Tesla Shifts Production of $25k Vehicle to Giga Texas

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's $25,000 compact car will not be similar to the Cybertruck
Tesla's $25,000 compact car will not be similar to the Cybertruck
TopElectric/YouTube

Walter Isaacson continues to make the rounds to promote his newest book, a biography of Elon Musk. The author has made podcast and morning show appearances and made some excerpts public to drive up book sales. If you've followed Musk and Tesla, there are few revelations, but some items are worth further inspection, as with some excerpts that Axios published.

Musk's ever-evolving vision for Tesla reveals a notable shift in the company's next-generation electric vehicle platform plans. Although Tesla initially announced Mexico as the production hub for its upcoming Gigafactory, recent updates suggest a change in locale to Giga Texas, occurring as recently as May.

Giga Mexico is Still on the Blueprint, but not the Hub

Musk explained this strategic shift by emphasizing the need for Tesla's design engineers close to the manufacturing hub. The proximity will enable immediate feedback, streamlining the process considerably. Musk told Isaacson, "Getting everyone to move to Mexico is never going to happen," pointing to the logistic hurdles of the initial choice.

Despite the reshuffling, the role of Giga Mexico remains central in Tesla's roadmap. The facility in Nuevo León will play a crucial part in Tesla's new EV generation. As affirmed by Nuevo León's governor, Samuel García Sepúlveda, a designated area outside Monterrey will house the production line for Tesla's $25,000 compact car, maintaining the initial agreement and showcasing the unwavering commitment to this project.

Robotaxi: Taking a Leaf from Cybertruck's Design

A fascinating revelation from Isaacson is the design inspiration for the upcoming robotaxi. Musk envisions a strong resemblance to the Cybertruck, sharing the architecture with the $25,000 compact car. However, when this bit of information was put on X.com, Musk responded: No, but Robotaxi will look like the future.

During a February design review session, Tesla chief designer Franz von Holzhausen showcased the early designs of both vehicles, winning Musk's appreciation for their futuristic, Cybertruck-inspired look. Musk highlighted the potential for people to feel like they're glimpsing into the future when they see these vehicles on the road, emphasizing their groundbreaking aesthetic.

Robotaxi Over $25,000 Car Musk's Preference

While both projects share a structural foundation, Musk's enthusiasm noticeably gravitates more toward the Robotaxi project, viewing it as the cornerstone of a transportation revolution. It's worth noting that Musk needed convincing from the Tesla team to retain a common architecture for the two projects. The CEO found the $25,000 vehicle to be less stimulating, stating, "It's really not that exciting of a product."

Despite Musk's lesser excitement for the $25,000 car, it holds its ground as a pivotal element in Tesla's portfolio, thanks to persistent advocacy from the Tesla team for a shared vehicle architecture between the two. Musk, albeit initially resistant, acknowledged the potential of harmonizing the architecture between the extraordinary and the accessible.

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Cybertruck Gets Tracks and YouTuber Tests Out Cybertruck's Bulletproof Claim [VIDEO]

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck gets tracks in this inspiring mod
Cybertruck gets tracks in this inspiring mod

A glance at X at any moment reveals a continuous stream of fresh, intriguing, and sometimes eccentric content revolving around the Cybertruck. Since its production debut in December 2023, Tesla's latest sensation has commanded attention. Cybertruck's presence grows with each new owner, spawning a flurry of YouTube videos, social media posts on X, and articles across news outlets.

Bullet Test: Adin Ross's Impact

YouTuber Adin Ross recently subjected the vehicle to gunfire, testing its ability to withstand ballistic impacts. Ross's video, which gained significant traction online, captured the Cybertruck enduring 9mm ammunition without sustaining critical damage, further validating Tesla's claims of creating an apocalypse-proof vehicle. While such extreme tests may seem unconventional, they underscore Cybertruck's reputation for toughness and resilience in challenging environments.

Thwarting Break-In Attempts

Beyond its celebrity allure, the Cybertruck has proven its practicality in real-world scenarios, demonstrating its resilience against break-in attempts. Recent incidents have highlighted the vehicle's robust construction, with its stainless steel exterior and shatter-resistant windows effectively deterring vandalism. Despite attempts to breach the vehicle's security, the Cybertruck emerged relatively unscathed, reaffirming its status as a reliable choice for safety-conscious consumers.

Snow Trax Modification

One of the most captivating developments surrounding Cybertruck is the innovative CyberTrax modification, spearheaded by automotive modification luminary Dave Sparks. With an eye for adventure and a penchant for pushing boundaries, Sparks has embarked on a project that promises to transform the Cybertruck into a snow-conquering beast. The CyberTrax modification, aimed at enhancing the vehicle's off-road capabilities, has garnered widespread attention and support, even earning recognition from Tesla itself.

Toughness on Display

The Cybertruck's durability extends beyond security features, as evidenced by its performance in road accidents. In instances of rear-end collisions, the vehicle's stainless steel exoskeleton has shown remarkable resilience, minimizing damage and ensuring occupant safety. While concerns persist regarding the lack of a traditional crumple zone, Cybertruck's design philosophy prioritizes structural integrity, providing peace of mind for drivers in unforeseen circumstances.

Celebrity Ownership Expands

The list of celebrities acquiring a Cybertruck continues to grow. Music icon, Jay-Z and Beyoncé's recent purchase of a Cybertruck, styled in a sleek matte black finish reminiscent of a Batmobile, made the roads on social media. The power couple's endorsement of the Cybertruck reinforces its status as a symbol of luxury and innovation in the automotive world. Their Cybertruck delivery came just days after Kim Kardashian lit up social media with her “Cool Car Pool Mom” post.

Range Exceeds Expectations

Edmunds put the Cybertruck to the test, equipped with all-terrain tires. The vehicle surpassed initial estimates by covering 334 miles (537km) on a single charge, outperforming advertised figures and showcasing its efficiency on the road. For more range, Tesla has a range extender available.

Ramping Up Production and Expansion

As Tesla continues to ramp up production of the Cybertruck, anticipation grows for its availability in international markets. With early units already sold in the U.S., Tesla's Vice President of Public Policy and Business Development has confirmed plans for expansion into Canada, signaling further growth opportunities for the electric pickup. Despite regulatory challenges in certain regions, Tesla remains committed to delivering the Cybertruck's innovative design to a global audience.

In conclusion, Tesla's Cybertruck continues to captivate audiences with its groundbreaking performance, celebrity endorsements, and ongoing advancements. From surpassing range expectations to withstanding gunfire, the Cybertruck has proven its mettle in various real-world scenarios, reaffirming its status as a revolutionary addition to the automotive landscape.

Tesla Updates App, Adds Chat Assistant and New Menus [Updated]

By Not a Tesla App Staff
Tesla has added a new menu to its app that organizes various settings
Tesla has added a new menu to its app that organizes various settings

Today, Tesla has updated its app to introduce a new menu that reorganizes vehicle, home energy, and account settings in a more logical and more discoverable manner.

App Update

Tesla updated its app to version 4.30 back on February 15th for iOS and followed suit with an Android update shortly thereafter. The app update included some significant changes such as a new Home Energy demo, Wall Connector charging charts, and a better view of your last Supercharger session.

However, the addition of the new menu arrived today thanks to under-the-hood changes Tesla had already made.

Chat Assistant

Tesla has added a presumably AI-based chat assistant to help out with common customer queries. The assistant button can be found in the support section of the app, which is now accessed by tapping on the new menu at the top right corner of the app. Once the menu is open, tap the question mark icon to open the support section. At the bottom of the screen, you should see a chat bubble that will bring up the chat assistant.

Tesla added a chat assistant to its app
Tesla added a chat assistant to its app

The assistant starts by asking you which product you need help with. Afterward, you can ask it any question. Right now the assistant appears to bring up mostly relevant parts of the owner’s manual or Tesla’s support pages, without necessarily answering the question directly. For example, asking it a specific question such as ‘Until what state of charge will Sentry Mode remain activated?’ will bring up a section about Sentry Mode, and not immediately reveal that Sentry Mode will automatically turn off when the vehicle reaches 20% state of charge.

It’s not immediately clear whether Tesla is using AI for this feature, but providing an assistant is a great idea and one that will likely ease the burden on Tesla service. Hopefully, Tesla will continue to build upon the feature so that it becomes more useful and can answer customer questions directly.

New Menu

The changes in the latest Tesla app don't require an app update
The changes in the latest Tesla app don't require an app update

The main change in the app is the new menu which replaces the user's profile picture.

Since this area was already used to change Tesla account and app settings and Tesla product preferences, the menu icon is more intuitive than an avatar.

However, after tapping into the menu, the user is greeted with a completely reorganized section. Instead of featuring horizontally scrolling tiles for different products and features, which was getting fairly long, Tesla has consolidated the features and now presents them vertically.

In the new profile section, Tesla has grouped lumped in account information and app settings. This includes personal information, order history as well as app settings, including calendar sync and app notifications.

Charging is now a top-level feature instead of being buried in the Account section. This section highlights your most recent Supercharger charging session which was redesigned during the 4.30 app update. It also lets you manage your payment method and view your Supercharger history.

My Products is the new way to add or remove Tesla products from your account. It now nicely displays all of your existing Tesla products and lets you dig into each one. By diving into each product, you're able to give access to another user, remove the product from your Tesla account if applicable, rename the product, or jump into the product view.

Vehicle and Home Screens

If you have a Tesla vehicle and a Home product, such as Solar or a Wall Connector, the way to switch between products is to swipe to the side. However, this wasn't very intuitive and Tesla has now added a dropdown next to the Home or Vehicle name that brings up a quick menu that lets you jump to other products.

If you already have app version 4.30, there's no need to update your app, just open the existing app and you should see the new menu in the top right. However, if you're still on Tesla app 4.29.5 or earlier, head over to the app store and upgrade to the latest Tesla app to see these new features.

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