Tesla’s Forgotten Market – Canada

By Karan Singh
Ian M | LinkedIn

Tesla’s primary market is North America, with China close behind. One could argue that their primary market is actually the United States – not so much all of North America.

Canada sits as the forgotten red-headed stepchild of Tesla’s North American market. Let’s shine some light on the maple leaf for a moment and see what’s missing or what they have missed out on.

Subscriptions and FSD

Subscriptions have been a big one for Canada. Only recently, in April – was Canada allowed to Subscribe to FSD for the first time. The Canadian price equivalent for FSD at the time was $18,000 CAD before tax – nearly $21,000 CAD after tax. This was after the initial $3,000 CAD price drop in 2023.

With FSD becoming a subscription, it became massively more accessible for Canadians. But Canada did get one win on that front. The price for FSD Subscription in Canada isn’t at US-price equivalent – it’s $99 CAD, which is approximately $72 USD! A small victory for not having access to FSD subscriptions since its introduction in the U.S. in 2021.

Even FSD beta itself wasn’t initially available to Canadians – despite NHTSA, USDOT, Transport Canada, and CANDOT having many of the same regulations for homologation. FSD Beta only came to Canada in 2022, a full year after the American release. Even then, access was primarily restricted to early access testers and influences. The full Canadian rollout began in late 2022.

But that’s not all. If Canadians want to use Tesla’s Premium Connectivity – for now they must still subscribe month-to-month. There is no yearly subscription (which is available in the US, with a slight discount). A small gripe, but just another odd example of the lack of standardization.

Cybertruck

Cybertruck still isn’t available to Canadian pre-order holders. Much of this has been attributed to regulatory issues in getting Cybertruck approved by Transport Canada to be on Canadian roads.

Tesla Cybertruck Program Manager Siddhant Awasthi mentioned on X that as Tesla gets confidence in estimated delivery dates to Canada, they intend to open up the configurator like they did in the US. However, he didn’t provide any estimate in terms of timelines or anything else.

We believe the delays to be regulatory – there is no regulation or standardization for vehicles with steer-by-wire in Canada. It’s worth noting that when Tesla filed its patent for steer-by-wire in the US and Canada, Canada did not begin regulatory processes to approve it. Of interest is the fact that Transport Canada has generally shown to be faster than NHTSA in approving new technologies – adaptive high beams and headlights rules have been available in Canada since early 2018.

Transport Canada vehicle approvals require hand-over-hand maneuvers, which currently isn’t available on the Cybertruck since it leverages a steer-by-wire system that automatically adjusts the steering ratio depending on speed. However, a software update could likely make it compliant in Canada, although it would lose one of the biggest advantages of a steer-by-wire system. It’s possible Transport Canada could also make an exception to changing its ruling.

Models S and X – the Luxury Tax

The Model S and X, and in the future, the Cybertruck – cost over $100,000 CAD. This means that they’re impacted by Canada’s Luxury Vehicle Tax. The luxury tax adds the lesser amount of two values, either the amount over $100,000 of the list price multiplied by 20% or the total list price multiplied by 10%.

In the case of the Long Range Model X, with no additions, this is an additional $2,000 CAD. If you were to add in FSD and a non-standard paint color, it would be $4,860 CAD. The Plaid Model X tops it off with a brutal $9,060 CAD tax on the final purchase price. This is all without changing the default seats, wheels, and yoke/steering wheel.

At one point, for a short period of three weeks, Tesla offered the Model S and Model X in a Standard Range+ package. This package was listed at just below the $100,000 mark, even if you added in a different color. Tesla then offered a post-sale software upgrade to unlock the vehicle to the regular Long Range version for any customers interested.

Once again, Canadians would love to see the SR+ variants return to Canada, even if it was just to dodge the Luxury Vehicles Tax. It’s a pretty sizeable amount for even the base Model S or Model X, and this could open up the market to people not wanting to get impacted by the tax.

Discounts and Offerings

Tesla has recently offered quite a few inventory discounts, direct price discounts, and even favorable financing for both purchases and leasing. Sadly, very few of these demand levers have been pulled in the Canadian market, leaving Canadians bewildered as to why the “Tesla North America” account on X promotes these deals.

As of the first week of June, the Tesla account started mentioning that these benefits are US-only. Sometimes inventory discounts and direct price changes do make their way to Canada, but they’re usually several weeks late, and last for only as long as the US promotion. In one specific case, a Canadian inventory price reduction lasted for under 72 hours, as the US one began nearly two weeks earlier, and ended on its third week.

We’d love to see Tesla improve its offerings in Canada – especially ensuring to match vehicle pricing changes in both markets and hopefully also begin offering favorable financing terms alongside them. Canada’s interest rates are in lockstep with the United States for the most part – so some Canadian consumers are considering EV alternatives that have been providing better financing recently.

Tesla Insurance

Just like many US states, Tesla Insurance has no presence in Canada yet. However, unlike the United States, the Tesla Insurance link in Canada just throws an error. It used to link to Aviva Insurance’s Tesla Insurance program in 2023, but that is no longer the case.

Tesla has recently made moves in the Insurance space, picking up an Ex-GEICO executive to expand and revitalize the Tesla Insurance program. Hopefully, we will see an expansion into Canada with Tesla insurance sometimes making a big difference in the total cost of the vehicle.

Powerwall 3 and Solar Roof

This one is a bit of an oddball, as we’ve reached out to a few folks in different places in Canada and received different responses. Some Canadian submarkets are receiving Powerwall 3’s for installs, but other markets are still only receiving Powerwall 2’s, including Ontario and Quebec.

We’d like to see some standardization regarding product offerings in Canada – if you want a Powerwall 2, you should be able to get one at a cheaper price than a Powerwall 3 if available – but make sure to offer the 3 when it’s available throughout the United States without restrictions.

Solar Roof is completely unavailable in Canada. It is possible to have an American installer quote you, ship the materials, and install – but it’s obscenely expensive and a regulatory hassle in comparison to just using regular solar panels.

Service Centers and Superchargers

Tesla’s expansion of Service Centers into Canada has been an ongoing issue – with many major cities being several hours away from the nearest service center. There has been a lot of progress on this front, with smaller service centers being opened around the country – but there are only two major collision centers in Canada, one in BC, and one (coming soon), in Ontario.

Given that Tesla sold 45,000 vehicles in 2022, and nearly 55,000 in 2023, and makes up nearly 75% of the EV market, they’re the largest player in the Canadian market. Of course, those numbers pale in comparison to US-sales, with annual Canadian sales accounting for a single month’s worth of sales.

The Supercharger situation is quite similar. Canada has drastically fewer Superchargers than the US – its capital, Ottawa, is serviced by just three Supercharger sites, for a population of over 1 million people. And one of these sites is a paid parking garage.

You can use the spectacular Supercharging highway that exists to get from province to province, but going places in those provinces can be fraught with difficulties. There are also vast areas of Canada that are inaccessible to Tesla vehicles not wanting to brave CCS or L2 charging – which can be sporadic and unreliable at best.

Accessing Thunder Bay, Ontario – one of the largest ports on the Great Lakes, still requires careful planning. In Alberta, the trip from Calgary to Edmonton in the winter can be difficult – the two largest cities in the province. There are still major improvements needed between major Canadian population centers before range-conscious first-time buyers take the leap into EVs.

Canada has been ignored by Tesla for some issues, with some simple offerings like FSD subscription just becoming available in 2024, while others are still completely unavailable.

We’d love to see Tesla continue to work to bring their entire suite of offerings and features to Canada in the future, as many Canadians are already loyal Tesla fans.

Musk Confirms Tesla FSD V12.5 Is Being Tested on Chuck’s Turn

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Yesterday, Elon Musk confirmed that FSD V12.5 is being tested on Chuck’s Unprotected Left Turn. This is a big step – as we usually see Chuck’s UPL getting tested a few weeks or months before the release of another set of software.

Chuck’s Left Turn

Chuck’s Unprotected Left Turn, or UPL, has regularly been seen as a challenge for FSD. Chuck’s UPL is a complex, 2-stage unprotected left turn into high-speed traffic. Ever since 2022, Tesla has been testing on Chuck’s UPL, which is in Jacksonville, Florida.

Vehicles are intersecting from different sides at different portions of the turn, making it one that is truly difficult for both humans and for FSD to get right. It can be a difficult challenge for regular drivers, and ensuring FSD gets it right every time Tesla releases a new build seems to have become a bit of a tradition for Tesla.

As such, we generally see Chuck’s UPL getting tested by Tesla’s ADAS testers prior to a new build being prepared for release to employees. These ADAS testers are pretty obvious – they’ve got manufacturer plates on, and the telltale 2-second halt at stop signs.

FSD V12.5 Around the Corner?

Although Tesla is already testing FSD 12.5, it doesn’t necessarily mean that v12.5 is around the corner just yet – there are still plenty of users that still need to receive FSD v12.4.3 before Tesla jumps to v12.5. About 20-25% of FSD users now have FSD 12.4.3, but most are still on update 2024.14.9 with FSD 12.3.6.

FSD v12.5 is expected to begin features such as fleet communication and the merger of city and highway software stacks, to FSD.

What we’re seeing in Florida on Chuck’s turn (Tesla refers to Chuck Cook in release notes) is likely just the ADAS testers working on the early builds of v12.5. As such, don’t get too wrapped up around v12.5 – most are still waiting for nag-free FSD for the most part.

Tesla Update 2024.26.1: Changes and More Information About Tesla's Summer Update

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has been preparing another large update with its upcoming 2024.26, but as Tesla gets ready to release it to customers, it looks like we may see some changes. We’ve previously called this the Summer Update, and we’re going to stick with that.

Leave your Spring umbrella behind, and grab some sunglasses (or not, if you have FSD in North America) and let’s take a look at update 2024.26.1.

YouTube Music

It looks like YouTube Music, which was being tested in update 2024.26, isn’t available in 2024.26.1. YouTube may have been in early stages of testing or Tesla found some bugs with the feature that need to be addressed before a public release.

YouTube Music is still coming, but right now it looks like it’ll arrive in a point-release update, (e.g. 2024.26.X). This way, at least all the other features will arrive for everyone, rather than delaying the entire release for a few bugs with YouTube Music.

While we’re sad to see the delay for this music app, this is exactly why Tesla tests things in advance with their QA team and fleet of wave 1 employees. We’ll be glad to see it arrive in our cars when its bug-free, and at least we’re still getting Amazon Music with update 2024.26.1.

Updated Climate Panel

There’s a new Climate screen in update 2024.26, however, it looks like it’ll be just for the Model 3 and Model Y initially. The Model S and Model X use practically the same interface, but it may need some adjustments for the larger screen before it’s released. It’s not clear whether it’ll be available for the Cybertruck out of the gate.

We haven’t seen any images of the updated climate panel yet, but it looks like it’ll be a drastic departure from the screen we know today. It’s expected to include options to automate preheating and precooling of the vehicle on certain days and times and it could make other options more intuitive such as turning off vents on the passenger side (tap and hold the airwaves, but only works on some vehicles).

Other often requested features are to make it easier to turn on the Keep Climate, Dog Mode, and Camp Mode options when the vehicle is put into park.

Many customers have also requested passenger presets so the vehicle could remember settings for different passengers. This could be used for features like passenger climate settings, seat position, seat heater and more, but instead of multiple passenger settings, we may see Tesla add Passenger Profiles that could be used for a wide variety of features. Back in 2021, Musk agreed that it would be a good addition.

Castle Doombad Classic

One addition we saw from update 2024.26 to 2024.26.1 was the addition of the full Castle Doombad Classic game. Castle Doombad has you play as the villain as you defend your castle, but it’s only available on AMD Ryzen-based vehicles (MCU 3). It was released in the 2023 Christmas update and with this 2024.26.1 update the game goes from a demo to the full classic game.

Weather Forecasting

Finally, the Weather Forecast app – a pop-out display when you tap the temperature reading – will be arriving with support for North America, Europe, and other regions. Likely, this will include most regions, but you’ll need to shell out for Premium Connectivity.

The AQI (Air Quality Indicator) is already available in China and should be available in most regions as well, but it will also require Premium Connectivity. You can read more about the weather and AQI features here.

Release Date

Tesla appears close to starting the public release of this 2024.26.1 update. Tesla has recently released major versions (like 2024.26) to employees only and then released a bug fix update as a point release before making it available publicly.

Update 2024.26.1

FSD Supervised 12.3.6
Installed on 0% of fleet
0 Installs today
Last updated: Jul 16, 3:45 am UTC

We could see Tesla release 2024.26.1 as early as this week if further issues aren’t identified, although, in typical Tesla fashion, it’ll be a very gradual release.

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