Tesla Model 3 and Model Y to have faster processors, 12v li-ion battery and more

By Nuno Cristovao

New Tesla Model Y Performance models coming out of China this month have the biggest changes we've seen to the car so far. The cars have several major hardware changes that improve the infotainment system, noise isolated and more.

Tesla starts using 12v lithium-ion batteries
Tesla starts using 12v lithium-ion batteries
JayinShanghai/Twitter

Infotainment Processor

The first major upgrade is the processor that powers the car's infotainment display. It has been upgraded from the Intel Atom processor to a much faster AMD Ryzen chip. It's the same chip that's used in the redesigned Model S and X, although the Model S and X feature 16GB of ram while these new Model Ys appear to have only 8GB.

This processor is much faster than the Atom processors that are currently in Model 3s and Model Ys.

Graphics Processor

The new Model S and X feature a dedicated GPU that is capable of PS5-like graphics. The system is able to play one of the most intensive video games, Cyberpunk 2077.

We thought that this chip would be exclusive to Tesla's higher-priced vehicles, but surprisingly, the new Model Ys feature the same graphics processor in the new Model S and X.

It appears that Tesla plans to keep the infotainment and graphic processors the same across their entire lineup of cars. Having such an advanced processor will surely open up the possibilities to new games and enhanced capabilities in the car.

MCU 3

When the Model S was unveiled, it contained this new processor and high-end gaming capabilities. At the time, no one was sure whether this hardware would be exclusive to the Model S or whether it would trickle down to other vehicles.

However, at this point it's fairly certain that the AMD Ryzen chip and graphics processor Tesla is using will be a part of Tesla's MCU 3 and will be used across their entire fleet.

Software

Although the new Model Ys coming out of China contain the same CPU and GPU processors as the new Model S, they still feature the same 15" screen as other Model Ys. They also still use the same user-interface as all current Model Ys, although they're certainly capable of running the same Tesla interface in the new Model S.

It's not clear whether the new interface is still being adapted for slightly smaller screens, but we expect that these new Model Ys with MCU 3 will be running the updated Tesla interface in the future.

We don't know if vehicles with MCU 2 will be able to run the updated interface at some point. Tesla employees have previously said off the record that MCU 2 isn't capable of running the new interface found on the new Model S, but it's possible that Tesla figured out a way to run the new interface on MCU 2 vehicles. If the new interface comes to MCU 2 cars, it'll likely need to be adapted to be able to run on slower hardware or limit some of its features, such as dragging and docking windows.

12v Battery

All Teslas up until the release of the redesigned Model S and Model X used 12v lead-acid batteries. This lower voltage battery is used to power door locks, electronics and other smaller items in the car that can't be run off of the high voltage battery.

The 12v lead-acid batteries in Model 3 and Model Ys are the same kind found in just about every other car. The battery is recharged off of the car's main battery. These lead-acid batteries last about four to five years, but we've seen them last only a couple years as well.

With the new Model S, Tesla switched to a lithium-ion based battery that is much lighter and lasts much longer than lead-acid batteries.

These new Model Ys coming out of GIGA Shanghai are coming with the same lithium-ion battery that is found in new Model S and X vehicles.

The battery is estimated to last the life of the vehicle and never needs replacing. This is a nice improvement and it's a great way for Tesla to reduce Tesla service visits.

It also helps increase customer satisfaction and lower the maintenance required for Teslas even further.

Although replacing a lead-acid battery in a vehicle isn't an expensive procedure, having a lithium-ion battery that doesn't need to be replaced is a nice improvement for all future Tesla owners.

It'll be interesting to see whether Tesla will be able to upgrade lead-acid batteries to their lithium-ion models in future service calls for any customers that need one replaced.

Other Changes

Another change that has been noticed in these new models is that the rear passengers windows now have double laminated glass similar to the front windows, to help further isolate road noise.

It's possible that there are other smaller changes in these new models as well, but these have been the major changes observed so far.

These hardware changes are currently exclusive to new Model Y Performance models coming out of China. Tesla slowly makes changes to its lineup throughout the year when possible, but the changes we're seeing here are major improvements to the vehicle.

You can be sure that all Tesla factories will adopt the same hardware changes we're seeing in China across all models in the coming weeks or months.

There has now been a video posted that compares how much faster MCU 3 is compared to MCU 2 when loading various apps.

Tesla Semi to have 500 mile range, to be delivered this year

By Jorge Aguirre
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla

Tesla's first electric semi-truck will have a range of 500 miles and begin shipping this year, according to a tweet from Elon Musk, founder and CEO. Musk previously said that the model would be on roads in 2023, as well as Tesla's pickup truck, dubbed the Cybertruck. The projected arrival date for the Cybertruck has not changed.

The Tesla Semi Truck, which was unveiled in November 2017, is designed for long-haul trucking. It can go from 0 to 60 mph in 20 seconds when hauling a full load, which is faster than most diesel trucks.

The Tesla Semi Truck's range of 500 miles on a single charge constitutes more than double the range of the current longest-range electric truck on the market, the Daimler eCascadia, which has a range of 230 miles.

Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla

The Tesla Semi Truck is also significantly cheaper to operate than a diesel truck, Tesla has said. The company estimates that it will cost $1.26 per mile to operate the Tesla Semi, compared to $1.51 per mile for a diesel truck.

Since the company started taking orders for the truck in 2017 some of the most sizable orders have come from the likes of UPS, Walmart, and PepsiCo. The original deposit required with an order was $5,000, which was increased to $20,000 after the event in November 2017.

Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla

The company has not said how many trucks it plans to produce but based on past statements from Tesla we can expect the price of regular production versions for the 300-mile (480 km) and 500-mile (800 km) range versions to be $150,000 and $180,000 USD respectively.

Tesla's Semi Truck is part of the company's push to electrify the transportation sector, which is responsible for a significant portion of greenhouse gas emissions. Tesla also makes electric cars and SUVs, and it plans to start producing its electric truck next year. Tesla's ultimate goal is to transition the world to sustainable energy.

Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla to release the first Tesla Semis this year
Tesla

Tesla Semi Event

Tesla unveiled the Tesla Semi and the Tesla Roadster in late 2017. The entire event is below:

Teslas to report real-time data to help with road closures and traffic issues

Future Feature
By Lennon Cihak
Tesla may be building out a feature for vehicle-to-vehicle communication
Tesla may be building out a feature for vehicle-to-vehicle communication
Ian Maddox

Tesla recently wrapped up its 2022 annual shareholders meeting, and CEO Elon Musk hinted at a potentially exciting feature coming to the fleet: vehicle-to-vehicle communication.

Towards the end of the shareholders’ meeting, a gentleman in the audience mentioned how aircrafts use a system called Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS). He elaborated on how ACAS relays an aircraft’s telemetry to prevent a collision.

“Sometimes too much telemetry,” Musk adds and laughs, assumingly referencing the Twitter account that tracks his private jet.

“Do you see Teslas communicating with one another and Dojo turning into some kind of air traffic control for Tesla supply chains and Robotaxi?” adds the gentleman.

Musk answered by saying he hasn’t thought about that before, which is interesting. He added that the goal with Dojo is to be the de facto computer for training the neural net with videos.

“Oh. That’s an interesting idea. I haven’t thought about that,” Musk responds. “Right now our goal with Dojo is to be really good at video training. We have probably the fourth or approaching the third, most powerful computing center in the world for AI training. Our first goal with Dojo is to make it competitive and be more effective at neural net training than a whole bunch of GPUs. We might get there… soonish.”

Musk also added that Dojo is built “from the ground up” to train AI using videos, and building such a computer has never been done before.

This question got Musk’s mind going. He paused for a moment and said there may be some difficulties in getting Teslas to communicate with one another - and it won’t be needed with Full Self-Driving.

“There will be some merits for Teslas to communicate [with] each other, but that won’t be needed for Full Self-Driving at all,” Musk responds. “But for a long time the vast majority of cars will be manually driven, so the value of Tesla-to-Tesla communication is not that high, except for, perhaps, communicating traffic issues, accidents, potholes, and road closures. A Tesla ahead of you has seen a road closure and you get that real-time update to your car so you don’t get stuck in the road closure situation. That’s the stuff that we are working on right now.”

Elon Musk's Answer

In January of 2022, Twitter user and Tesla enthusiast @BLKMDL3 tweeted at Musk asking about this type of feature. “Hey @elonmusk, can we get the air suspension in Model S/X to automatically raise quickly if the car detects a dip in the road ahead and then remember the location for next time?” BLKMDL3 writes. “Would be an awesome feature to have!”

Musk responded with, “Yeah.”

BLKMDL3’s tweet received quite a bit of attention.

Tesla has recently rolled out updates to improve a vehicle’s ability to raise and lower its suspension when arriving at a specific location. This is so the vehicle doesn’t scuff the pavement and cause damage to its underbody.

Since Musk stated that he hasn’t thought about vehicle-to-vehicle communication or how it would be done, we don’t anticipate this feature rolling out anytime soon. However, we can hope that it gets added to the pipeline of upcoming features due to its seemingly positive reception and want for it. This could also increase the safety of Tesla’s vehicles, even though they’re already the safest cars on the road.

It would be nice for vehicles within a 5-10 mile radius to notify one another of a construction zone, or accident, similar to Waze. This would allow the vehicle to reroute to a more efficient route or handle the situation accordingly. Going a step further, it would be exceptionally cool to see snapshots or videos of the upcoming situation by seeing a “hotspot” in maps, similar to how Snapchat shows hotspots, that are recorded via the vehicle’s cameras to more accurately prepare for it. But this may open a can of worms in regards to privacy.

Turning Tesla’s fleet into a mobile social network may go against Musk’s vision. He’s stated before that any user input in the vehicle should be considered an error, so having an interactive feature such as this may not be in Tesla’s deck of cards.

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.24.1.

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

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