Drive on Sunshine: Tesla to Introduce Clean Energy Charging

By Kevin Armstrong
Rendering of what Tesla's new 'Drive on Sunshine' feature may look like
Rendering of what Tesla's new 'Drive on Sunshine' feature may look like
Not a Tesla App

Tesla is getting ready to introduce a new feature that allows owners to charge their cars using surplus solar energy. If your home is generating more energy than it's using, this excess energy can be directed automatically to your car.

For owners of solar panels, there have been limited options when your panels are generating more energy than you're using. The system tops off your Powerwalls if you have them, but once those are full, the system sends any excess energy back to the grid.

However, if you have a Tesla, you'll soon be able to automatically start charging your vehicle whenever excess energy is being generated. This is according to new text-based information found in the latest Tesla app, according to Twitter user Tesla App iOS. Tesla is calling this new feature "Drive on Sunshine," which focuses on providing the cleanest charge possible for Tesla vehicles.

Tesla has already started updating their app with some details regarding this new feature. The feature will instruct users to plug in at home during daytime hours, to take advantage of the surplus clean energy their solar system produces.

How It Will Work

The Tesla app allows you to set a charging limit for your vehicle. However, once this new feature is enabled, you'll gain access to two charging sliders. The first slider will control how much your vehicle is charged, regardless of where the energy is coming from. You'll be guaranteed to have this amount of charge every night. However, you'll have access to a new slider that lets you set the maximum charge level, but only using your solar system's clean energy.

This will allow you to set your charging limit to a minimum amount every day, such as 60%. You could then set your solar limit to something much higher, such as 90%. This will allow your vehicle will charge up to this limit when your solar system is producing excess energy.

By setting charge limits and specifying the desired charging times and locations, Tesla owners can ensure that their vehicles are being fully charged before excess energy is sent to the grid.

Apple Inspired?

Last September, we pondered if Tesla could develop something similar to Apple's Clean Energy Charging. Apple optimized iPhone charging times by prioritizing clean energy sources from the grid. This approach aligns with Tesla's mission to create zero-emission vehicles that can charge using clean, renewable energy.

The app also lets users charge their vehicle's battery using available energy sources for regular daily driving needs while reserving a portion of the battery to be charged exclusively when surplus solar energy is available.

Explains Recent Powerwall Announcement

This new functionality enables Tesla owners to charge their cars using renewable solar energy, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels throughout the charging and driving experience.

Tesla's goal is to make EV ownership as sustainable as possible by minimizing the use of fossil fuels and promoting clean charging options. When a household generates more solar energy than it can consume, this excess power can be directed toward charging the vehicle. Tesla again began offering the Powerwall as a standalone product, allowing customers to purchase the battery storage system without requiring a solar array.

The Drive on Sunshine feature is a major step forward in Tesla's mission to make electric vehicle ownership as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible. With this update, Tesla continues demonstrating its commitment to creating a cleaner, greener future for all.

Tesla Sales Forecasted to Surpass 5% Market Share, Tops in Luxury

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is expected to top luxury vehicle sales
Tesla is expected to top luxury vehicle sales
Kelley Blue Book

Cox Automotive, the world's largest automotive services and technology provider, has released a forecast predicting that Tesla will lead the luxury market in Q1 2023 with sales of 180,000 units, a gain of nearly 40% from Q1 2022. As a result, Tesla is expected to post solid sales gains and surpass a market share of 5% for the first time. This marks a significant achievement for the electric car maker as it continues to gain market share in the luxury car market.

Improved Inventory and Lowered Prices to Spark Demand

By far, Tesla will be the top luxury-vehicle seller in the U.S. in Q1, with sales more than double that of BMW or Mercedes. This impressive performance is likely due to Tesla's innovative technology, sleek designs, and rising brand recognition.

Tesla's success in Q1 2023 is expected to be primarily driven by improved inventory levels and lowered prices. According to Cox Automotive, new-vehicle inventory levels have significantly improved from Q1 2022, which has helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates. Tesla also lowered its prices in the first quarter to spark demand.

Tesla's Record Quarter

Tesla's Q1 2023 sales are expected to reach 180,000, a record quarter for the company in the U.S. In addition, the company's growth trajectory continues to outpace its competitors, with Tesla's market share forecasted to surpass 5% for the first time. This puts Tesla on track to achieve its goal of selling 1 million electric vehicles per year, an ambitious target the company has set for itself.

Strong Outlook for Tesla

Cox Automotive's forecast is good news for Tesla investors and enthusiasts. The electric car maker has been expanding its production capacity to meet the rising vehicle demand. Tesla's Model Y, launched in 2020, has been a hit with customers, with the company ramping up production to meet the high demand. Tesla also plans to launch the Cybertruck, its first all-electric pickup truck, in 2022.

As more consumers look to switch to electric vehicles to reduce their carbon footprint, Tesla's growth prospects are expected to remain strong. The company's continued innovation in the electric car space and aggressive expansion plans could help it solidify its position as a leader in the automotive industry.

Other Key Take Aways from Cox

The release suggests a positive surprise for U.S. auto sales in Q1 2023. Still, supply constraints and affordability issues are expected to put a ceiling on what's possible for the rest of the year. Despite these challenges, Tesla's continued growth trajectory and strong performance in the luxury market are promising signs for the electric car maker.

General Motors is expected to finish Q1 as the top seller of new vehicles in the U.S., with sales volume forecasted to increase by over 15% year over year to reach 587,000 units. However, sales will drop from Q4 2022 when GM's volume hits 618,692.

The Bottleneck Has Passed, but Prices Are Too High

New-vehicle inventory levels have significantly improved from Q1 2022, up roughly 70% from the volume recorded in the early months of 2022. This has helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates.

Fleet sales for the entire year of 2023 are forecasted at 2.2 million, up 23% from 2022, when 1.8 million units were sold to commercial buyers.

Cox Automotive has adjusted its full-year new-vehicle sales forecast to 14.2 million, an increase of nearly 3% from 2022.

Elevated prices and average auto loan rates above 8% are expected to hold back new-vehicle sales for the rest of the year. The typical new-vehicle loan payment was more than $750 a month in Q1, which is out of reach for many households.

Tesla's sales forecasted to surpass 5% market share in Q1 2023 is a significant milestone for the electric car maker. Tesla's success in the luxury market is due to its innovative technology, sleek designs, and raising brand recognition. In addition, the company's improved inventory levels and lowered prices have helped stimulate sales despite elevated prices and high auto loan rates. With a record quarter forecasted for Q1 2023, Tesla's outlook remains strong, and the company continues to lead the charge in the electric car market.

Tesla Will Display the Vehicle's Navigation Route in the Tesla App

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla is updating its app to show the vehicle's planned path to its destination
Tesla is updating its app to show the vehicle's planned path to its destination
Not a Tesla App

Tesla is consistently working to improve its mobile app experience for users, and now they're adding another new feature. Building on the features unveiled last year, Tesla is now adding the ability to view the route the vehicle is taking toward its destination. Thanks to Max for the tip!

Navigation Path

When using GPS navigation, the app directly displays the driver's destination, distance, and estimated arrival time (ETA) on the main screen. By tapping into the navigation section, users can access a map that shows the vehicle's location, nearby Superchargers, and destination details. The app also displays the vehicle's expected state of charge upon arrival at the destination, providing greater transparency for owners regarding battery consumption. The one missing piece was the suggested route the vehicle is taking to reach its destination. That is now being added to the app and is available for select users.

In the last Tesla app update, v4.19, the company introduced a new API called "nav route." This API looked to go unused at first, but this new feature appears to leverage this API to display the path the vehicle will take, much like the in-car navigation system.

Building on Latest Update

The October 2022 update brought a host of additional features to the Tesla mobile app, enhancing convenience for its users. For instance, the app now shows more information about the media playing in the vehicle, such as song title, artist, and destination details.

Energy Enhancement

The automaker rolled out major revisions to its Energy app in its cars, which displays the battery's state of charge upon departure and arrival, as well as the main causes of battery drain. Tesla started bringing this functionality to the app for older Model S and Model X vehicles, and will hopefully soon expand it to other vehicles.

The app will provide a detailed breakdown of energy usage for various features, such as air conditioning, driving, battery conditioning, elevation, and other components like charging mobile devices, onboard computers, lights, and the audio system.

As Tesla continues to hire additional app developers, users can anticipate further updates and improvements to the mobile app, offering more helpful features and enhancing the overall user experience.

We anticipate that users will be required to have Tesla app version 4.19 and Tesla's car version 2023.6 in order to use this new app feature.

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Although we share official Tesla release notes, we are not affiliated with Tesla Motors. We are Tesla fans and supporters.

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


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