Tesla makes their vehicles more affordable in regions around the world
Not a Tesla App
Tesla dropped prices on all models in several countries, which should not be surprising. It's unlikely it has anything to do with the company's plummeting value on the stock market, a perceived lower demand, or an effort to qualify for tax credits. Tesla's entire price drop game plan was forecast just a few days ago by a Tesla executive in China.
Tesla does not have a communications department. All the company information comes from its website, social media accounts or Elon Musk's Twitter account. That's why it was worth finding a translation of a rare interview a Tesla vice president gave to the media in China on January 9, 2023.
When Tesla Executives Speak, You Should Listen
Tao Lin spoke to reporters just days after Tesla dropped the prices in China. Her answers provided reasons behind the lower prices, not only in China but worldwide. "Some media said that we lowered the price because we couldn't sell anymore. I think it's really nonsense," Lin said. "I personally think that the price adjustment reflects our better planning for the supply chain in a sense, and what level the vehicle cost will be, and then we make such adjustments according to this estimate."
Lin then explained, "The price adjustment of a product is actually a forecast of the company's cost changes in the next period of time. The biggest difference between 2023 and last year is that the epidemic has basically passed. We believe that the supply chain has returned to normal to a large extent, and there will be no such unpredictable shortages of materials as in previous years, which brought cost uncertainty."
Tesla Supply Chain Certainty Indicated in Q3
During the third quarter earnings call, Musk spoke about supply chain issues that had hampered production during the pandemic. But he also discussed how the company had advanced in other areas and was optimistic about future production. "What we are seeing is practical improvements as we redesign the whole supply chain and all of the elements that go into a battery cell. We're figuring out dramatic efficiencies."
Zachary Kirkhorn, Tesla's Chief Financial Officer, answered a question about the Inflation Reduction Act during that same earnings call. There were not many details available at that time. Still, he stated, "it's difficult to fully determine the eligibility criteria, but we believe Tesla is very well-positioned to capture a significant share of that for solar storage and also electric vehicles."
Tesla's Transparency is the Problem
Some customers in China who bought a Tesla just before the price cut were furious. That's likely to be the case in other countries as well. However, consumers need to remember that Tesla is a direct sales model. How quickly everyone forgets auto dealers have been changing prices for decades.
Lin gave this example, "for a traditional car, everyone buys it at a different price at a dealer, so you don't really know whether the price you bought is the lowest or not, and you don't know what price other people are buying. Is it fair to consumers?"
Tesla has not only changed the automotive industry by making electric vehicles a viable product, but it also changed how people buy cars. "We adopted some relatively new concepts, such as the direct sales model, such as price adjustment strategies, and we hope to gradually make everyone feel that these concepts are feasible. Under the direct sales model, the prices are completely open and transparent, without discounts or price increases, and everyone is the same at the same time."
Price Reductions in the U.S.
We suspected these price cuts were coming as the EV tax credit in the US listed all Model 3s and Model Ys as qualifying for the tax credit. All variations of the Model Y now qualify for the $7,500 tax credit in the US.
The price cuts also affect many countries around the world such as Spain, France and Portugal. Although the reduced pricing of the Model S and Model X appears to be limited.
Below is a list of the new and previous prices of all Teslas models in the US and the percentage changed.
Model 3 RWD
Model 3 Performance
Model Y Long Range
Model Y Performance
Model S Plaid
Model X Plaid
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Tesla is implementing a new hazard light pattern that improves drivers' attention
Emergency Safety Solutions
Tesla is rolling out a significant safety enhancement through a software update. Teslas, already the safest vehicles on the planet, got a little safer thanks to a small company based in Texas. While this article will highlight the advancement in safety, it will also applaud the work of Emergency Safety Solutions, which dared to challenge the old way of doing things.
Overnight Evolution: The Game Changer
Tesla North America didn't mince words when they announced: "If an airbag is deployed, hazard lights will automatically activate & flash faster to improve visibility." Elon Musk added, "New Tesla safety feature uploaded via over-the-air software update. Your car just got better while you slept."
It got much better thanks to a partnership with Emergency Safety Solutions (ESS), which we spotlighted a year ago. The small company, now just five years old, used a Tesla Model 3 to display its advancements in the hazard lights system, which had remained unchanged for more than 70 years. After numerous studies, the company changed everything about the hazard lights and approached Tesla with its findings.
Chilling Frequency: Every seven minutes, a disabled vehicle is involved in a crash on American roads. The result? An alarming 15,000 injuries or fatalities annually.
Ancient Flaws: The primary culprit behind these startling figures is a hazard light system that hasn't been updated in over seven decades.
The Solution: A frequency shift by adjusting flash frequencies from the sluggish 1.5Hz system to between 4Hz and 6Hz immensely heightens driver alertness. Hertz is a unit of frequency, which equals the number of cycles per second. In this case, the frequency of flashing lights is increased from 1.5 flashes per second, up to 4 - 6 flashes per second.
Real-World Outcomes: When 5Hz flash frequency was tested, drivers reacted a crucial 12 seconds faster. Moreover, they recognized an issue of more than three football fields sooner than the 70-year version. The number of drivers shifting to the safer side of a disabled vehicle also shot up dramatically — from 30% to an impressive 87%.
Emergency Safety Solutions also posted on X: "Great step toward making our roads safer for people in disabled and vulnerable vehicles! We appreciate our partnership with Tesla and applaud this major milestone in our mission to protect drivers when they need it most."
Tesla states in their post on X that this update is rolling out now in the U.S. to Model 3/Y vehicles and newer Model S and Xs.
It's more likely that H.E.L.P. is implemented in update 2023.38, but we have yet to receive release notes for vehicles in the U.S., so we'll have to wait and see if this enhancement made it in.
More H.E.L.P. to Come
Keep an eye out for even more safety advancements courtesy of this partnership with ESS and Tesla. The company created the Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol or HELP. Beyond the lightning-fast flashes, HELP seamlessly integrates with in-car and phone navigation systems, giving drivers a heads-up about potential hazards before they become visible. It's like giving your Tesla a sixth sense.
Unfortunately, that will take longer as it would require more automakers to get on board with this new system. However, as we've realized, automakers are following Tesla's leadership on several fronts, and they may also increase road safety and implement the advanced system.
If an airbag is deployed, hazard lights will automatically activate & flash faster to improve visibility
It's not a good day to be named Max and work at Tesla or on the security team assigned to the Cybertruck. You can't help but wonder how a daring individual found himself in the driver's seat of this highly anticipated vehicle. This perpetrator spoke in Russian and joked that a bag in the truck belonged to Elon Musk before zooming in to a name tag reading "Max."
While we certainly don't condone breaking the law, we were provided with a risky reveal of the Cybertruck's interior courtesy of a mysterious and perhaps too-bold-for-his-own-good infiltrator.
The video is less than a minute long but provides new information, notably on the updated user interface (UI). For weeks we've had Cybertruck sightings, but this is our best look at the Cybertruck's display.
Updated Icons and Font
The UI appears designed specifically for the Cybertruck; icons possess subtle sharp edges, mirroring Cybertruck's angular aesthetics. This design philosophy also extends to the unique font choice, giving the UI a rugged, distinct look.
A further advancement is the seamless transition between vehicle visualization and maps. The once-clear partition is a fading background, allowing for a more unified appearance. This unity is further emphasized with the vehicle now being depicted atop a 3D polygon terrain, which has been discovered before in firmware updates.
Icon Placement Changes
One of the first distinctions users would notice is the transition from horizontal app icons. This design has been the hallmark of previous Tesla models, to a vertical arrangement along the lefthand side of the screen.
The vehicle control icon is at the bottom, followed by climate controls and other apps. The gear indicator has evolved, too, switching from its usual horizontal layout to a vertical orientation in the screen's top left portion.
A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI
The status icons, such as time, temperature, Tesla profile used to grace the top of the display, but they have now been realigned to the left side and can now be found directly above the vehicle visualization.
Cameras, Front Camera Confirmed
Another intriguing update revolves around the Camera app. Where previously users had to decipher camera views, they are now labeled for convenience, as showcased in the video with marked "Left" and "Front" camera views. Yes, there is a front camera view, finally answering the question of Tesla introducing the front bumper camera. We previously had a look at how we expect Tesla's updated Camera app to work with the front bumper camera.
One of the standout features in the video is the battery display. Gone are the traditional battery icons. Instead, we are introduced to slanted lines, each symbolizing 10% of the battery charge. This visual representation is intuitive and integrates with the Cybertruck's angular design.
Music Mini Player?
Beneath the vehicle visualization is what appears to be a minuscule music control feature, though its precise functionality remains uncertain from the short video clip.
Inside the Cybertruck: More than Just a Fresh UI
Ambient Lighting: Drawing inspiration from the latest Model 3 Refresh and the Chinese Model Y, the Cybertruck incorporates a colorful ambient lighting strip. Strategically placed, this lighting adds a modern aura to the vehicle's groundbreaking design.
Interior Layout and Accessories: The video takes us on a mini-tour of the truck's interior, revealing several intriguing features:
Hexagonal Design Elements: Keeping in line with Cybertruck's geometric aesthetic, the backup camera icon flaunts a hexagonal design, intriguingly contrasting the octagonal design found on the cupholders.
Center Console: A spacious tray area reminiscent of the old Model S finds a home between the front seats. Decked with some wires and a yet-to-be-identified document, the console boasts "cyber cupholders" with an octagonal design. Furthermore, it's equipped with dual phone charging spots right in front of the cupholders.
Sun Visor: The video briefly showcases the two-stage sun visor, which resembles the one found in the Model X. The video provides a glimpse of the massive glass roof, promising a panoramic view that will undoubtedly make the interior feel even more expansive.
Rear Window View: A feature with many talking is the clear view through the back window. Although the video offers only a short glimpse, obstructed by tires placed in the truck's bed, it's evident that when the cover is open, drivers and passengers will benefit from an expansive, unobstructed view.
As one viewer pointed out, this video will probably be used for evidence one day. Whoever was in the Cybertruck owes Max an apology, and poor Max needs to remember to lock the door.
Video reveals the Cybertruck’s UI
- apps are along the left side - status bar icons like time and temp are above the vehicle visualization - smaller nav search icon - gradient between the visualizations and map
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