Tesla's Model 3 Turns 5 Years-Old

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla's Model 3 HVAC UI in 2017
Tesla's Model 3 HVAC UI in 2017

Happy Birthday to Tesla’s Model 3. It’s hard to believe that five years ago, just 30 Model 3’s had rolled off the assembly line and been delivered. Now Tesla’s answer to a more affordable vehicle is the best-selling electric vehicle in the world, has been named car of the year, is considered one of the safest vehicles on the planet and has a long waiting list of eager buyers.

It’s a birthday, so we should reminisce about the early days. While this iconic car first appeared on the road in 2017, it was on Elon Musk’s to-do list for over a decade.

Elon Musk talks to Wired Science about the Model 3 in 2006

Years later, as it became more of a reality, the car was given the code name BlueStar. It was to be named the Model E, but Ford had already trademarked the wording. Then Musk turned the E into a 3, but he didn’t want the number; he envisioned 3 lines, similar to the current E in Tesla. But Adidas quashed that, arguing it was too close to that brand’s three stripes. So that’s how the 3 was named.

The Model 3 was supposed to be the smaller, stripped-down version of the Model S to invite more buyers into Tesla and EVs. However, this more affordable, entry-level Tesla holds its own against luxury sedans and even its big sister, the Model S. Tesla has been rolling out several updates throughout the Model 3’s existence, allowing the vehicles to keep up and even pass the Joneses.

In 2019 the Model 3 received a significant software boost when the beta versions of Navigate on Autopilot and Smart Summon were added. Voice commands, a voice keyboard and new language supports were also implemented along with the popular Camp Mode. Once owners posted photos and videos of comfortable beds in the Model 3 with the backseat down, Tesla had to add climate control and a camp fire to complete the experience.

Tesla introduced Dog Mode in Teslas in 2019. In fact, the manufacturer used a Model 3 to unveil the feature to the world. With the help of a sleepy Husky and an excited German Shepherd, Dog Mode was demonstrated to the world on all of Tesla’s social media channels. This made Tesla a must-have for any dog lover!

Also included with the Model 3 in late 2019 and early 2020 was Sentry Mode. This all-encompassing security system records and notifies the owner if anything is happening around or to the Tesla. It’s arguably the most advanced stock vehicle alarm system on the market.

In 2020 the Tesla Toybox was overhauled and updated in all Model 3s. Emissions, sketchpad and many more favorites were revised and made even more fun. But it wasn’t just the games that have been updated; although plenty of games were added over time, Tesla improved it’s maps and dashcam. Later in the year, the Beta version of Full Self Driving was added to all Teslas, including the Model 3. While FSD is still a work in progress, for the system to be available in even the entry-level Model 3 was a big attraction.

A crowd pleaser is the Boombox. This was another addition in 2020 to all models. With the car in park, the boombox blasts music or sound effects through an external speaker. You can even add your own sounds through a USB drive. Perhaps the Boombox should be used by all Model 3 owners to wish their Tesla a happy 5th Birthday!

Sweet Move: Tesla Shifts from Creating EVs to Making Candy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla has filed four new trademarks recently, according to the US Patent and Trademark Office. These trademarks aren’t exactly what you’d expect from Tesla – they’re not for cars, not for batteries, and not for any cool new software features.

They’re for sweet, sweet, candy!

Candy Trademarks

Tesla has filed 4 distinct trademarks in its filings with the USPTO, for the following four names.

  • Supercharged Gummy

  • Cyberberry

  • Mango Bolt

  • Dog Mode Chill

The trademarks don’t come with any particular logos, art, or renderings, or it doesn’t reveal anything besides the names of the candy or candy-like items. Tesla filed these trademarks last month on June 25th.

While we’re not quite sure exactly what type of candies these will be, there is one thing we can knock off the bat – given how premium Tesla’s food products have been, these will likely include high-quality ingredients with a matching price point.

Elon Musk previously hinted that he wanted to start a candy company, and claimed he was super serious. Given his usual 2-week timeline, starting it 7-years later under Tesla seems fairly fitting. Jokes aside, we hope that the candies will launch sometime before the Tesla van, otherwise you can expect some more jokes on that front.

Tesla is well known for designing and selling non-vehicle merchandise. In the past, they’ve sold a glass decal that makes your window look like it was shattered with a metal bearing, Tesla Tequila, the Cybertruck whistle and many others.

Maybe we’ll hear more about Elon’s candy ambitions during Tesla’s upcoming earnings call, which will be taking place this coming Tuesday, July 23rd.

Tesla Looking to Hire 800 New Employees After Recent Layoffs, Large Focus on Energy

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Just three months after Elon Musk fired the entire Supercharger team, and laid off many employees at Tesla, the company is now looking to hire 800 new employees.

This comes after many members of the Supercharger team were hired back after their initial layoffs.

New Hirings

Tesla’s careers page now has more than 800 open positions today, and positions go from anywhere between engineers for artificial intelligence or batteries, ADAS testers in local communities, or service and desk employees for service centers.

Most of the new jobs focus on engineering positions, and many positions in Legal Affairs, Business Support, and vehicle software positions have not been posted or renewed. Those sections remain empty, at least in North America.

Tesla Energy Focus

Interestingly, quite a few of the new positions focus on Telsa Energy and its role in the company. There are several positions for supporting the deployments of Powerwall and Megapack, as well as doing further engineering work on these types of stationary battery systems.

Just recently, Tesla secured a $375 million Megapack contract in Australia – to build one of the biggest 4-hour battery banks in the world. This comes just days after the announcement of a $256 million Megapack contract to expand a different Australian facility.

We’re expecting Tesla to bank more towards its energy business – which has really just started getting off the ground with recent factory expansions and new business. Tesla Powerwall also recently hit some spectacular milestones – 100MW in California delivered to the grid, and 200,000 hours of backup power after Hurricane Beryl in Texas.

Powerwall and Megapack are going to be defining features of Tesla’s business – and we hope to see Tesla Solar – both Solar Panels and Tesla’s Solar Roof, also become more available to the mass market, just like Powerwall is today.

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