Musk Pledges Enhanced Focus on Tesla After Hiring Twitter CEO; All New Hires Require Approval

By Kevin Armstrong
Musk names a Twitter CEO, allowing him to devote more time to Tesla
Musk names a Twitter CEO, allowing him to devote more time to Tesla

Elon Musk's foray into Twitter leadership has been a topic of considerable debate among Tesla's shareholders. Many have expressed concerns about the possible dilution of his focus from Tesla, the electric vehicle behemoth he has built from the ground up. With Linda Yaccarino's appointment, Musk is set to devote more time to Tesla, allaying shareholders' concerns.

Musk's Reinforced Commitment to Tesla Sparks Investor Enthusiasm

Investors have welcomed the commitment to rechannel his efforts towards Tesla. Despite Musk's extraordinary ability to manage multiple ventures, the recent downturn in Tesla's stock price had sparked calls for him to focus more on the automaker. This latest move has led to a fresh wave of optimism among investors who believe Musk's undivided attention could rejuvenate Tesla's fortunes.

Enhanced Control over Tesla's Hiring Process: Musk's New Directive

In parallel to this development, Musk has enacted a new hiring policy at Tesla. As per the new directive, all potential hires, including contractors, require his personal approval. This extends Musk's control over the operations of Tesla and, according to him, ensures that every addition to the team aligns with the company's vision and objectives.

While some see this as a potential slowdown in Tesla's hiring rate, others view it as a strategic move that could sharpen the company's focus on quality over quantity. As Musk settles back into the driver's seat at Tesla, the world will watch with bated breath to see how these developments impact the automaker's trajectory.

The recent events reaffirm Musk's determination to guide Tesla through the turbulent waters of the automotive industry. As the new era at Tesla unfolds, stakeholders can expect renewed vigor and innovative strategies to bolster the company's standing in the global EV market.

Musk's Tweet Approval Legal Battle Continues Amidst New Developments

As Musk navigates these recent changes, he also continues to face legal issues related to his Twitter activity. Musk's 2018 settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over his controversial tweets, which required all of his posts to be approved by a Tesla attorney, is still a matter of contention.

The agreement followed a turbulent period in which Musk's tweet about taking Tesla private at $420 per share led to a significant surge in the company's share price, despite funding not being secured. The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan recently upheld the requirement for Musk's tweets to be approved first by a Tesla attorney, dismissing his claims that the decree violates his First Amendment rights.

The ongoing legal battle adds another layer of complexity to Musk's leadership dynamics. While his recent decisions signal a refocusing of his energies on Tesla, his Twitter-related legal challenges underline the intertwined nature of his roles across the technology and automotive sectors.

This heightened scrutiny of his leadership comes at a pivotal moment for Tesla as it navigates a competitive EV landscape and strives to maintain its position as a global industry leader.

Tesla Introduces Most Affordable Car: Long Range RWD Model 3 with 363-Mile Range for $34,990

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has brought back the Model 3 Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive variant, which starts at $42,490. However, due to the batteries in the Long Range model, it qualifies for the $7,500 federal EV rebate. This makes this new model the cheapest model in Tesla’s lineup after the federal rebate that comes off at the point of sale.

After the federal rebate, this model is $34,990, exactly $4,000 less than the standard RWD model with the smaller LFP battery.

Improved Range

The Long Range RWD variant boasts a range of 363mi (vs 341mi for the AWD, and 272mi for the regular RWD), and a 0-60mph of 4.9sec (vs 4.2sec for the AWD). This makes the new Long Range RWD Model 3 Tesla’s longest-range economic vehicle (Model 3 / Model Y). The Model S AWD boasts an impressive 402-mile EPA estimate.

Other than the lack of a front motor for handling in rough or slippery terrain, or having a faster 0-60, the Long Range RWD is a fantastic option for most people.

It’s worth noting that only the Long Range AWD model can unlock Tesla’s Acceleration Boost, which increases power and reduces the vehicle’s 0-60 times by about half a second.

Model

Price

Price After Rebate

0-60 MPH

Range

Model 3 RWD

$38,990

-

5.8s

272mi

Model 3 LR RWD

$42,490

$34,990

4.9s

363mi

Model 3 LR AWD

$47,490

$39,990

4.2s

341mi

Model 3 Performance

$54,990

$47,490

2.9s

303mi

Availability

For now, the Model 3 Long Range RWD model is only available in the United States, with no availability in Canada.

Tesla FSD V12.5 to Combine City and Highway Stacks, Introduce Vehicle-to-Fleet Communication and More

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

As FSD V12.4.3 continues to get released to more vehicles, Elon Musk has posted that FSD V12.5 is already in testing and will include several key features.

The improvements in v12.5 are supposed to focus on rarer, more complex situations and vehicle-to-fleet communication. Tesla’s Autopilot lead, Ashok Elluswamy, also mentioned that FSD would gain the ability to go in reverse around this time.

Merge City & Highway Stacks

FSD v12 has been a multi-stack setup so far, with a city-streets stack that is end-to-end, and an older highway stack that was carried over from v11. FSD v12.5 will once again merge the city/highway stacks according to Musk, who confirmed the feature yesterday. That means that there will no longer be an implicit highway stack.

This could cause some regressions during highway driving, similar to the ones we experienced when Tesla first merged highway and city stacks back in FSD v11. Ultimately, when the issues were ironed out, we ended up with a smoother and better Autopilot experience on the highway. When FSD v12.5 rolls around, we may see some similar issues but expect FSD v12.5 to do to highways what v12 did for city driving.

Vehicle-to-Fleet Communications

Tesla’s FSD relies heavily upon maps, with the mapping information designating routing and lane changes. When vehicles encounter difficulties, they are unable to communicate that back to the rest of the fleet. This results in every vehicle encountering the same problem. With FSD V12.5, vehicles will be able to communicate road closures or other obstacles back to the rest of the fleet in real-time. This will turn FSD into software that’s constantly improving as the fleet gathers more data, instead of having to wait for a software update.

Cybertruck Finally Gets FSD

In a recent post on X, Musk also confirmed that V12.5 will finally bring FSD to the Cybertruck. Currently, all Cybertrucks only have access to Traffic Aware Cruise Control (TACC). Autopilot and FSD capabilities should arrive alongside all the other features.

Actually Smart Summon

Musk has talked quite a bit about Actually Smart Summon. With FSD 12.5, the new vision-based summon may finally be released. This will introduce Smart Summon capabilities to vision-only cars for the first time. However, it’s expected to be a drastic improvement for all vehicles in similar ways to the new Autopark. The new summon has been tied to the ability to move the vehicle in reverse by Tesla’s Autopilot lead, so expect either both of them to arrive in FSD 12.5, or be held off for a later release.

Release Date

Musk originally mentioned that FSD V12.5 would be released in late June, however, there were several delays with FSD 12.4 and that time frame has now come and gone. FSD 12.4 was initially released in May 2024, but it went through several lengthy revisions before it was introduced to public testers. Going by that time frame, it appears that FSD 12.5 was expected to be released about 4-6 weeks after FSD 12.4. If FSD 12.4.3 is finally got a good spot, we could see FSD 12.5 become available in the next 4-6 weeks or about late August.

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