's stablemate, the Tesla Model 3 sedan, just got an increase in range thanks to some revised tuning that boosts the efficiency of the electric drive motors. Those same changes are heading to the Model Y as well, leading to a full 326 miles of range for the Long Range model - up from 315. That change has already been reflected on Tesla's official website.
The release notes for software update 2020.40.7 note that the "car's range has increased with new software that improves the efficiency of the motors and the climate control systems," without going into more detail on how it accomplishes the feat.
Of course, Tesla owners are no strangers to the power of the company's over-the-air software updates. Notable past updates have expanded functionality of the in-car infotainment system, added range, introduced new self-driving features, and even improved vehicle performance. The Tesla Model Y has a leg up when it comes to cold weather efficiency thanks to its ingenious "heat pump" system.
The Model Y's heat pump lessens the vehicles reliance on the relatively inefficient resistive heating elements by using the air-conditioning system to supplement some cabin heat by essentially running in reverse. It uses the refrigerant to capture heat from the atmosphere and pump it into the cabin, and while it may sound like witchcraft, it actually works, achieving a significant improvement in HVAC efficiency.
That same heat pump system is reportedly making its way to the Tesla Model 3 in the near future, which makes sense given that the two vehicles share a common platform. It wouldn't surprise us if the heat pump subsequently made its way to every car in the Tesla lineup, although that will likely require substantially more time.