Tesla to allow charging for Destination Charger use

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla is making various improvements to its third-gen Wall Connector
Tesla is making various improvements to its third-gen Wall Connector
@ChrisTesla/Twitter

Tesla operates two charging networks; the Supercharger and the Destination Charger. The Supercharger network consists of direct current, fast-charging stations for long-distance driving.

The Destination Charger network consists of slower-speed chargers, specifically the Tesla Wall Connector, installed at restaurants and hotels for Tesla owners to charge at their destination.

Destination Charging has typically been free up until now. Tesla announced that they are enabling paid charging at Destination Chargers. In order to set pricing at a Destination Charger location, restaurants and hotels will need at least six Tesla Wall Connectors.

In 2020, Tesla upgraded Destination Chargers with third-generation Wall Connectors, and the EV automaker told property managers that it would enable paid charging with this new generation charger.

Tesla’s Destination Charging locations have usually been complimentary. In most cases, the only requirement was that the Tesla owner was also a customer of the business.

The chargers would help bring more customers to the business, who would cover the cost of electricity from the Destination Chargers.

A great example of Destination Chargers that increase business is hotels. A Tesla owner may be more likely to choose a hotel with Destination Chargers if it means they could easily charge when needed while on vacation.

With the new 3rd generation Wi-Fi-connected Wall Connector, Tesla is enabling businesses to set their own price for charging. However, a business must have at least six Wall Connectors to activate the feature:

Tesla Commercial Services can be enabled on Gen3 Tesla Wall Connectors that are connected to either Wi-Fi or Cellular and have a signed Services Agreement with Tesla. A minimum of six units are required to be installed to be considered for this service.

This excludes many Destination Chargers since most locations only have two to four Tesla Wall Connectors. 

This upgrade will also encourage some property managers to add more chargers since they can charge customers for the service and cover their electricity costs.

Tesla Owners

Tesla Wall Connectors can add about 44 miles of range per hour of charging. In some circumstances, this is a better solution than a Supercharger, which has idling fees after your vehicle is done charging.

Property Managers

Now that property managers can charge for the service, they can cover the cost of deploying the chargers and the cost of electricity while also attracting Tesla owners to their businesses or apartment complex.

Apartment Complexes

If you live in an apartment complex and haven't bought an EV because of limited access to charging, this could be a turning point.

Up until now, many apartment complex managers have been hesitant to add EV chargers due to the added cost. However, now they'll be able to pass on any costs to their residents, adding value to their apartment complex without accruing any charges.

Destination Chargers can be used by Teslas and any other EV with an adapter.

It'll be interesting to see whether Tesla opens up this feature further by removing the six Destination Charger requirement. That would allow almost anyone to charge for the use of their Wall Connector.

All owners will soon be able to connect their third-generation Wall Connector to the Tesla app.

Tesla will soon retrofit some of their Superchargers with a CCS plug, allowing non-Tesla vehicles to charge without the use of an adapter. It's possible that the same feature may also arrive for the Wall Connector in the future.

Cybertruck to be waterproof and serve as a boat briefly, may also appear in Cyberpunk 2077

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

Cybertruck deliveries will start next year, but if you can't wait that long, you may want to head for Night City. Cyberpunk 2077 has teased that the highly anticipated vehicle in the real world may appear in the popular video game. But, if that's not enough, Elon Musk announced another exciting and unique feature for the futuristic-looking truck - it will be waterproof.

Let's start with the floating Cybertruck, which should not be a shock to anyone following the Tesla CEO. He bought the Lotus Esprit that James Bond used to jump off a pier and transform into a submarine in The Spy Who Loved Me. He purchased the movie prop for just under $1 million in 2013 and told USA Today, "I was disappointed to learn that it can't actually transform. What I'm going to do is upgrade it with a Tesla electric powertrain and try to make it transform for real."

In 2016 he tweeted that the Model S "floats well enough to be a boat," but he did not recommend trying it. Now he has claimed the Cybertruck could be used as a boat — briefly. Musk tweeted: Cybertruck will be waterproof enough to serve briefly as a boat, so it can cross rivers, lakes & even seas that aren't too choppy.

Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cybertruck may appear in Cyberpunk 2077 game
Cyberpunk

In a later tweet, he gave some idea of the distance he has in mind: Needs be able to get from Starbase to South Padre Island, which requires crossing the channel.

Twitter user @Erdayastronaut shed some light on why Musk would be singling out that area and distance. The tweet reads: "One of SpaceX's biggest problems is attracting talent to work at Starbase, which is extremely remote. South Padre is an awesome place to live, but it's almost an hour drive to Starbase despite being only 5 miles from Starbase because of the shipping channel." A quick check of Google Maps demonstrates what the user is describing.

South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
South Padre is only five minutes from Starbase if you cross the channel
Google

Musk's tweet also caught the attention of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Officials there seem to be a little concerned about the wording. The official account tweeted: Our derelict vessel crews are begging you to understand that anything that "serves briefly as a boat" should not be used as a boat.

CD Projekt RED also noticed Musk's tweet, and the makers of Cyberpunk used the opportunity to show two concepts of the Cybertruck as it would appear in Night City. Musk and Cyberpunk have had an ongoing relationship for a few years. Most recently, he demonstrated the power of the onboard computer's gaming system by playing Cyberpunk in a Tesla. However, CD Projekt RED did not mention if the Cybertruck in Cyberpunk would float.

Cyberpunk 2077 will be playable in the new Model S

Tesla hints at 'Reverse Summon' being available this year

Future Feature
By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website'
Tesla now mentions 'Park Seek' or what we know as reverse summon on its website
Tesla

Tesla's team of Autopilot engineers is validating significant advancements to Full Self Driving Beta, including parking lot improvements. While Smart Summon and Reverse Summon were not specifically mentioned during the 3.5-hour AI Day 2022 event, parking lots were discussed, and Elon Musk gave a timeline of when enhancements are expected.

Reverse Summon or 'Park Seek' as Tesla appears to be calling it, is the opposite of Smart Summon. Whereas Smart Summon drives to you from a parking spot, users who activate Reverse Summon would have their Tesla drop them off at a location, perhaps closest to the entrance of a mall, and then find a parking spot. This feature was described by Musk on July 1, 2020, when he gave it a two to a four-month timeline.

Ashok Elluswamy, Tesla’s director of the Autopilot program, started the FSD portion of AI Day, saying, “FSD beta software is quite capable of driving the car. It should be able to navigate from parking lot to parking lot, city street driving, stopping for traffic lights and stops signs, negotiating with objects at intersections, making turns and so on.”

Several team members described how FSD has advanced and soon will be an integrated stack, meaning one code base that includes everything the program needs to navigate the car in a parking lot or on a busy highway. Musk is currently using this new stack, “it works quite well for me, but we need to validate it in all kinds of weather, like heavy rain, snow, dust and make sure it is working better than the production stack across a wide range of environments.”

Paril Jain, the Manager of Autopilot Motion Planning, expanded on what else will be included in the integrated stack, “we do expect to also include the parking lot stack as a part of the FSD stack before the end of this year. So, that will basically bring us to you sitting in the car in the parking lot and drive till the end of the parking lot, at a parking spot, before the end of this year.”

It has been previously reported that Reverse Summon would have three different modes to find parking spots that the owner prefers. The methods would include closest to the entrance, nearby a cart return, and the end of the parking lot for those who like to avoid tight spots that cause door dings. Musk said that the integrated stack is on track for release before the end of the year and maybe as early as November.

Tesla has also updated it's website to reflect this news, although no timeframe is given. The Autopilot section of Tesla's site now has a section titled "To your Destination." The description reads "When you arrive at your destination, simply step out at the entrance and your car will enter park seek mode, automatically search for a spot and park itself. A tap on your phone summons it back to you."

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View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

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

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