Tesla Unveils Powerwall 3: Specs, What's New and How It Compares to Powerwall 2

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has introduced its newest Powerwall, Powerwall 3
Tesla has introduced its newest Powerwall, Powerwall 3
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Tesla continues its foray into home energy solutions with the highly anticipated launch of Powerwall 3, a product that pledges to redefine sustainable home energy systems. Official details emerged, painting a promising picture of the capabilities and features of the next-generation home battery.

What Sets It Apart

Building on the success of its predecessors, the Powerwall 3 retains the same 13.5 kWh energy capacity in Powerwall 2. However, the noteworthy upgrade comes in the amount of power it can provide — an increase to 11.5 kW continuous power, instead of 10 kW peak on the Powerwall 2.

The Powerwall 3 also had its on-grid power increase substantially from 5.8 kVA (4.64 kW) to 11.5 kW, both continuously.

Built-in Inverter

A major distinguishing feature is the fully integrated solar inverter with a capacity to handle up to six solar inputs, facilitating high-efficiency direct solar connections. This move showcases Tesla’s commitment to advancing clean energy solutions, setting a new benchmark in solar-to-grid energy conversion efficiency pegged at a staggering 97.5%.

Compatibility and Expansion Possibilities

While it’s built for the future, the Powerwall 3 seems to take a step back in terms of compatibility with existing setups. Tesla has clarified that this new release will not be compatible with Powerwall 2 units or other solar inverters, indicating a clear pathway Tesla envisions for its users — a one-brand ecosystem that promises seamless integration and efficiency.

Prospective buyers should note the enhanced scalability; a single unit can be easily expanded to meet growing energy demands, with a maximum additional capacity of 40.5 kWh per unit. However, it seems Tesla is looking to streamline its operations by directing new solar installations towards the Powerwall 3 while recommending Powerwall 2 for additions to existing solar setups.

Design and Installation

Tesla has slightly redesigned the Powerwall 3, making it compact yet heavier compared to its predecessor. With dimensions of 43.25 in x 24 in x 7.6 in and a weight of 287 lbs, it seeks to blend power with aesthetics. Installation includes the promise of seamless backup transition and resilience against flood and dust, adhering to North American safety and EMI standards.

Despite the buzz and some users reporting early installations, the wide-scale availability of Powerwall 3 is slated for 2024. Moreover, it will not be part of the $500 rebate offer that is currently applicable to Powerwall 2 and Powerwall+ installations happening between June 15, 2023, and October 31, 2023.

Comparing Powerwall 2 and Powerwall 3

Feature Powerwall 2 Powerwall 3
Energy Capacity 13.5 kWh 13.5 kWh
On-Grid Power 5.8 kVA continuous 11.5 kW continuous
Backup Power 10 kW peak, 106A LRA motor start 11.5 kW continuous, 150 LRA motor start
Size (L x W x D) 45.30 in x 29.6 in x 5.75 in 43.25 in x 24.0 in x 7.60 in
Weight 251.3 lbs 287 lbs
Warranty 10 years 10 years
Scalability Single size Up to 40.5 kWh max addition per unit
Inverter Not included Included (6 solar inputs)

As Tesla prepares to roll out the Powerwall 3, prospective users are keen on the transformative features it brings to the home energy landscape. The inclusion of an integrated solar inverter and system controller stands out, promising an efficient and versatile home energy solution. However, it's not without its limitations, particularly concerning compatibility and financial incentives.

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A Closer Look at Tesla's Ambient Lighting Feature in the New Model 3 and Cybertruck [Video]

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3

If you look up ambient lights for Tesla, you'll see several ads for third-party light kits. Perhaps this is why Tesla added its own Ambient Lights feature to the new Model 3. So, let's get enlightened.

Tesla's ambient lights are thin light strips that are embedded in each of the vehicle's doors near the top edge. It also curves around the dashboard near the windshield, giving passengers a near 360-degree light effect.

Supported Models

Tesla new ambient light feature is available on the new Model 3 (2024+), and will be available on the Cybertruck in a similar manner. With a refresh ongoing for the Model Y, known as Juniper, it will likely also have ambient lights. That just leaves out the most luxurious flagship vehicles, the Model S and X, for now.

The Model S and Model X could be due for a minor refresh that would not only add ambient lighting, but also include a front-bumper camera that the Cybertruck has and the new Model 3 is expected to have in the near future.


Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3

The ambient light settings allow you to light up the interior in a color that reflects your mood or preference. Under Controls > Lights > Accent Lights, you are handed the freedom to choose virtually any color to adorn the interior of your Tesla.

You have control over whether the ambient lights are on, off, or set to an "Auto" setting, though not fully clarified, seems to promise intelligent lighting adjustments akin to our control over dome lights, offering a reduction in reflections during drives.

While the ability to control the brightness level seems missing, Tesla did include color presets, letting you curate a series of your favorite colors.

It should be noted that the changes are confined to the light strips on the doors and dash, steering clear of the footwell lights and other interior lighting.

Future Enhancements

With Tesla, we can be assured there will be enhancements to this feature in a future update. In fact, the Tesla community is already busy coming up with useful suggestions. Some owners thought Tesla should take advantage of the lighting to provide driver feedback, such as automatically changing the ambient lighting to a red hue when there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Tesla could also glow the light strip on a door if it's not closed properly, or use the lighting to provide feedback when Sentry Mode is enabled.

Other uses could be more fun, such as cycling the light through various colors when the 'Rainbow Road' easter egg is activated.

Ambient Lighting in Action

While the possibilities are endless and Tesla engineers will surely have fun coming up with creative uses for the feature, the biggest improvement we can hope for in the near future is the ability to adjust the light intensity.

Tesla Model 3 'Highland' Performance Details Discovered in European Documents

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades

Tesla outdid itself with the refreshed Model 3, known as the Highland. Despite all the fantastic upgrades, something is missing - the Performance version or perhaps the Plaid. The letter "T" has shown up on vehicle certificates in Europe, and despite Elon Musk's sense of humor, it is unlikely this is a Mr. T reference.

Deciphering the 'T'

A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
eivissacopter / X

Diligent scrutiny of the European Type Certificate, issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW and shared on the TFF Forum, revealed a subtle yet pivotal alteration — including the letter 'T' in the eighth digit of the Model 3 Performance's VIN.

This seemingly minor detail, indicative of the vehicle's motor/drive unit type, sparked curiosity and speculation on the forum. Could it be a tri-motor setup to usher in a new Plaid version of the Model 3? This vehicle has already got endless amounts of zip, but three motors? May The Schwartz Be With You!

This could also explain the Model 3+ badging that was spotted during the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China inspection of the refresh. However, the regulatory filings highlighted just two distinct variants of the car: a rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a 194 kW motor and an all-wheel drive (AWD) dual-motor setup that combines to deliver a formidable 331 kW of maximum power.

Initial conjectures leaned towards the possibility of a tri-motor setup, drawing parallels with the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X. However, a deeper dive into the certification document clarified that the Model 3 Performance retained its Dual Motor setup, dispelling the possibility of a tri-motor upgrade.

Strategic Enhancements: A Glimpse into Potential Upgrades

Given the documented specifications, it becomes plausible that Tesla has strategically enhanced one of the dual motors, potentially aligning it with the advanced motor found in the Model S/X Plaid. This modification is poised to augment the top-end speed and acceleration of the Model 3 Performance, addressing its comparative limitations in extended races against traditional gas-powered supercars.

Meanwhile, the Model 3 refresh has become the new Bigfoot of the roads of North America, with rare sightings posted on social media. However, it appears the continent is excluded from the initial launch of the Model 3 Highland. Internal communications within Tesla suggest North American enthusiasts might have to exercise patience until 2024.

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


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