A look at Tesla China's new referral program and how you'll earn rewards

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla revamps its referral program in China
Tesla revamps its referral program in China
@Tesla_Mania

Tesla cancelled the popular Loot Box in 2021, but the referral program may return. Tesla used Weibo to announce the launch of a new program in China — Treasure Box.

The post encourages Tesla owners to recommend the product to friends for the opportunity to open the Treasure Box and win prizes. This move comes just days after references to the new referral program were found in the latest app update.

The buyer and the person who refers them to Tesla get 3,500 credits each. A loyalty program also awards 7,000 credits to current Tesla owners when they purchase another Tesla. Twitter user @Tesla_Mania, located in Shanghai, China, has posted several screen grabs and videos of the Treasure Box.

Referral credits can be cashed in for items like a Cyber Rodeo t-shirt (1,900 credits), Cybertruck socks (1,300 credits), Cybertruck hat (1,400 credits) a Tesla tote bag (500 credits), a Tesla umbrella (2,000 credits), My First Tesla Model Y (6,000 credits), a Tesla Tumbler (1,700 credits), and TeslaMic (12,000 credits) are just a few on the list.

It appears the credits can be used for Supercharger miles as well. Referrals are also entered for annual draws with bigger prizes. These drawings will award people with a VIP Tour of Giga Shanghai, a Model 3/Y RWD for 12 months, or Full Self-Driving for 24 months.

The Treasure Box announcement comes on the same day that Tesla lowered prices and just a few days after introducing incentives to those who bought the company's insurance. Tesla is ramping up efforts in China as it's currently third in electric vehicles behind BYD Motor and SAIC-GM-Wuling.

A similar referral program may also start to show up in the North American market. Perhaps that is why there is a reference to it in the latest Tesla mobile app. As we reported, @TeslaAppUpdates iOS found some interesting code, "Okay one string that may provide some insight referral_share_sheet_refer_text': 'Use my referral link to purchase a Tesla product and get free credits you can redeem for awards like Supercharging miles, merchandise and accessories.'"

Elon Musk used his experience at X.com to reward users with cash cards for signing up and more cards for referring new users. That method translated to Tesla's referral program awarding an estimated eighty yet-to-be-produced Roadsters. The company cancelled the program more than a year ago, but if China's Treasure Box is any indication, the program will be back, albeit with smaller rewards.

Tesla Chief Designer Says His Favorite Vehicle Is Yet to Come

By Kevin Armstrong
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
The Tesla Roadster 2.0 could be Tesla's next vehicle to hit production
Tesla

Tesla's Chief Designer, Franz von Holzhausen, has designed the company's entire fleet of vehicles, but the Model S, 3, X, Y, Cybertruck and Semi are not his favorites. "My favorite one is the one that is coming.

I can't talk about (it)," von Holzhausen told CNBC. He then quickly pivoted the conversation away from that topic. Nevertheless, several rumored vehicles will be the next to carry the "T" logo. So, which one is the creative mind of Tesla referring to in his evasive answer?

Franz von Holzhausen Interview

Let's start with the suspects. A cheaper, smaller and less expensive electric vehicle has been predicted for years. More recently, there have been ideas about a van. And then there is the second generation of the highly anticipated Roadster. While von Holzhausen didn't talk about the next one, he did give some clues later in the interview. "My all-time favorite car is a '62 250 GTO (Ferrari). I mean, it is quintessential. It's an insane car. I'm also a big fan of this kind of wedge era. The early (Lamborghini) Countachs, the whole kind of flat, low sports car. Those were always the posters on my wall."

The Designer Loves Sports Cars

When a 54-year-old man reminisces about the cars featured in posters plastered on his wall when he was a kid, he is not excited about a van or a compact vehicle — no, he is excited about a sports car. The second-generation Roadster was unveiled in 2017 simultaneously with the Semi. But there hasn't been much mention of the sports car since. The company is just now delivering Semis, and Cybertrucks are expected in 2023, but the Roadster doesn't have an ETA. Or does it? The chief designer says, "… the one that is coming." So, we can only assume that the Roadster is next to hit the production line.

Tesla Roadster 2.0

A Designer Who has Changed the Industry

One of the first employees of Tesla back in 2008, von Holzhausen, recalls the early days and how things have changed. "There is a moment that I thought when I first joined Tesla that it would be great to see multiple Teslas in one drive experience around town. And now, it's hard to go anywhere without seeing a bunch of Teslas. So, it's great to see the impact that Tesla has had in people's lives but also how it's changed the industry. It really pushed this idea that an EV can be better than an internal combustion vehicle."

He also gave some insight into designing vehicles that have and continue to change the auto industry, "Tesla isn't beholden to what has been done in the past. We are always trying to push the boundaries and deliver on a promise of something fun, something enjoyable and something you would love to own and tell your friends about."

It looks like The Roadster could be the next fun, enjoyable vehicle to tell everyone about.

Tesla's 2023 Model 3 'revamp' is for cost-cutting, not a redesign

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla's revamping its Model 3 vehicle
Tesla's revamping its Model 3 vehicle
Tesla

Tesla’s gearing up for a small "revamp" of its popular Model 3 vehicle, which is set to go into production in the middle of 2023.

According to Reuters, the revamp is called “Project Highland” and aimed at lowering the production costs and increasing the Model 3’s attractiveness and not because it needs a redesign. The Model 3 was launched back in 2017, and Tesla has already sold well over 1 million of them.

According to our sources, don’t expect a design overhaul of the Model 3, though. Instead, Project Highland will focus on reducing the number of components and complexity of the Model 3’s interior.

The main goal of this Model 3 revamp is to increase manufacturing efficiencies and reduce costs. Tesla would like to get the Long Range and possibly the Performance variants of the Model 3 to qualify for the US tax incentive for 2023. Under this tax credit, manufacturers’ suggested retail price for brand-new sedans must be less than $55,000. For SUVs, trucks and vans, the maximum price is capped at $80,000.

Our previous evaluation of the vehicles that would qualify include the Model 3 RWD, Model Y Long Range (AWD), and Model Y Performance. However, this will likely change once the revamp goes into production.

Do not expect new vehicle features to be added to the Model 3, such as a rear display, air suspension, or ventilated seats. These features would raise the price of the Model 3 and create a significant overlap between the Model 3 and the refreshed Model S.

Yoke Steering Wheel

One new feature that is possible in this Model 3 revamp is the introduction of a yoke steering wheel or more likely, a wheel similar to the Tesla Semi, which has capacitive controls and no stalks. The stalks are replaced with capacitive controls on the steering wheel and touch controls on the vehicle's display. We previously reported on this rumor in August.

Redesign Rumors

A few rumors are floating around online including a redesigned front bumper and removal of door handles in exchange for touchless doors like the Cybertruck and Roadster 2.0, although our source tells us that this is cool, but not accurate.

The revamped Model 3 is likely to remain without its ultrasonic sensors, as Tesla is beginning its transition to its own Tesla Vision. This technology uses the vehicle’s onboard cameras and vast amounts of data from the neural net to function.

Over the past few years, Tesla has made significant efficiencies in the way it builds and manufactures vehicles. Recently, the Model Y switched to a single-mold front casting. This requires 169 fewer pieces and 1,600 fewer welds. To achieve this, Tesla is using its Giga Presses at its Berlin Gigafactory.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

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Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.

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