Elon Musk has said it before but will repeat it whenever asked. While virtually attending the B20 conference in Indonesia, Musk was asked about creating a smaller, more affordable car. The moderator suggested it be called the Model I for India or Indonesia. It’s a reoccurring question, but with competition also targeting a cheaper price point, Tesla must find a way to get there.
Musk responded to the question familiarly, “I can’t speak too much to the future of Tesla product development, except to say that we do think that making a much more affordable vehicle would make a lot of sense and we should do something.”
It’s something Tesla will have to do. Volvo’s CEO Jim Rowan told Automotive New Europe that EVs should be at price parity with gas cars in a couple of years.
The manufacturer has also teased a small EV that it sees as entry-level for consumers. It’s set a goal of producing 600,000 battery-powered vehicles by 2025. So far this year, it has made 40,500. Therefore, the new small vehicle the company is talking about would have to be a price point that would move many cars. Rowan said, “city car aimed at a younger demographic who can subscribe to it and make it their first Volvo.”
Elon Musk at the B20 Conference
Tesla has already brought down the price of producing electric vehicles, but Volvo says it can do better. Volvo said during its Capital Markets Day presentations that it plans to have battery pack costs down to less than $100 per kilowatt hour by 2025-26. A recent tear-down of the Tesla Model 3 pack, overseen by analysts from UBS bank, showed a cost of $131 per kWh.
During the third quarter earnings call, Musk said that Tesla’s new vehicle development team was already working on the next platform and would incorporate everything the company has learned from Models S, 3, X, Y, Semi and Cybertruck.
There have been rumblings of a Model 2, a vehicle that would cost around $25,000, for a few years around Tesla.
With the company having a hard time keeping up with orders for the Model 3 and Model Y, that didn’t seem necessary. However, Musk could also be alluding to the company's upcoming Robotaxi, or possibly a platform will be shared by both vehicles.
The company must address the need for a cheaper vehicle with the competition catching up and targeting areas where Tesla doesn’t currently offer products.
Tesla is getting ready to introduce WiFi garage door support to their vehicles through MyQ.
Since our article yesterday additional details have emerged about how MyQ will operate, which vehicles will be supported and whether there will be a cost to use the service. This information is based on a page that appeared briefly on MyQ's website but has since been removed.
MyQ's website stated that support for their garage door openers would be coming to the Model 3 and Model Y. While this makes a lot of sense because those vehicles don't include a HomeLink module, we'd be surprised if Tesla didn't also add support for the Model S and Model X.
Let's get cost out of the way. Although MyQ does not charge a fee today to remotely open and close their garage doors, they do plan on charging a fee to use their devices in vehicles. This could be looked at similarly to how some services are free to use on a PC but require a subscription to use on your mobile phone.
The price posted on MyQ's website was a five-year plan for $179, which is still cheaper than Tesla's $350 installation cost for HomeLink.
Unfortunately, this removes a big benefit we thought MyQ would have over buying a HomeLink module for the Model 3 or Model Y. For Model S and Model X owners who already have HomeLink included in their vehicles, it may not make as much sense.
However, MyQ does provide some advantages over HomeLink.
The good news is that MyQ integration will be very similar to HomeLink, and better in some ways. What appears to be a rendering of the feature working in a Tesla was also posted to their website which shows off a screen very similar to HomeLink.
On the MyQ settings screen, you'll have a list of supported devices on the left side, such as garage doors, gates and possibly lights, but we haven't see any evidence of the latter yet.
On the right side, you'll see options pertaining to the device selected, such as its current state, whether the garage door should auto-open or close and the distance when the device should be triggered.
You'll also be able to have the vehicle fold in its mirrors when reaching the target location.
If you've used HomeLink, this should all look very familiar since it's almost exactly the same. However, there are a couple of differences that give the advantage to MyQ.
The first is that MyQ is a smarter system and it knows the state of your garage door. So if you're arriving home and the garage door is already open, it won't try to close it on you.
The other advantage is distance. Since MyQ works over the internet you'll be able to trigger the garage door or gate from further down the driveway, giving the door plenty of time to fully open before you arrive.
MyQ supports an array of devices, but it waits to be seen whether there will be support for these additional devices such as lights and door locks.
Tesla requested more time for details to be kept confidential, and in doing so, everyone now knows something is up. A document dated November 18, 2022, appeared on Twitter on December 6. It’s from Tesla Inc. and addressed to the Federal Communications Commission. In the brief letter, Certification Engineer Cindy Li requests a 60-day extension of a previous agreement to keep a device secret. This mysterious letter set the Tesla sphere on fire with speculation to find out what is the secret device.
All we know from the letter is that model number 1541584 includes a user manual, internal photos, external photos, and test setup photos. Whatever this device is, it was going to be made public by the FCC on December 7, 2022. Tesla asked for an extension because the device will not be ready until mid-January 2023. The company wants to “avoid any unnecessary disclosure and competitive harm before our product launch…”
The poster of the letter, Twitter user @Taka87 reached out to well-known Tesla hacker @greentheonly, for some insight. The response: … something potentially major planned for mid-January which is just a bit over a month away... Like something that coincides with a sensor suite change.
That opens the door for the return of radar, which was removed last year and/or ultrasonic sensors, which Tesla just scrapped in October when it made the call to go completely with Tesla Vision. At that time, Tesla said in a statement: With today's software, this approach gives Autopilot high-definition spatial positioning, longer range visibility and the ability to identify and differentiate between objects. As with many Tesla features, our occupancy network will continue to improve rapidly over time.
There has also been a lot of speculation about HW4, where a high-resolution radar is believed to be part of the full self-driving sensor suite. HW4 goes as far back as the 2021 A.I. Day when Elon Musk said a new FSD computer would come out with the Cybertruck. This upgrade is now reportedly being developed by the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited (TSMC). It is expected to be much more powerful than the current hardware by as much as four times.
Elon has also previously commented on HD radar, saying "A very high-resolution radar would be better than pure vision, but such a radar does not exist. I mean vision with high-res radar would be better than pure vision."
An unidentified part, closely resembling a new radar was found on Tesla's Parts Catalog back in September by @GreenTheOnly. This mysterious item was marked but suspiciously not given a name, a part number or a description. However, given Green's experience with the inner workings of these vehicles, Green believes it is a new Tesla radar. In a follow-up tweet, he doubled down on his stance, saying the part matches the high-resolution radar Tesla registered with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in June.
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