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.

Tesla Vehicles Spotted With LiDAR: What Do They Use It For?

By Karan Singh
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Tesla recently hit the news for purchasing approximately $2M in LiDAR sensors from Luminar, one of Tesla’s long-term suppliers. You’ve probably seen photos of Tesla’s Semi and various Tesla models, including the Model 3 and Model Y sporting LIDAR equipment on the roof. These cars drive around with manufacturer plates scanning streets and highways.

However, many people confuse Tesla’s purpose in purchasing LiDAR equipment with using it for FSD versus testing. So, let’s look at what LiDAR is, and why Tesla uses it on its Fleet Validation Vehicles.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR stands for Light Detecting and Ranging – essentially using lasers to measure distances. A laser pulse is sent out, and the time it takes to return is measured – providing extremely accurate distance measurements.

Some companies working on self-driving vehicles, including Waymo and BYD, use LiDAR as part of their self-driving suites, but Tesla is one of the few stand-outs that does not. Even Rimac’s “Verne” Robotaxi – which uses self-driving technology from Mobileye, also uses LiDAR.

While LiDAR can produce extremely accurate and high-quality 3D environments, it comes with its downsides as well. Not only is LiDAR costly and requires large gear strapped to a vehicle, but it also can not be used in bad weather and can have interference issues if there are other strong light sources present.

Why Does Tesla Use LiDAR?

A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
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At Autonomy Day in 2019, Elon Musk mentioned that LiDAR isn’t the solution for self-driving cars – it's just a crutch. Thus, Tesla hasn’t used LiDAR for any production self-driving software.

Instead, Tesla uses it exactly how it's described – they use it to gather ground-truth data. This data is then used to feed Tesla’s Full Self Driving system – which helps validate its vision-only system's accuracy. LiDAR provides very accurate measurements to help ensure that FSD’s perception of space is accurate – and is only used by Tesla to ensure that its AI technology which is the brains of FSD is capable of accurately interpreting depth from just visual data.

Tesla’s vision-only system has been seen to be extremely accurate, with Vision-only Autopark being able to park in even narrower and tighter spaces faster than the previous version that relied on ultrasonic sensors.

We’ll likely continue to see Tesla purchase LiDAR systems, as well as use them for validation well into the future.

Tesla's Upcoming Robotaxi Event in August Delayed, According to Bloomberg

By Karan Singh
Sugar Design

In a report from Bloomberg, it is claimed that Tesla will be delaying its much-anticipated 8/8 Robotaxi event by two months to October 2024.

While sources other than Bloomberg haven't confirmed this report, Bloomberg has a positive track record of reporting on financial decisions. We’ll be sure to update the article if there is confirmation on X from Elon Musk or another Tesla senior official.

Tesla’s stock has dropped nearly 8.5% over the day, ending back-to-back gains over the last two weeks. It closed yesterday at $ 241 after hitting a peak of $270 earlier in the day before the news broke.

Why the Delay?

The delay – of approximately two months – has been communicated internally, but not publicly announced just yet. Bloomberg goes on to mention that the design team was told to rework certain elements of the Cybercab, necessitating the delay.

If Bloomberg’s report is correct, it sounds like Tesla’s unveil event will be largely focused on showing off the vehicle, instead of demoing how it will work. Of course, it could still be both, but given past events, Tesla has always shown off the vehicle years before it hits production.

Rimac recently showed off their version of robotaxi vehicle named Verne, and surprisingly, it could almost pass for Tesla’s own robotaxi. A lot of design cues in Rimac’s version are elements we have already seen or expect to see in Tesla’s autonomous taxi.

A recent Tesla patent revealed that Tesla is incorporating a sanitation system into their robotaxi that will be responsible for analyzing and cleaning the vehicle’s interior, although the delay itself is likely tied more to a physical feature rather than software.

Another element we know almost nothing about is how Tesla plans to charge these robotic taxis. Will they rely on the existing charge port and adapt a solution like the robotic charging arm (video below) we saw almost eight years ago, or will wireless charging or a dock finally become realized?

While the delay for Tesla’s event appears to be related to the vehicle’s design itself and not further development of FSD, Tesla is wasting no time in getting FSD working for the upcoming vehicle. Model 3 vehicles have already been spotted with camera locations that resemble a robotaxi.

Is the Delay Accurate?

We expect that this delay might actually be true – Elon Musk usually takes to X within hours of such news breaking if it's false to refute it and hasn’t done so yet.

Tesla has delayed several of their events in the past, and a delay of a couple of months seems plausible. We should hear from Musk himself soon on whether this report is accurate.

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