Tesla adds CCS combo 1 adapter to its U.S. store

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla has added the CCS 1 adapter to its U.S. store
Tesla has added the CCS 1 adapter to its U.S. store

Tesla owners can say goodbye to range anxiety. Despite Tesla's vast network of more than 35,000 Supercharger stations, there are still areas that can raise the stress level as the charge goes down.

Those days will soon be a distant memory as more non-Tesla charging stations pop up. However, those stations do not have the sleek Tesla charger but a big, bulky one called CCS.

CCS, which stands for Combine Charging System comes in two types. Type 1 is mainly used in North America and South Korea, while CCS type 2 is the charging standard in Europe. They differ in the number of phases and maximum power they can provide.

Up until now, Tesla did not sell its CCS type 1 adapter in North America, but they did in South Korea. If you wanted one, you needed to import it or purchase the adapter through a third party. These adapters have been selling for a hefty price online, including eBay. Some sellers have the adapter listed for as much as $1000.

However, Tesla has finally added the adapter to its U.S. store. Tesla owners will now be able to tap into a whole other charging network.

Tesla introduced the device in the store at the bargain basement price of $250 USD, a significantly better deal.

But, not all Teslas are CCS compatible. Some models can charge with CCS once the adaptor is attached. However, several models, especially versions before 2020, are not CCS ready. There is a simple way to determine if your Tesla is suitable for CCS by taping the main menu, then Software and then Additional Vehicle Information. A box will pop up with a lot of information; scan for CCS adaptor support. It will show 'Not Installed' or 'CCS Enabled'.

Electronic Control Units (ECU) were available in the Tesla parts catalog for owners to retrofit their cars if they were incompatible. However, after the launch of the adapter in the Tesla store, visitors are asked to sign in before before being able to purchase the adapter.

The website determined if the owner had a CCS-ready Tesla. If you didn't then you were presented with this message: “This accessory requires a retrofit. Check back in early 2023 for availability.” Further down the page, there are instructions to check back in early 2023 for the availability of vehicles requiring a retrofit.

Tesla has also added messaging within its mobile app. If you navigate to the Service section, you'll now see a message at the top of the app displaying 'CCS Adapter Retrofit, check vehicle status.'

Unfortunately tapping on it doesn't offer any additional information, asking owners to check back in early 2023 to schedule an appointment for a retrofit.

CCS stations reportedly reach speeds of more than 150kW in the U.S., and, unfortunately, they are the preferred plug of several manufacturers. There was a petition to have the Tesla charging hardware be the industry standard, but it appears that has failed. CCS is available at Electrify America and Electrify Canada, and several other third-party power suppliers.

Tesla Vehicles Spotted With LiDAR: What Do They Use It For?

By Karan Singh
Not a Tesla App

Tesla recently hit the news for purchasing approximately $2M in LiDAR sensors from Luminar, one of Tesla’s long-term suppliers. You’ve probably seen photos of Tesla’s Semi and various Tesla models, including the Model 3 and Model Y sporting LIDAR equipment on the roof. These cars drive around with manufacturer plates scanning streets and highways.

However, many people confuse Tesla’s purpose in purchasing LiDAR equipment with using it for FSD versus testing. So, let’s look at what LiDAR is, and why Tesla uses it on its Fleet Validation Vehicles.

What is LiDAR?

LiDAR stands for Light Detecting and Ranging – essentially using lasers to measure distances. A laser pulse is sent out, and the time it takes to return is measured – providing extremely accurate distance measurements.

Some companies working on self-driving vehicles, including Waymo and BYD, use LiDAR as part of their self-driving suites, but Tesla is one of the few stand-outs that does not. Even Rimac’s “Verne” Robotaxi – which uses self-driving technology from Mobileye, also uses LiDAR.

While LiDAR can produce extremely accurate and high-quality 3D environments, it comes with its downsides as well. Not only is LiDAR costly and requires large gear strapped to a vehicle, but it also can not be used in bad weather and can have interference issues if there are other strong light sources present.

Why Does Tesla Use LiDAR?

A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
A LiDAR rig mounted on a Tesla Semi for testing FSD.
Not a Tesla App

At Autonomy Day in 2019, Elon Musk mentioned that LiDAR isn’t the solution for self-driving cars – it's just a crutch. Thus, Tesla hasn’t used LiDAR for any production self-driving software.

Instead, Tesla uses it exactly how it's described – they use it to gather ground-truth data. This data is then used to feed Tesla’s Full Self Driving system – which helps validate its vision-only system's accuracy. LiDAR provides very accurate measurements to help ensure that FSD’s perception of space is accurate – and is only used by Tesla to ensure that its AI technology which is the brains of FSD is capable of accurately interpreting depth from just visual data.

Tesla’s vision-only system has been seen to be extremely accurate, with Vision-only Autopark being able to park in even narrower and tighter spaces faster than the previous version that relied on ultrasonic sensors.

We’ll likely continue to see Tesla purchase LiDAR systems, as well as use them for validation well into the future.

Tesla's Upcoming Robotaxi Event in August Delayed, According to Bloomberg

By Karan Singh
Sugar Design

In a report from Bloomberg, it is claimed that Tesla will be delaying its much-anticipated 8/8 Robotaxi event by two months to October 2024.

While sources other than Bloomberg haven't confirmed this report, Bloomberg has a positive track record of reporting on financial decisions. We’ll be sure to update the article if there is confirmation on X from Elon Musk or another Tesla senior official.

Tesla’s stock has dropped nearly 8.5% over the day, ending back-to-back gains over the last two weeks. It closed yesterday at $ 241 after hitting a peak of $270 earlier in the day before the news broke.

Why the Delay?

The delay – of approximately two months – has been communicated internally, but not publicly announced just yet. Bloomberg goes on to mention that the design team was told to rework certain elements of the Cybercab, necessitating the delay.

If Bloomberg’s report is correct, it sounds like Tesla’s unveil event will be largely focused on showing off the vehicle, instead of demoing how it will work. Of course, it could still be both, but given past events, Tesla has always shown off the vehicle years before it hits production.

Rimac recently showed off their version of robotaxi vehicle named Verne, and surprisingly, it could almost pass for Tesla’s own robotaxi. A lot of design cues in Rimac’s version are elements we have already seen or expect to see in Tesla’s autonomous taxi.

A recent Tesla patent revealed that Tesla is incorporating a sanitation system into their robotaxi that will be responsible for analyzing and cleaning the vehicle’s interior, although the delay itself is likely tied more to a physical feature rather than software.

Another element we know almost nothing about is how Tesla plans to charge these robotic taxis. Will they rely on the existing charge port and adapt a solution like the robotic charging arm (video below) we saw almost eight years ago, or will wireless charging or a dock finally become realized?

While the delay for Tesla’s event appears to be related to the vehicle’s design itself and not further development of FSD, Tesla is wasting no time in getting FSD working for the upcoming vehicle. Model 3 vehicles have already been spotted with camera locations that resemble a robotaxi.

Is the Delay Accurate?

We expect that this delay might actually be true – Elon Musk usually takes to X within hours of such news breaking if it's false to refute it and hasn’t done so yet.

Tesla has delayed several of their events in the past, and a delay of a couple of months seems plausible. We should hear from Musk himself soon on whether this report is accurate.

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