Tesla is opening up Superchargers everywhere. Why this is a smart move.

441 days since announcement
Future Feature
By Nuno Cristovao

We previously covered how Tesla plans to open up Superchargers in Norway, but Elon Musk has now said that Tesla plans on opening up Superchargers in all countries over time. We'll explain why this can be an absolutely brilliant move by Tesla.

In Europe Tesla uses a universal CCS port on their cars and chargers, making it much easier for owners to charge elsewhere without the use of an adapter. In this case though, it will also help Tesla open up their Superchargers to others.

Tesla Superchargers

In the US and other regions where Tesla uses their proprietary connection, it will be a little trickier. Tesla would likely need to develop an adapter from CCS to Tesla’s port. It’ll be a hurdle for any customers wanting to use Tesla Superchargers.

Why is Tesla doing this?

So here’s where it gets interesting. Why is this Tesla opening up Superchargers to others when they’re already congested in some areas? Tesla built their proprietary cable connection and their Superchargers because they had no other choice. Fast charging DC stations were simply not available when Tesla released their first Model S in 2012 (the original Tesla roadster used a different connection). So if Superchargers are not a revenue stream for Tesla, then they’ll likely be surpassed as the leader in fast charging stations.

So what I believe Tesla is thinking here is that they can get actually two hugely important things out of opening Superchargers to everyone. First, they create a new revenue stream for themselves. They’re not giving out this energy for free, and they’ll likely charge a premium for it. Secondly, with this additional revenue, they could use it to continue building out their Supercharger network and become the de facto standard for car charging. Something that surely would please Tesla owners as they can keep the simplicity of charging at Tesla’s chargers, and don’t need to buy an adapter when charging. Having a greatly expanded Tesla charging network would be a great form of advertising for Tesla and would surely help sell Tesla vehicles.

However, there is something Tesla needs to solve. Today, Superchargers communicate with the vehicle to transmit information such as how much energy was transferred and it leaves the authentication and payment details to the car.

In order to allow other vehicles to charge at Superchargers Tesla would need to change or add a way for other cars to authenticate at the Supercharger and pay for the charging session.

I still remember my first experience at a Supercharger and being in awe with the simplicity of the whole thing. The first time I used one I thought I’d need to authenticate at the charger, or maybe even on my phone. I was even ready to pay for it manually, like at a gas station. Tesla absolutely nailed this experience for its customers so I don’t believe they’re going to want to change any of that, nor should they.

Instead I believe they’ll create a payment system where a non-Tesla vehicle could go up to a Tesla Supercharger and open up the Tesla app to start a charging session. Very similar to what some gas stations do today. You simply log in, choose your pump and start pumping. The charging session would be automatically terminated when the charger is removed from the car. This will again force non-Tesla vehicles to use Tesla’s system, instead of the opposite where Tesla owners would need to use someone else’s chargers, possibly interrrupting the simplicity of charging that exists today at Superchargers.

By having non-Tesla owners use the Tesla app to authenticate their charging session, Tesla also gains a unique opportunity to sell them on a Tesla, right there while they’re waiting for their car to charge. Clever move.

CSS port?

So as Tesla expands their Supercharging network and offers non-Tesla vehicles fast DC charging, we face the question, why is Tesla still using their proprietary adapter? Sure, it was necessary in 2012, but in 2021 where so many things have changed, it doesn’t add many benefits over a CCS connection. It prevents Tesla owners from charging at CCS stations, it prevents some non-Tesla owners from their at Tesla chargers and it requires Tesla to build and manage multiple parts for their cars.

We believe Tesla will announce that all future Teslas will come with a CCS charge port, instead of the Tesla port. They will slowly switch over Superchargers to use a CCS connection and offer an adapter at the station for non-CCS Teslas.

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."

View All Upcoming Features

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

Tesla News

Confirmed by Elon

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

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Sponsors

Find out how to become a sponsor and have your site listed here.

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

Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.36.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.