We have been discussing new battery tech and other such things for a while, but I wanted to start a thread on how range could be improved in other ways not related to battery capacity. Some ideas I can think of: * Tracking distance sensors. Given that tailgating on a vehicle can get HUGE benefits for range (around 30% based on my occasional quick tests getting close to some large vehicle with my S) but also HUGE decreases in safety (that's why I only did these tests in the name of science I presume that adding distance sensors integrated with cruise control could mean very relevant highway savings. Obviously you don't want to tailgate someone to save electrons, but if you put an effective tracking system you can get within safe distance and still get some significant aero savings. Maybe this could get a 10% range increase (when used). * Better regen. Discussed in other threads, but regen is not terribly efficient. This is in part due to inherent losses in the process, but it could be improving in different ways, including having two motors (enabling a bigger range of regen), a small but highly efficient transient battery (reducing loses in the charge/discharge cycle and allowing for bigger regen currents), improvements in electronics and integration of regen with the brake pedal. I've made some math on this in other threads, and if all those problems could be solved (especially finding a small "cache" battery that doesn't add much weight but can hold the full kinetic energy from a slowdown from 60mph and that has minimal losses) one could see a 10-20% increase in city range. * Better driver guidance. This is tricky, but the color indicators in the tesla dashboard tell you how much energy you are using (or getting) and not how efficiently you are driving. For example, if you are going up a hill, it tells you are using lots of energy, but most of that energy goes into a form that's not "spent", just transferred to potential energy, so when you go down you will recover all of that. Same thing when accelerating, minus the increased loses at higher speed. So if we could have in the dashboard a good way to represent how much REAL energy you are actually "wasting"(that is, using in a non-recoverable way) per unit of distance, deducing that which will be recovered later (i.e. 100% of potential energy, 60% of kinetic energy, 0% of friction losses) you would have much better guidance on how to drive the car. In fact, maybe the whole NYT fiasco would have been avoided, since the driver would have KNOWN that accelerating and braking continuously is NOT the way to "make better use of the regen" as he stated. A driver getting more actionable info on how efficient the car is being at each instant could make a significant impact on driving habits, and on range as a result. Difficult to quantify though, but since the difference between a spirited drive and a very conscious drive seems to be significant, I would bet this can be in the high-single digits for both city and highway driving. * Non-traditional aero improvements. These include rear-view cameras (as already shown), potentially active spoilers in front of the tires, dynamic aerodynamics (e.g. a change in the front bumper shape or distance with speed, maybe some sort of diffuser on the back, a sliding wheel cover at speed - hope not, would be ugly -, tighter-fitting weatherstrips alongside each vertical panel union, etc.). These could add some highway efficiency. * Road-quality sensors allowing for an even lower ride. * More aerodynamic wheels? With most of the braking coming from regen (at least on a 4WD vehicle), brakes should be able to do with less ventilation. * Better GPS mapping. Yes, you could get some better "range" if the mapping app was optimized (optionally) for energy consumption instead of for time. Maybe the map could show both options, and clicking on the energy efficient route (which would optimize for distance and uniformity, instead of time) would switch to that route. Or maybe it could do it automatically when you select a route that is more than, say, 30% of your current charge. * Better thermal management. Can't offer suggestions to this, but I would think there's lots to do in this area (such as moving load to the batteries on the center of the pack as one arrives its destination when driving on cold weather, so the heat is concentrated on cells where it would actually last) which could somewhat improve range in cold weather. * LED headlights. Not much to gain here, but everything adds up. That's what I can think of for now. Any other crazy ideas?