Everything we know about the Tesla 'Model 2'

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla's working on a $25k vehicle
Tesla's working on a $25k vehicle
TopElectric/YouTube

The Tesla Model 2 aims to make electric vehicle ownership more affordable. Tesla probably won't use the name "Model 2" because it implies a smaller version of the Model 3 when it will really be a more economic version. Tesla's target is a $25k car, but the Model 3 was also supposed to be $35k but ended up being more expensive. The Model 3 currently sits at just under $47k in the US.

When Tesla created the Model 3, they essentially built a scaled-down, more efficient version of the Model S by removing features that were more expensive or hard to manufacture. Many of the switches, vents, and features were either simplified or completely removed, including the instrument cluster.

This includes replacing physical controls with on screen controls, like the handle for the glove box, mirror adjustment buttons, windshield wiper controls and many others.

Other controls were simplified to reduce complexity and therefore cost. Some examples include the simplified vent system and steering wheel buttons. The interior and exterior door handles were also redesigned to reduce the amount of moving parts.

Back in 2016 when the Model 3 was unveiled it wasn’t entirely clear which features were cost-cutting measures and which were feature iterations and would become standard in all future Teslas.

When Tesla debuted the new Model S in 2021 it became clearer which features may have been cost-cutting measures. We saw a lot of Model 3 features carry over to the redesigned Model S, such as a horizontal center screen, one continuous vent with on screen controls, but not every feature made it over.

These were seen as the compromises Tesla made to create a vehicle that is cheaper to manufacture when compared to the Model S.

The Model 3 doesn't have an air suspension, cooled seats, a rear screen, or an instrument cluster. It also has a slightly smaller center screen. So what more can Tesla remove or simplify from a Model 3 to create a more affordable, scaled-down vehicle?

Tesla would likely keep all software-only features since they don’t add much to the cost of the vehicle. Some possibilities may include fewer speakers, removing heated seats in the rear, removal of wireless chargers, and removal of the glass roof. Removing any cameras or the FSD computer is unlikely since the FSD package is profitable for Tesla and there are also safety features that depend on that hardware.

It’s possible that Tesla's Model 2 has transformed into the supposed Robotaxi mentioned at the Giga Rodeo Event. Elon has previously talked about creating a car without steering wheels or pedals, which would be fitting for a fully autonomous vehicle.

At Battery Day, Tesla said that standard range vehicles and future models will use lithium iron phosphate batteries. LFP batteries are cheaper to produce and have some advantages and disadvantages when compared to nickel batteries. Tesla would likely use the 4680 LFP battery for the Model 2. This would make the vehicle smaller and lighter, but may also offer less range.

Tesla's 4680 battery
Tesla's 4680 battery

Tesla’s 4680 cell is named after its dimension, 46mm x 80mm. They are much cheaper to manufacture, producing 5x more energy, 16% more range, and 6x more power, making them far more economic than traditional batteries. Using 4680 batteries, the Model 2 is expected to have a travel range of 250 to 300 miles.

Tesla will use a structural 4680 cell pack in a single body cast to manufacture the Model 2 as efficiently as possible. This along with advanced robotics will help Tesla achieve economies of scale and mass-manufacture their most affordable car yet.

In May 2022, during the Financial Times 'Future of the Car' interview (video), Elon stated that there is some probability that Tesla would make a car smaller than the Model 3, leaving the possibility open for both, a smaller Model 3 and a Tesla Robotaxi.

Don't expect the “Model 2” anytime soon, Elon has talked about Tesla finishing the CyberTruck this year and starting production in 2023. Tesla also has the Roadster and Semi to produce, which are very likely to be ahead of the Model 2.

By that time, we may see drastic improvements in FSD that could warrant a fully autonomous Robotaxi. I wouldn't expect the Model 2 before 2024 at very best, but we could see prototypes before then.

How Tesla's FSD Beta Has Expanded Over Time

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla reveals how many miles have been driven on FSD Beta as of January 2023
Tesla

Tesla's Full Self Driving (FSD) technology took a giant leap forward in distributing FSD Beta to 400,000 customers in North America. It is a significant milestone for the development of autonomous driving and highlights Tesla's commitment to bringing this cutting-edge technology to the masses. A new version, v11.3 could roll out any day.

Number of Testers Over Time

Tesla made FSD Beta public a little more than two years ago, around October 2020. It was initially only made available to less than a handful of testers, but that pool grew to about 1,000 users later that year.

Since then Tesla has gradually increased the number of testers. The ramp from the initial 1,000 testers took some time, but by October 2021 Tesla had opened it up further through its Safety Score program. By January 2022, it was available to about 60,000 owners.

In March of 2022, Tesla expanded FSD Beta to Canada, gradually adding additional testers, and eventually increasing the number of testers across the U.S. and Canada to 160,000 in September.

Tesla announced this December that the number of testers had grown to 285,000 and recently said this January that it's now accessible to 400,000 Tesla owners.

FSD Beta Expansion and Milestones

Date Milestone
October, 2020 Opened to select testers
Late 2020 ~ 1,000 added
October 2021 Start of expansion through Safety Score
January 2022 Available to 60,000 testers
March 2022 Expansion to Canada
July 2022 Available to 160,000 testers
December 2022 Available to 285,000 testers
January 2023 Access given to 400,000 owners

Faster Feedback

The deployment of FSD Beta to such a large number of customers will provide an unprecedented level of testing and feedback, allowing Tesla to refine the technology and bring it to an even higher level of reliability and safety. Furthermore, with over 90 million miles driven on FSD outside of highways, the published data shows a clear improvement in safety statistics, demonstrating the potential for autonomous driving to revolutionize the way we travel.

This increased testing level will help improve the technology even further, as the system can learn from a broader range of driving scenarios and road conditions.

FSD Will Make the Roads Safer

The safety benefits of Full Self Driving technology will be a major selling point for Tesla and one of the primary reasons for its rapid growth. Using cameras and other advanced technologies, FSD can monitor the road and make real-time adjustments to ensure the vehicle operates safely and efficiently. As a result, this technology reduces the likelihood of accidents and provides passengers with a safer, more comfortable driving experience.

Overall, making FSD Beta available to 400,000 customers represents a major step forward for Tesla and the entire autonomous driving industry. It's now available to all customers who have purchased or subscribed to FSD in the U.S. and Canada. The next big expansion is expected to be in Europe sometime this year.

With its focus on safety and reliability, Tesla is leading the way toward a future where driving is fully autonomous, and accidents are a thing of the past. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more impressive advances in the coming years, bringing us closer to a world where autonomous vehicles are a common sight on our roads.

Tesla Accessory, Ctrl-Bar Adds Physical Buttons to the Model Y and Model 3

By Kevin Armstrong
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Tesla's minimalistic interior design is both loved and hated. Much loathing is due to the lack of physical buttons drivers are so used to having at their fingertips to control heat, music and everything else in the cabin. The sleek look is attractive, but for some it can fall short in easy accessibility while driving.

That's where a new product comes into play: Ctrl-Bar. Created by Øyvind Husby of Oslo, Norway, Ctrl-Bar has nearly 300 backers on the crowdfunding website Indiegogo and has beat its target funding goal by more than 280 percent. The objective is to provide a tactile, programmable solution to Tesla's minimalistic interior design.

How It Works

Ctrl-Bar is a device that attaches securely to the bottom of the Model 3 and Model Y screen and offers a quick-access, tactile response that physical buttons can only achieve. The premium black glass finish blends seamlessly with the screen bezel, providing a smooth look. It connects to a smartphone using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and gets power from a hidden USB cable connected to the rear center console USB port. The app runs in the background, capturing only the data needed to run the services and prioritizing privacy. In addition, the Ctrl-Bar screen shows real-time changes, so there is no latency when changing temperatures or other functions. After less than a second, the device will send the command to your vehicle.

Ctrl-Bar Video

The Scrolls, Buttons and Extras

The Ctrl-Bar has two scroll wheels with tactile indents to control the cabin temperature, one for the driver and the passenger. In addition, four push buttons are in the middle of the wheels to provide easy access to programmable shortcuts, such as seat heaters, defrost mode, dog mode, and more. All changes made on the Ctrl-Bar are reflected on the center screen, offering a unified experience.

In addition to controlling essential functions, Ctrl-Bar also provides ambient LED lighting. The device has a series of powerful LEDs that illuminate the center console and front footwells. Users can scroll through assorted color and brightness options to find the perfect lighting for their drive. For an additional subscription, Ctrl-Bar offers speed trap warnings. The device checks for nearby fixed speed traps and visually alerts the driver when they are approaching. If the driver exceeds the speed limit, Ctrl-Bar will give an audible warning reminding them to slow down.

The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
The Ctrl-Bar adds physical buttons to the Model 3/Y
Ctrl-Bar

Creative Company with a Track Record

Greenmission, the company behind Ctrl-Bar, has successfully launched a premium wireless charger for the Tesla Model S/X. With trusted manufacturers and software developers on board, the main obstacles to getting Ctrl-Bar into the hands of Tesla owners are developing the phone app, establishing a reliable connection, avoiding supplier issues and delays, and managing costs. Despite these challenges, Greenmission is confident they can bring Ctrl-Bar to market and provide a much-needed solution to the lack of physical buttons in Tesla vehicles.

Ctrl-Bar is an interesting device that adds some physical buttons for owners who want or need them. It matches well with the interior of the vehicle and still provides a sleek look. However, it will require your phone to have a cellular connection to successfully send commands to the vehicle, since it relies on Tesla's APIs.

Tesla drivers are always looking for ways to improve their experience, and new features will be made available through Over-The-Air updates. Furthermore, users' feedback and suggestions will be considered and worked on in future updates.

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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 2023.2.10.

Confirmed by Elon

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

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