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 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.
Don't miss out!
Subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know about Tesla's upcoming features and new software updates.
Tesla is implementing a new hazard light pattern that improves drivers' attention
Emergency Safety Solutions
Tesla is rolling out a significant safety enhancement through a software update. Teslas, already the safest vehicles on the planet, got a little safer thanks to a small company based in Texas. While this article will highlight the advancement in safety, it will also applaud the work of Emergency Safety Solutions, which dared to challenge the old way of doing things.
Overnight Evolution: The Game Changer
Tesla North America didn't mince words when they announced: "If an airbag is deployed, hazard lights will automatically activate & flash faster to improve visibility." Elon Musk added, "New Tesla safety feature uploaded via over-the-air software update. Your car just got better while you slept."
It got much better thanks to a partnership with Emergency Safety Solutions (ESS), which we spotlighted a year ago. The small company, now just five years old, used a Tesla Model 3 to display its advancements in the hazard lights system, which had remained unchanged for more than 70 years. After numerous studies, the company changed everything about the hazard lights and approached Tesla with its findings.
Chilling Frequency: Every seven minutes, a disabled vehicle is involved in a crash on American roads. The result? An alarming 15,000 injuries or fatalities annually.
Ancient Flaws: The primary culprit behind these startling figures is a hazard light system that hasn't been updated in over seven decades.
The Solution: A frequency shift by adjusting flash frequencies from the sluggish 1.5Hz system to between 4Hz and 6Hz immensely heightens driver alertness. Hertz is a unit of frequency, which equals the number of cycles per second. In this case, the frequency of flashing lights is increased from 1.5 flashes per second, up to 4 - 6 flashes per second.
Real-World Outcomes: When 5Hz flash frequency was tested, drivers reacted a crucial 12 seconds faster. Moreover, they recognized an issue of more than three football fields sooner than the 70-year version. The number of drivers shifting to the safer side of a disabled vehicle also shot up dramatically — from 30% to an impressive 87%.
Emergency Safety Solutions also posted on X: "Great step toward making our roads safer for people in disabled and vulnerable vehicles! We appreciate our partnership with Tesla and applaud this major milestone in our mission to protect drivers when they need it most."
Tesla states in their post on X that this update is rolling out now in the U.S. to Model 3/Y vehicles and newer Model S and Xs.
It's more likely that H.E.L.P. is implemented in update 2023.38, but we have yet to receive release notes for vehicles in the U.S., so we'll have to wait and see if this enhancement made it in.
More H.E.L.P. to Come
Keep an eye out for even more safety advancements courtesy of this partnership with ESS and Tesla. The company created the Hazard Enhanced Location Protocol or HELP. Beyond the lightning-fast flashes, HELP seamlessly integrates with in-car and phone navigation systems, giving drivers a heads-up about potential hazards before they become visible. It's like giving your Tesla a sixth sense.
Unfortunately, that will take longer as it would require more automakers to get on board with this new system. However, as we've realized, automakers are following Tesla's leadership on several fronts, and they may also increase road safety and implement the advanced system.
If an airbag is deployed, hazard lights will automatically activate & flash faster to improve visibility
It's not a good day to be named Max and work at Tesla or on the security team assigned to the Cybertruck. You can't help but wonder how a daring individual found himself in the driver's seat of this highly anticipated vehicle. This perpetrator spoke in Russian and joked that a bag in the truck belonged to Elon Musk before zooming in to a name tag reading "Max."
While we certainly don't condone breaking the law, we were provided with a risky reveal of the Cybertruck's interior courtesy of a mysterious and perhaps too-bold-for-his-own-good infiltrator.
The video is less than a minute long but provides new information, notably on the updated user interface (UI). For weeks we've had Cybertruck sightings, but this is our best look at the Cybertruck's display.
Updated Icons and Font
The UI appears designed specifically for the Cybertruck; icons possess subtle sharp edges, mirroring Cybertruck's angular aesthetics. This design philosophy also extends to the unique font choice, giving the UI a rugged, distinct look.
A further advancement is the seamless transition between vehicle visualization and maps. The once-clear partition is a fading background, allowing for a more unified appearance. This unity is further emphasized with the vehicle now being depicted atop a 3D polygon terrain, which has been discovered before in firmware updates.
Icon Placement Changes
One of the first distinctions users would notice is the transition from horizontal app icons. This design has been the hallmark of previous Tesla models, to a vertical arrangement along the lefthand side of the screen.
The vehicle control icon is at the bottom, followed by climate controls and other apps. The gear indicator has evolved, too, switching from its usual horizontal layout to a vertical orientation in the screen's top left portion.
A closer look at the Cybertruck's UI
The status icons, such as time, temperature, Tesla profile used to grace the top of the display, but they have now been realigned to the left side and can now be found directly above the vehicle visualization.
Cameras, Front Camera Confirmed
Another intriguing update revolves around the Camera app. Where previously users had to decipher camera views, they are now labeled for convenience, as showcased in the video with marked "Left" and "Front" camera views. Yes, there is a front camera view, finally answering the question of Tesla introducing the front bumper camera. We previously had a look at how we expect Tesla's updated Camera app to work with the front bumper camera.
One of the standout features in the video is the battery display. Gone are the traditional battery icons. Instead, we are introduced to slanted lines, each symbolizing 10% of the battery charge. This visual representation is intuitive and integrates with the Cybertruck's angular design.
Music Mini Player?
Beneath the vehicle visualization is what appears to be a minuscule music control feature, though its precise functionality remains uncertain from the short video clip.
Inside the Cybertruck: More than Just a Fresh UI
Ambient Lighting: Drawing inspiration from the latest Model 3 Refresh and the Chinese Model Y, the Cybertruck incorporates a colorful ambient lighting strip. Strategically placed, this lighting adds a modern aura to the vehicle's groundbreaking design.
Interior Layout and Accessories: The video takes us on a mini-tour of the truck's interior, revealing several intriguing features:
Hexagonal Design Elements: Keeping in line with Cybertruck's geometric aesthetic, the backup camera icon flaunts a hexagonal design, intriguingly contrasting the octagonal design found on the cupholders.
Center Console: A spacious tray area reminiscent of the old Model S finds a home between the front seats. Decked with some wires and a yet-to-be-identified document, the console boasts "cyber cupholders" with an octagonal design. Furthermore, it's equipped with dual phone charging spots right in front of the cupholders.
Sun Visor: The video briefly showcases the two-stage sun visor, which resembles the one found in the Model X. The video provides a glimpse of the massive glass roof, promising a panoramic view that will undoubtedly make the interior feel even more expansive.
Rear Window View: A feature with many talking is the clear view through the back window. Although the video offers only a short glimpse, obstructed by tires placed in the truck's bed, it's evident that when the cover is open, drivers and passengers will benefit from an expansive, unobstructed view.
As one viewer pointed out, this video will probably be used for evidence one day. Whoever was in the Cybertruck owes Max an apology, and poor Max needs to remember to lock the door.
Video reveals the Cybertruck’s UI
- apps are along the left side - status bar icons like time and temp are above the vehicle visualization - smaller nav search icon - gradient between the visualizations and map
TeslaFi is a service that logs your drives and charging sessions so that you can later refer back to them. We highly recommend checking them out if you use your car for business trips and would like to keep track of reimbursements, if you like to see how much you spend on charging or if you just love statistics. View their about us page and see everything they have to offer!
The EV Universe newsletter reports distill more than 100 EV news sources into a 10-minute read every week. We cover both Tesla and the rest of the EV industry. Join over 3,000 EV geeks like us and subscribe to the free weekly newsletter here.
Tesla Android Project enables you to run Android apps in your Tesla. The platform is Open Source and you can deploy it on your own Raspberry Pi 4. Consider supporting the initiative by donating or purchasing the Compute Module 4 Bundle that delivers the best experience. Get $20 off by using the code: NotATeslaApp