Tesla Welcomes Lucid to NACS and Supercharger Access

By Kevin Armstrong
Lucid Motors is the latest to adopt Tesla's NACS in North America
Lucid Motors is the latest to adopt Tesla's NACS in North America

Lucid Motors has revealed that by 2025, its customers will be granted access to Tesla's Supercharger network, thanks to the adoption of the North American Charging Standard (NACS). This move signifies unity in the electric vehicle industry, with Lucid joining a growing list of manufacturers embracing Tesla's ecosystem to benefit EV consumers across North America.

With over 15,000 Tesla Superchargers spread throughout the continent, Lucid drivers will enjoy the ease of charging up at these stations via an adapter for current CCS-compatible vehicles and direct access to new models starting in 2025. Lucid's integration of NACS is a strategic pivot aligning with Tesla's vision of facilitating broader EV adoption by offering high-voltage charging options, heralded by the deployment of their next-generation V4 Superchargers.

NACS Still has Holdouts

Remember your old buddy who refused to give up his Betamax for VHS? That may be aging myself. How about HD DVD for Bluray? Alright, CDs for streaming? That old buddy is now Volkswagen and Stellantis.

These two massive automotive groups have yet to commit to integrating NACS into their vehicles. Their reluctance highlights the challenges and complexities of establishing a universal charging infrastructure despite the apparent benefits of such a standard.

Keeping Pace with Tesla

Lucid's CEO, Peter Rawlinson, emphasized the importance of this step, asserting that "Adopting NACS is more than just a technical integration; it's about providing Lucid owners with expansive, reliable, and convenient charging solutions, embodying our commitment to a sustainable future."

The announcement also underscores Lucid's ambition to keep up with the industry's pace set by Tesla, enhancing the practicality and appeal of EVs. As the network of high-voltage, fast-charging stations expands, the American consumer's switch to electric vehicles is expected to accelerate, driven by convenience and efficiency.

Lucid now joins a roster of forward-thinking automakers that have recently adopted NACS. This list includes industry giants such as Ford, GM, Rivian and European stalwarts like Volvo, Mercedes-Benz, and the BMW Group, including Mini and Rolls-Royce. Including Korean manufacturers Hyundai and Kia, along with Japanese titans like Nissan, Toyota, and Subaru, signals a global endorsement of Tesla's charging standard.

Super Growth of Superchargers

Tesla's growth in charging infrastructure has been unwavering. Last month, the company celebrated the installation of its 50,000 Supercharger station, along with the introduction of its V4 Superchargers, which offer charging capacities up to 350 kW. This expansion is expected to continue, with Tesla leading the charge in preparing for a future where electric vehicles are the norm.

Lucid's recent production struggles are no secret, with the company likely to fall short of its production targets for 2023. Nevertheless, the recent price reductions for the Lucid Air sedan in North America indicate a strategic shift to boost sales and market penetration. Lucid's announcement regarding Supercharger access may be the catalyst needed to elevate consumer confidence and demand for its luxury EV offerings.

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

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

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.
Not a Tesla App

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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