Tesla to limit Standard Connectivity to eight years
Tesla has stopped offering free unlimited Standard Connectivity for new vehicle orders.
According to Teslarati, vehicle orders placed after July 20, 2022 will include free Standard Connectivity for a period of eight years.
The EV automaker will notify owners when their free Standard Connectivity is about to expire. Tesla’s Connectivity section on their Support page reads:
“All new Tesla vehicles ordered on or before July 20, 2022, will have Standard Connectivity features at no cost for the lifetime of the vehicle (excluding retrofits or upgrades required for any features or services externally supplied to the vehicle - e.g. telecommunications network). As additional features and services become available in the future, you will have the opportunity to upgrade your connectivity plan.”
The contrast between Standard and Premium Connectivity is quite drastic; there aren’t many reasons to argue for staying on Standard. I think the live traffic visualization and music streaming are worth $9.99 alone.
The features included in Premium Connectivity further enhance the vehicle’s features and are important for the full experience of owning a Tesla. Premium Connectivity also includes live traffic visualization, satellite-view maps, video streaming, Caraoke, live Sentry Mode view, and a few others.
“An important part of all Tesla vehicles, further enhancing the driving experience providing access to features that require data usage - including streaming music and media, live traffic visualization, and more,” reads the Tesla Connectivity page on their Support section.
Tesla has yet to say what the price of Standard Connectivity will be since the first cars to expire are still eight years away, but we can speculate it may end up being somewhere around $5/month.
Currently if you do not subscribe to Premium Connectivity, you can still use some of the premium features such as music streaming or watch Netflix if you're connected via a Hotspot or WiFi connection. However, Tesla has added a new footnote to their site that suggests this may not always be the case.
The new footnote reads that items such as music and video streaming, internet browsing, Caraoke and others are "Currently available over Wi-Fi for Standard Connectivity."
It appears that Tesla either has plans to make these features exclusive to Premium Connectivity subscribers or that they're at least leaving the door open to change their minds in the future.
Although Tesla doesn't explicitly call it out on their website, it's expected that you will not need Standard Connectivity to use the Tesla app and that functionality will remain intact with or without Standard Connectivity.
Tesla compares their Standard and Premium Connectivity options
The features that will no longer work without Standard Connectivity will include maps, navigation and voice commands. There may be others as well if Tesla adds any new features that require connectivity in the coming years.
Tesla will still include WiFi and cellular connections in the vehicle so that the app and software updates continue to function properly, so this comes across as a small money grab by Tesla.
The actual bandwidth costs for Tesla are very small since Standard Connectivity doesn't feature any bandwidth extensive features. To take away a feature like navigation seems odd, especially since it takes up two-thirds of the screen in a Model 3 or Model Y and the owner has no way to replace the maps with anything else.
It may have been preferred for Tesla to raise the price of their vehicles by a few hundred dollars (assuming Standard Connectivity would cost $5/month or $60/year) rather than reduce the functionality of the vehicle.
WiFi / Hotspot
Ability to Use Tesla App
Live Traffic Visualization
Sentry Mode Live
If we look at this in a slightly different way, it looks like Tesla is essentially going to charge a monthly subscription for the use of its navigation system, which isn't a great look for the leader in car software.
This is one feature I hope Tesla backtracks on.
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A good view of all the displays available in a Model S
Tesla is a pioneer in the automotive industry, and one of the most defining features of its vehicles is the use of large touchscreens. These screens are a central hub for most vehicle functions, including music, vehicle settings, navigation, and more. Tesla's commitment to a minimalist and user-friendly design is evident through integrating these screens, which have become iconic in electric vehicles.
A comparison of the different size displays in Teslas
Not a Tesla App
2012-2020 Model S & Model X
Between 2012 and 2020, the Model S and Model X were equipped with vertical screens, which stood out due to their impressive size and orientation. These screens measured 17 inches diagonally and allowed intuitive control of the vehicles' various features.
In addition to the central touchscreen, both models featured an instrument cluster screen behind the steering wheel, displaying vital information such as speed, range, visualizations and charging status. The instrument cluster features a 12.3" screen with an 8:3 aspect ratio and a resolution of 1280 by 480.
2021-Present - Model S and Model X Screen Sizes
The Model S and Model X have a center display measuring 17 inches
In 2021, Tesla introduced a significant update to the Model S and Model X, replacing the vertical screens with horizontal ones. The new 17-inch screen boasts a 16:9.5 aspect ratio, providing users with an even more immersive experience. The display has a resolution of 2200 by 1300 pixels which is about 150 pixels per inch (PPI).
The instrument cluster remains present, ensuring drivers have easy access to crucial information at a glance. Additionally, a rear display measuring eight inches was introduced, which Tesla later updated in 2022 by reducing the bezels, resulting in a slightly larger screen size. Tesla also introduced the ability for the center display to tilt left and right.
The newer Model S and Model X has a rear display measuring over 8 inches
Model 3 & Model Y Screen Size
On the other hand, the Model 3 and Model Y take a different approach to screen design. Both models lack an instrument cluster, opting instead for a single, central 15.4-inch touchscreen with a 16:9 screen ratio. The display features a resolution of 1920 by 1200, which comes in just below 150 PPI. This minimalist approach further emphasizes Tesla's commitment to a clutter-free, user-friendly interface.
The interior of a Model 3 with a 15
The highly anticipated Cybertruck is expected to feature the most giant screen yet, with a whopping 18.5-inch horizontal screen without an instrument cluster. There are also plans for a rear screen, though the exact size remains unconfirmed. However, plenty of images of the Cybertruck appeared during Investor Day, and many observers believe the rear screen is the same as the Model S and Model X at around eight inches.
The Tesla Semi puts the driver between two 15-inch displays
Finally, the Tesla Semi, a big electric rig designed for long-haul transportation, features dual 15-inch screens located to the left and right of the driver. These screens replace the traditional instrument cluster, providing the driver vital information and access to various controls. However, there is no rear screen in the Semi, as it's not necessary for its intended use.
Tesla's commitment to innovation and user experience is exemplified by integrating large, intuitive touchscreens in their vehicles. From the early vertical screens in the Model S and Model X to the current horizontal screens and the upcoming Cybertruck, Tesla continues to push the boundaries of automotive design and technology, ensuring that their vehicles remain at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution.
Tesla's Model Y is the world's best selling car in Q1 of 2023
The Tesla Model Y made a monumental leap in Q1 2023, emerging as the world's best-selling car. Not just the best-selling EV, or the best-selling SUV, but the world's best-selling vehicle, period.
According to industry analysts JATO Dynamics, this marks the first occasion in history where an EV has claimed this title. The growth trajectory of Model Y sales globally over recent years had hinted at this milestone, fulfilling Tesla's earlier predictions that demand could reach a million units per year.
JATO Dynamics' Revealing Analysis: Model Y Trumps Corolla
Data compiled by JATO Dynamics analyst Felipe Munoz reveals a compelling story. Model Y's Q1 sales reached 267,200, outperforming Toyota Corolla's 256,400 sales. The comparison becomes even more dramatic when considering other top contenders like Toyota's Hilux, RAV4, and Camry. Model Y's sales, largely driven by Tesla's significant price cuts, are escalating, while Corolla sales appear to be dwindling. This dynamic is particularly impressive considering the Model Y's introduction to the market a year later than the Corolla (2019 vs 2018).
The Legacy of the Toyota Corolla: A Reign Unchallenged Until Now
For decades, the Toyota Corolla has held an uncontested reign as the world's best-selling car, with its affordability, reliability, and universal availability contributing to its enduring popularity. Its 2018 iteration further consolidated this status, offering consumers a well-rounded package that catered to a wide variety of tastes and requirements across different markets.
The Corolla was indeed a global favorite, securing sales in practically every corner of the world, from North America and Europe to Asia. Its broad availability in multiple body styles — sedan, hatchback, and wagon — further expanded its appeal to a diverse customer base. Despite this formidable legacy, the emergence of the Model Y has marked a shift in consumer preferences. It heralds a new era in which electric vehicles can claim the top spot in global car sales.
The High Price Tag vs. Accessibility: Tesla's Strategic Moves
Tesla's ambitious projections regarding the Model Y have come to fruition, culminating in an average quarterly sales increase from last year's 189k to this year's Q1 figures. With this growth rate, Model Y is on track to exit 2023 with over 1 million sales. A feat previously only achieved by Toyota Corolla, which sold 1.12 million units in the previous year.
One may wonder how an EV with a price tag of approximately $40k (after credits) could outperform the more affordable Corolla, priced at $21k for a base model. Despite Model Y's higher cost, Tesla's strategic price cuts have widened its appeal, contributing significantly to its increased market share.
Elon Musk's prediction that the Model Y could become the world's best-selling car seems increasingly plausible. Given its current momentum and the growing demand for EVs, it's likely that Model Y will maintain its leading position, making Tesla's mark in the automotive industry even more indelible.
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