Tesla Gives Updates on 4680 Battery Cell Production and Cybertruck Ramp

By Kevin Armstrong
4680 Batteries in a Cybertruck
4680 Batteries in a Cybertruck

Tesla's latest earnings call updated listeners on the Cybertruck, which started deliveries last month. Elon Musk stated, “It's like finally, the future looks like the future… That's our best product ever.” The CEO’s statement sums up the excitement surrounding a vehicle that has captivated the imagination of generations.

Vaibhav Taneja, the company’s CFO, added, "Anywhere you go, people look at you, they give you thumbs up."

Cybertruck Demand and Production

The demand for the Cybertruck has been “off the hook,” according to Musk. Tesla revealed an impressive conversion rate from reservations to orders.

Karn Budhiraj, VP of Supply Chain of Tesla, emphasized, "The reservation to order conversion rates so far has been very, very encouraging. If the trend continues as it is very likely to be, we will soon sell out all the builds in 2024." This statement highlights the strong market demand for the Cybertruck, and Tesla's ability to meet consumer expectations will have to accelerate. “The numbers keep growing. So we're now all hands on deck, focused on ramping so we can fulfill all the demands in a reduced wait time.”

Cybertruck base
Cybertruck base

Tesla's approach to meeting this demand is equally noteworthy. "It's important to emphasize that this is very much a production-constrained situation, not a demand-constrained situation," Musk stated, reaffirming that Cybertruck production will hit 250,000 per year. He also mentioned that Tesla could raise the price to manage demand, “obviously, we could dramatically raise the price, but that doesn't feel right to us to sort of gouge people for early delivery,” suggesting a commitment to affordability.

4680 Battery Cells: Expansion and Growth

A crucial element in the Cybertruck's production ramp-up is the 4680 battery cells. Tesla has been working tirelessly to increase the production of these cells. Karn Budhiraj reported, "To date, 4680 production is ahead of the ramp with actually weeks of finished cell inventory. And the goal is to keep it that way, not only for Cyber, but for our future vehicle programs.” This progress is critical to Tesla's ability to meet the Cybertruck demand without sacrificing quality or delaying delivery.

Tesla's manufacturing capabilities are set for significant expansion. The company is currently running one production line and one assembly line and using two assembly lines in addition to yield and rate improvement trials for the 4680. Budhiraj stated, “We have a fourth in commissioning, and four more will be installed starting in Q3 this year. So, definitely, this is a big year for ramping 4680.

This expansion will cater to Cybertruck's demand and bolster Tesla's overall production capacity for future vehicle programs. The executives emphasized that some companies only work on batteries, but it’s just one piece of Tesla. Musk said, “It's not just that it's a 46-millimeter diameter by 80-millimeter cell. That's just the dimensions. There's a tremendous amount of new technology in the cell itself.” And you thought Tesla was a car company.

Tesla Reduces Price of FSD Subscription to $99 Per Month [Subscriptions Now Available in Canada Too!]

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla just dropped its FSD subscription pricing dramatically in the U.S., lowering the cost from $199 to $99 per month. However, not everyone is thrilled with the new pricing.

For owners who bought the Enhanced Autopilot package for $6,000 USD, Tesla offered a lower-priced FSD subscription of $99, instead of $199. However, with this new FSD price reduction, EAP owners are no longer receiving a discount.

FSD Subscription Expansion

Currently, the FSD subscription is only available in the U.S., but plans for expansion are underway. Tesla's Rohan Patel recently announced that the subscription will soon be available in Canada, alongside the introduction of an annual plan for Premium Connectivity. 

This expansion into the Canadian market is anticipated to follow a similar pricing strategy, adjusted for the currency exchange rate, possibly setting the cost at approximately $140 CAD per month.

Update: Tesla has just announced that FSD subscriptions are now available in Canada! What’s even more surprising is the unexpectedly low subscription price of $99 CAD. Tesla took to X to announce the availability in Canada but unfortunately didn’t reveal any additional information regarding the subscriptions.

Is Buying FSD Still Worth It?

Despite the lowered subscription price, the outright purchase price for FSD remains steep at $12,000. This price point equates to subscribing to the service for over 10 years. Given that the average length of car ownership in the U.S. is about 8 years, this makes the current price of buying FSD unattractive to most. The saving grace of buying FSD is that you know what you're paying for the life of the vehicle and can avoid any potential subscription price increases.

Temporary Reduction or Long-term Strategy?

Tesla has not confirmed whether the price reduction is a temporary promotional tactic or a permanent adjustment. The timing coincides with Tesla's release of FSD v12 and its trial offer, suggesting that the company is keen on encouraging more drivers to experience FSD. This approach not only boosts user engagement but also accelerates the volume of data Tesla can collect to improve the system.

FSD With Referral Credits

Although Tesla hasn't adjusted the price of buying FSD, it is tweaking its referral program to accommodate the new price. Three months of FSD are now available through Tesla's referral program for 6,000 credits, reduced from the previous 12,000 credits.

Tesla's reduction in FSD in the U.S. and its planned expansion into Canada reflect a strategic initiative to make FSD more accessible and financially attractive to a broader audience. There's no doubt this change will increase the number of FSD subscriptions, but it'll be interesting to see how much. To break even, Tesla would need to double the number of subscriptions, but they likely have their eyes set much higher.

If you currently subscribe to FSD, Tesla has automatically reduced future payments to the lower $99 price point.

Tesla Cybertruck to Receive Additional Features in Upcoming Update

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla frequently introduces new models or trim levels before all the software features are available. This situation also applies to the Cybertruck, where several features are still in development.

In the 2024.8 update, Tesla added a handful of features to help the Cybertruck catch up in the software department, adding features such as Reset Tire Mileage, Rear Passenger Headphones, Auto Wipers and others. Tesla also added a Cybertruck exclusive feature that sets off the truck's alarm if the trailer is unhitched from the vehicle.

However, Tesla continues to improve Cybertruck's software. The company is planning an upcoming update that will let the truck charge faster and add Tesla's convenient cabin overheat protection feature.

According to Tesla's SVP of powertrain and energy, Drew Baglino, the Cybertruck's charging speed is about to be upgraded. This software update, slated for release later this quarter, is set to substantially improve the Cybertruck's charging curve and unlock faster charging times for owners. Baglino said the update will "let the Cybertruck get 154 miles of charge in just 15 minutes." That's a 20% increase over the truck's current 128 miles in 15 minutes.

Early reports on the Cybertruck's 4680 cells revealed a somewhat disappointing charging curve. The truck's charging speed would start at about 250kW, then drop off to about 150kW at ~40%. It would then level off at 75-80kW for the remainder of the charge.

It seems Tesla was being careful with the Cybertruck's new battery pack, but now, the company is ready to unlock additional throughput.

This fits Tesla's usual approach. The company likes to start conservatively and then improve its vehicles over time.

Cabin Overheat Protection

Another feature that's set to arrive on the Cybertruck is Cabin Overheat Protection (COP), according to the Cybertruck's program manager. This feature which keeps the cabin from overheating has been available in other models for several years, but it has yet to be made available for the Cybertruck.

In 2022, Tesla added the ability to customize the temperature at which COP would turn on. Users can now choose COP to activate at 90, 95 or 100º Fahrenheit. The Cybertruck's COP is expected to match the same features available in other models.

Given that Tesla's SVP and program manager have officially commented on these upcoming features, it may not be long before we see them available in an upcoming update.

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