Tesla Santa Mode Easter Egg: How to activate it and what it does

Model S
Model 3
Model X
Model Y
By Nuno Cristovao

Teslas offer numerous easter eggs. While most of them are fun to try, Santa Mode is easily one of the most popular and fun easter eggs. You'll find yourself coming back to Santa Mode again and again throughout the years.

Tesla's Santa Mode easter egg
Tesla's Santa Mode easter egg

What Santa Mode Does

After turning on Santa Mode you'll notice various visualizations have changed.

Santa Mode will turn your car on the screen into Santa and his sleigh. The sleigh will be pulled by two reindeer and you'll even see him carrying presents in the back. If you look closely, you'll see that Santa's sleigh is actually a modified Tesla.

You can pan and zoom the visualization to take a closer look at his sleigh.

You'll notice that the roads have suddenly been covered in snow. If you pay close attention, you'll even see that it has now started to snow.

Other vehicles that are normally rendered on the display will also change. Instead of the other vehicles on the road appearing as a car or truck, they have all now been transformed into reindeer.

There are subtle details that show that Tesla went the extra mile with this easter egg.

For example, the speed at which your vehicle and the other vehicles are moving will affect how fast the reindeer legs move. When you slow down, your reindeer will also slow down to a trot.

Your turn signals will also change. Instead of playing the traditional clicking sound that a turn signal makes, the sound has been changed to sleigh bells.

If you look closely at the collars your reindeer are wearing, you'll also see that they light up and flash red when you use your turn signals. If you use your left turn signal, the left reindeer's collar will flash, and if you're using the right turn signal, then the right reindeer's collar will flash. It's subtle, but nicely done.

How to Activate Santa Mode

There are several ways to activate this easter egg. Depending on the way you activate Santa Mode a different song will be played. Unfortunately like other easter eggs, the volume of the song is fairly loud and can not be adjusted.

You can activate Santa Mode by tapping the Apps icon, the icon that looks like a box with an up arrow, and selecting Toy Box. After opening the Toy Box, you can scroll down to Santa Mode and turn it on.

You can also activate Santa Mode via a voice command. If you use the command "Ho Ho Ho," your Tesla will activate Santa Mode and the song "Run Rudolph Run" by Chuck Berry will play.

This is the default song that is played and the one that will be used if you activate the easter egg through the Toy Box.

However, there is an alternative song that can only be activated via a voice command. If you use the voice command, "Ho Ho Ho, Not Funny," then Santa Mode will turn on and the song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" will be played.

The only difference between the various ways of activating Santa Mode is the song that is played.

Turn Off Santa Mode

To turn off Santa Mode, you can go back to the Toy Box and turn off the slider for Santa Mode, or you can simply use the voice command "Turn Off Santa Mode."

If you keep Santa Mode on, the song will automatically stop and not repeat when it's complete. The visualizations and other features will remain on.

External Speakers (PWS)

If your car is equipped with a Pedestrian Warning System (PWS), you'll also have the ability to play the Santa Mode music through the outside speaker of your car.

You'll know if your car is equipped with the PWS if it emits a low sound on the outside when traveling a low speeds.

In order to play ‘Run Rudolph Run' or ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer' through your car's external speaker you'll need to activate the easter egg through the Toy Box and turn on the slider for "Spread Cheer."

Available on All Models

Santa Mode is available on all Tesla models, including the Model S, Model 3, Model X and Model Y. The Santa Mode easter egg remains largely the same regardless of the Tesla model you have. Although it does require a vehicle with the PWS in order to have the option to play music outside of your vehicle.

Two Door Cybertruck is Unlikely Now, But May be on the Radar

By Kevin Armstrong
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum
A sketch of a two-door Cybertruck can be found at the Peterson Automotive Museum

The Tesla crowd of enthusiasts has eyes everywhere. Twitter user @MissJilianne caused quite a stir after visiting the Peterson Automotive Museum in Los Angeles, which recently opened a new Tesla exhibit. The Model S Plaid owner and FSD Beta tester posted a few pictures of her visit, including some artwork at the Cybertruck display.

The artistic design shows the Cybertruck in a two-door version. Miss Jilianne asks: Are we not going to talk about the beautiful artwork of a two door Cybertruck displayed at the @Petersen_Museum Tesla exhibit?

Her tweet generated discussion on social platforms and Tesla blogs, and it had mixed reactions. @KounisTou tweeted: It's not only that, but it has a totally different, dare I say better looking? A-pillar design with a wraparound windshield like early Semi prototype. Looks great. Except maybe that it looks a bit too much like a Lamborghini.

That may be the biggest clue to this spectacular piece of art. Franz von Holzhausen, Tesla's chief designer, is a huge fan of the “wedge” design. He grew up with Lamborghini Countach posters on his wall. Other responses to the picture believe it is the origin of the piece of art. It is likely an early sketch of what the Cybertruck could look like, and there were likely several. Given von Holzhausen’s love for the Countach, this is quite likely an early concept he was sketching out.

Elon Musk has publicly stated his support for a smaller truck. On November 24, 2019, he tweeted: Long term, it probably makes sense to build a smaller Cybertruck too.

However, the four-door version is due in 2023. CNBC interviewed von Holzhausen right in front of the Cybertruck. He stated, “Cybertruck will look, for all intents and purposes, just like the one behind us, maybe slightly smaller, a few percentages, but in general, this is what the truck will look like.”

Still, the designer did say something else during that interview that leaves the door open for a possible two-door Cybertruck. The creative mind behind the Model S, 3, X, Y, Semi and Cybertruck was asked to pick a favorite. His response was, "My favorite one is the one that is coming. I can't talk about (it).”

For a man that loves sports cars, it was believed that he was referring to the second-generation Roadster. Maybe he is referring to a smaller Cybertruck that looks a lot like those wedge cars that inspired him to become a car designer.

Tesla has a history of providing sketches to early reservation holders of their vehicles. It waits to be seen whether Tesla will do the same for the Cybertruck when deliveries start next year.

Below you'll find other sketches that Tesla provided to Model S, 3 and X reservation holders.

Model S Sketch

An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners
An early sketch of the Model S that was given to owners

Model 3 Sketch

A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night
A sketch of the Model 3 was given to owners who reserved the vehicle on the first night

Model X Sketch

An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
An early sketch of the Model X that was initially given to owners of the Model X
Not a Tesla App

Tesla reveals the Semi's efficiency, motors and Supercharging capability

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla deliveries the first semi trucks to Pepsi Co
Tesla deliveries the first semi trucks to Pepsi Co

The first Tesla Semis have been delivered, and so has the promise to adhere to the company’s mission: accelerate the advent of sustainable transportation. Yes, it took five years from the first peak at the Semi and three years longer than initially projected, but the Semi is set to change the trucking industry the same way the Model S, 3, X and Y changed the automotive industry.

While Tesla has been increasing the number of passenger vehicles it produces worldwide; these large trucks are not needed at the same level. The company states that 15 million passenger vehicles are sold in the U.S. every year, but only a couple hundred thousand big rigs. So why would Tesla put so much time and effort into something that doesn’t sell as many units?

Musk’s response, “it seems like a small percentage, but it (semi-trucks) is actually 20 percent of U.S. vehicle emissions. Because you’ve got a huge vehicle, and it’s being driven all the time.” Musk said, “Over a third of all the articulate emissions (are from semi-trucks). So, from a health standpoint, particularly in cities, this is a huge impact, like gigantic — that’s why we are doing it.”

The Semi is a Recruiting Tool for Truckers

Back in 2017, Elon Musk said he could drive a Tesla Semi. That was quite a statement, given that trucks this size usually come with anywhere from 10 to 18 gears. However, the CEO did just that five years later. He drove the newest member of the Tesla lineup to the event to deliver the Semi to Pepsi Co. Musk said, “It’s like driving a Tesla, literally.” That is because it’s built the same way with a single stalk to put the vehicle in drive, reverse, neutral or park. “It looks sick. I mean, you want to drive that! That thing looks like it came from the future… It’s fun. It looks awesome, there is a big shortage of drivers, so if you are a truck driver and want the most bad ass rig on the road - this is it.”

The Semi is known as the Beast

Senior Manager of Tesla’s Semi Engineering, Dan Priestley, explained why many people refer to the Semi as the beast. “(It has) three times the power than any diesel truck on the road right now. So you’ve got all the power you need to get the job done, but the other reason that it’s a beast is because it is efficient, you can go 500 miles on a single charge on one of these things. It’s the mix of those two - this is a game-changer. What’s awesome is both of those are enabled by our 1000-volt powertrain. This is the first vehicle we are doing with that.”

That max power combined with hyper-efficiency is due to a tri-motor power train system. One motor is for highway driving and will always be engaged, while the other two are for torque and acceleration. Those motors use the system straight out of the Model S Plaid powertrain. Priestly said, “These are clutched automatically. No driver input is needed. It is seamless.”

Musk commented on the Semi’s performance, “It looks crazy. It looks like an elephant moving like a cheetah.” He was also astonished at the size of the motor powering the Semi. It’s described as the size of a football, “I find it amazing that this enormous thing can be pulled by something that you can carry in your hands — it’s like, wow, that is power density.”

500-mile Range

The Semi has been tested in all conditions in the real world, in a lab and virtually. One of those real-world tests was proving the naysayers wrong by taking the Semi for a 500-mile drive, fully loaded, from Fremont to San Diego on just a single charge.

Elon Musk later revealed on Twitter that the Tesla Semi's current efficiency is about 1.7kWh/mile, but that there is a path for Tesla to make it even more efficient. It's not clear whether the additional efficiency could be achieved through software or if it would require hardware changes. The quoted 1.7kWh/mile efficiency is a pleasant surprise, as many were expecting the truck to have an efficiency of about 2kWh per mile.

V4 Superchargers

Speaking of charging, the new V4 Superchargers were also revealed. They produce 1 megawatt of energy and will be used for the Semi and the Cybertruck.

Tesla's Semi Delivery Event

Musk finished the event with this message: This is going to revolutionize the road, make the world a better place in a meaningful way.

More about the Semi can be found in our story, Everything We Know About the Semi.

Semi in Christmas Parade

PepsiCo made quick work of their first Semis, putting them to work in a local Christmas parade for all to see.

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.44.2.

Confirmed by Elon

Take a look at features that Elon Musk has said will be coming soon.


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.