Taking Teslas off the Grid with Innovative Ideas

By Kevin Armstrong
Daniel Derkacs creates a mobile solar charger
Daniel Derkacs creates a mobile solar charger
Daniel Derkacs / YouTube

Most Tesla owners have been asked, what if you run out of charge? Of course, everyone who drives with the T emblem on the hood knows it takes poor planning or pushing the limits to run out of energy in a Tesla.

Barring a catastrophic failure, the only reason a Tesla would lose its charge is if the driver ignored every warning, drove past every available charging station, and kept the pedal down until every drop was depleted from the battery. Nevertheless, the question remains, and some people are working on coming up with tangible solutions.

In September, a group called Charge Around Australia plans a long road trip without gas or spending a dime on electricity. The plan is to take a Model 3 9,380 miles (15,097 km) around the entire coastline of the Land Down Under to some of the most remote places on the planet. They will carry 18 lightweight, flexible printed plastic solar panels, which will be rolled up and stored in the trunk. They will roll out the panels for six hours daily to draw energy directly from the sun and charge up the Tesla.

These panels, produced using a wine label printer, pack a lot of power. In testing, the solar cells can produce approximately 20W/m2 in full sun conditions. However, production modules are projected to produce up to 50W/m2, with a 200 m2 installation producing around 60 kWh energy. That is enough to charge the Tesla for about two days of the trip or more than a week of typical commuting.

Professor Paul Dastoor, the Charge Around Australia lead, told Reuters he wants the creator of Tesla to find out about the project. “I hope if he finds out about it and Elon Musk will be very pleased, showing how our innovated technology is now combining with his developments to develop new solutions for the planet,” said Dastoor.

While certainly not as sleek as the printed solar panels, Daniel Derkacs posted a video (shown above) showing his mobile solar charging set up. His PV provides 1.2 kW of solar power. He installed six 175-watt panels on a bike rack on the back of his Model Y and two more panels on his roof. The system feeds to the trunk, where a battery and inverter are installed.

The comment section was not kind to Derkacs, who did a follow-up video addressing some negative feedback. He stressed that this system is for his daily commute and is not for long trips.

Derkacs' Response to Comments

These are two examples of people looking to get off the grid and power their Tesla directly from the sun and provide a different answer to the question, what will you do if you run out of power.

Musk Teases New Model for Early 2025 That Will Use a Mix of Next-Gen and Current Platforms

By Cláudio Afonso

“We have updated our future vehicle line-up to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of our previously communicated start of production in the second half of 2025”. This was one of the key sentences that were part of Tesla’s deck shared on Tuesday directly before its financial results.

Since Reuters’ report a few weeks ago saying Tesla had “scrapped” the highly expected cheaper model— which Elon quickly denied on X —retail and institutional shareholders started asking for more details on Tesla’s product roadmap for 2024 and beyond.

In the earnings conference call, Elon Musk reiterated that Tesla expects to launch the next model in “early 2025, if not late this year”.

“We've updated our future vehicle lineup to accelerate the launch of new models ahead of previously mentioned start of production in the second half of 2025. So, we expect it to be more like the early 2025, if not late this year. “

Over concerns of temporary production halts to update the factories for these new models, Musk said that Tesla will produce new models with certain aspects from their next-generation platform and current models. This will reduce the number of changes needed on production lines and allow Tesla not only to ramp up production faster but also to get the vehicles to market quicker.

Model Y Redesign

Tesla appears to hit that their next-gen vehicle will be less “next-gen” than they were initially aiming for, but to get a new vehicle out the door by late 2024, the process would already have to be in motion. Tesla may likely be referring to the redesigned Model Y, which is expected to reuse many parts from the new Model 3. Earlier this year, Tesla said that the redesigned Model Y will not be released this year, so it makes sense that they’re looking to speed up that production.

Tesla CEO concluded by saying that these measures will allow Tesla to reach a capacity of over 3 million units. Tesla produced 1.84 million vehicles in 2023. However, this year they’re ramping up Cybertruck production and introduced the new Model 3 into new markets.

And we think this should allow us to get to over 3 million vehicles of capacity when realized to the full extent.

Tesla reported on Tuesday its earnings results followed by a conference call where it teased its upcoming Robotaxi and its next-generation platform saying its “purpose-built Robotaxi product will continue to pursue a revolutionary ‘unboxed’ manufacturing strategy”.

Earlier in the day, Tesla announced the new Performance variant of its sedan Model 3 with deliveries in the United States starting already next month. The new version starts at $45,490 (after applying the $7,500 Federal EV tax credit) and goes from 0 to 60mph in 2.9 seconds.

Tesla on FSD: Close to License Deal With Major Automaker, Announces Miles Driven on FSD v12

By Cláudio Afonso

On Tuesday Tesla reported its earnings results followed by a conference call that brought several updates on the company’s roadmap for future vehicles, autonomous driving, Optimus and much more.

While answering a question from Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Delaney about updates on the licensing of Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) technology, Elon Musk said they’re talking to one major auto manufacturer and there’s “a good chance” the company signs the first deal before year-end. However, he went on to say that it would probably be three years before the necessary changes are integrated into the car.

I think we have a good chance we do sign a deal this year

Brings Benefits to Tesla

The technology would require other automakers to start using the same cameras and hardware as Tesla, meaning that Tesla may not only generate money from licensing FSD but also from selling the hardware itself. However, there would be other benefits as well. When licensing FSD, Tesla would likely own the data gathered with the system well, further helping them with data and edge cases that need to be solved to reach full autonomy.

people don't understand all cars will need to be smart cars… Once that becomes obvious, I think licensing becomes not optional.

Tesla’s Chief Financial Officer Vaibhav Taneja commented pointing out that future partners “take a lot of time in their product life cycle” resulting in a gap between the deal signing and the arrival in the market of Tesla’s FSD software.

Miles Driven With FSD

On the conference call, Musk added that Tesla now has over 300 million miles that have been driven with FSD v12 since it was launched just last month. He added that it's becoming “very clear that the vision-based approach with end-to-end neural networks is the right solution for scalable autonomy”.

Tesla said it will continue to increase its “core AI infrastructure capacity in the coming months” adding that in the first quarter, it completed the transition to hardware 4.0 with China now receiving the upgraded FSD computer and cameras.

Over the weekend, Tesla reduced the price of FSD dropping it from $12,000 to $8,000 for customers in the United States and from CA$16,000 to CA$11,000 in Canada.

Earlier this month, Tesla implemented a 50% price reduction for FSD subscriptions in the U.S. and introduced the subscription model in Canada at a great value of CA$99 per month.

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


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