Tesla Will Accelerate the Release of Its Next-Gen Model, While the Robotaxi Takes a Backseat

By Cláudio Afonso
Tesla's new unboxing production strategy will wait for the Robotaxi
Tesla's new unboxing production strategy will wait for the Robotaxi

Today, Tesla published its 2024 Q1 report, showing revenue of $21.3 billion, 9 percent lower than the same period last year and a total GAAP gross margin of 17.4%, down 19.1% in Q1 2023.

The company teased its upcoming Robotaxi and its next-generation platform saying its “purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary ‘unboxed’ manufacturing strategy”.

Tesla mentioned that it suffered “numerous challenges“ during the first quarter including the Red Sea conflict and the arson attack on its GigaFactory in Berlin and the ramp-up of the updated Model 3. Earlier today Tesla officially announced its new Model 3 Performance model.

Accelerating the Launch of its Next-Gen Model

The company said it will accelerate the launch of new models including its upcoming “$25k,” next-gen vehicle. Tesla stated:

“We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025. These new vehicles, including more affordable models, will utilize aspects of the next generation platform as well as aspects of our current platforms, and will be able to be produced on the same manufacturing lines as our current vehicle line-up.”

When it comes to layoffs, Tesla says it undertook “a cost-cutting exercise to increase operational efficiency” adding it is “focused on profitable growth” by “leveraging existing factories and production lines to introduce new and more affordable products”.

The automaker reaffirmed its focus on autonomous driving with the recent price cuts on the purchase and subscription of its FSD software in the US and Canada.

“The future is not only electric, but also autonomous. We believe scaled autonomy is only possible with data from millions of vehicles and an immense AI training cluster. We have, and continue to expand, both. To make FSD (Supervised) 5 more accessible, we reduced the price of subscription to $99/month and the purchase price to $8,000 in the US.”

Robotaxi

Tesla also revealed that its Robotaxi will now differ from its next-gen vehicle. Although Tesla will follow more traditional processes for producing its more affordable vehicle, Tesla says the Robotaxi will still follow the new, more efficient, “unboxing” manufacturing strategy. This comes just days after Musk said the Robotaxi will essentially be its next-gen model without a steering wheel.

Tesla’s quarter-end cash, cash equivalents and investments were $26.9 billion.

Earlier today, Tesla launched officially the highly expected Model 3 Performance with deliveries starting in May. The new version starts at $45,490 (after applying the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit).

In recent weeks, the company has been reducing prices in its primary markets, including China and the United States. The initiative followed the recent introduction of lower and even 0% interest financing programs in certain markets.

At the time of this writing, Tesla stock is currently trading 7 percent higher at $145 per share.

Impact Report: Tesla Vehicles 8x Less Likely to Catch Fire, Batteries Degrade 15% After 200k Miles

By Karan Singh

Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy by producing products far superior to fossil fuel alternatives and sourcing and manufacturing them sustainably. Tesla released its 2023 Impact Report yesterday, discussing their ongoing impact on the environment and the improvements seen.

Displacing Fossil Fuels

In 2023 alone, Tesla’s impact on the environment through its vehicles, Powerwall, and Solar Roof has been massively impactful – Tesla customers avoided releasing the equivalent of 20 million metric tons of CO2e into the environment. That is the equivalent of 51 billion miles of driving an average internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.

Each Tesla vehicle that is on the road avoids an average of 51 tons of CO2e emission into the environment. After just 3 years of driving, a Tesla’s lifetime emissions are lower than those of a comparable ICE vehicle. After the average lifespan of a vehicle in North America – 17 years – a single Tesla will have exceeded that value 5.5 times over.

Integrated Ecosystems

Tesla offers comprehensive ecosystems of products to address clean energy and transportation needs, from Megapack, Solar Roof, and Powerwall, to the Model S, 3, X, Y, and Cybertruck.

Tesla Solar produces power for storage in Megapacks or Powerwalls, which charge electric vehicles. Tesla also produces some of their own batteries, for both its storage applications and vehicles, enabling a complete cycle.

On the software side, products like Autobidder, Full Self-Driving, and the upcoming Robotaxi work to maximize the productivity of electricity that is stored in vehicles, helping to further displace fossil fuels in a single ecosystem of well-designed products.

Tesla's ecosystem depicted.
Tesla's ecosystem depicted.

World’s Best EVs

Tesla’s Model Y is still the best-selling vehicle in 2023, a trend likely to continue in 2024. And it’s not for little reason. It is the world’s most efficient EV, capable of running Autopilot/FSD, and is considered one of the best safety picks in both North America and Europe. Tesla’s data has also proven that they are, on average, 7.63 times safer than a traditional vehicle when running Autopilot.

Additionally, the Model Y is priced $3,000 USD below the average new vehicle in the US before the Federal EV Tax Credit – a difference of $17,000 after factoring in the credit and gas savings over 5 years.

Battery Degradation

Model 3/Y battery degradation over time
Model 3/Y battery degradation over time

Battery degradation is often brought up as a concern for EVs and the environment. Batteries fade away, become useless, and cannot be recycled. According to Tesla’s data and experience, this is far from the truth.

In fact, Tesla has found that their batteries degrade about 15% after 200,000 miles – the equivalent of the average lifetime of a vehicle. And in fact, they do even better in the cold than they do in the heat, with better degradation performance in Canada over the US.

Another interesting fact is that Tesla vehicles in particular – are 8 times less likely to be victim to a vehicle fire, compared against the US average.

Sustainable Sourcing

Sustainably sourcing materials is essential to reach Tesla’s vision of a world with reduced environmental impacts. In 2023, Tesla recovered enough battery materials to produce 43,000 Model Y RWD vehicles, while also sourcing Gigafactory Berlin with 100% renewable energy.

Overall, Tesla solar owners generated enough energy to power all Tesla locations, including all the Mega and Giga Factories, and all other facilities – over 3 times.

Tesla has also reduced water use by 25% over the last 5 years for vehicle production, marking a new milestone low – at 2.48 cubic meters of water, versus 3.37 cubic meters of water for an average ICE vehicle.

Tesla Breaks Ground on New Megafactory in Shanghai

By Karan Singh

Tesla broke ground on a new Megafactory in Shanghai’s Lingang free trade zone pilot program. This factory will be Tesla’s first foray into battery production outside of the United States, mirroring its direction in Lathrop, California.

Batteries, Not Cars

Megafactory Shanghai won’t be producing cars but rather will be producing Megapacks, which are grid-scale battery solutions that can power entire electricity grids.

Each massive Megapack battery unit, about the size of a shipping container, can deliver about 1.2 megawatts of power capacity, with 3.9 megawatt-hours of electricity. A single Megapack unit can power approximately 3,600 homes for an hour.

The Megafactory is scheduled to begin production in early 2025, with production goals of 10,000 Megapack units per year.

Sustainable Energy and Megapack

One of Tesla's Megapacks
One of Tesla's Megapacks

Tesla’s mission is more than just producing self-driving cars – it’s to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy. As part of this mission, Megapack and grid-scale energy solutions are key to offset energy costs and carbon emissions when wind, solar, or hydro are at reduced capacities.

Megapack helps to maximize renewable energy use, minimize carbon use, and allow base-load capacities like nuclear power to maintain their output. Similar energy-storage solutions like pumped storage hydropower are expensive, require specific terrain features, and can take years to construct. Megapack units ship assembled, allowing for rapid installation with minimal complexity.

Lathrop vs Shanghai

Tesla’s fairly new facility in Lathrop, California is a mirror of the new facility being built in Shanghai. However, just like the differences between Fremont, Giga Texas, and Giga Shanghai, Mega Shanghai will likely incorporate new technologies to improve productivity. Additionally, it serves as a way to serve the energy market in the Indo-Pacific region, which has been at the forefront of energy development in the last decade.

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