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.
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.
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.
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Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
If you look up ambient lights for Tesla, you'll see several ads for third-party light kits. Perhaps this is why Tesla added its own Ambient Lights feature to the new Model 3. So, let's get enlightened.
Tesla's ambient lights are thin light strips that are embedded in each of the vehicle's doors near the top edge. It also curves around the dashboard near the windshield, giving passengers a near 360-degree light effect.
Tesla new ambient light feature is available on the new Model 3 (2024+), and will be available on the Cybertruck in a similar manner. With a refresh ongoing for the Model Y, known as Juniper, it will likely also have ambient lights. That just leaves out the most luxurious flagship vehicles, the Model S and X, for now.
The Model S and Model X could be due for a minor refresh that would not only add ambient lighting, but also include a front-bumper camera that the Cybertruck has and the new Model 3 is expected to have in the near future.
Tesla introduced a wrap-around ambient lighting strip to its new Model 3
The ambient light settings allow you to light up the interior in a color that reflects your mood or preference. Under Controls > Lights > Accent Lights, you are handed the freedom to choose virtually any color to adorn the interior of your Tesla.
You have control over whether the ambient lights are on, off, or set to an "Auto" setting, though not fully clarified, seems to promise intelligent lighting adjustments akin to our control over dome lights, offering a reduction in reflections during drives.
While the ability to control the brightness level seems missing, Tesla did include color presets, letting you curate a series of your favorite colors.
It should be noted that the changes are confined to the light strips on the doors and dash, steering clear of the footwell lights and other interior lighting.
With Tesla, we can be assured there will be enhancements to this feature in a future update. In fact, the Tesla community is already busy coming up with useful suggestions. Some owners thought Tesla should take advantage of the lighting to provide driver feedback, such as automatically changing the ambient lighting to a red hue when there's a vehicle in your blind spot. Tesla could also glow the light strip on a door if it's not closed properly, or use the lighting to provide feedback when Sentry Mode is enabled.
Other uses could be more fun, such as cycling the light through various colors when the 'Rainbow Road' easter egg is activated.
Ambient Lighting in Action
While the possibilities are endless and Tesla engineers will surely have fun coming up with creative uses for the feature, the biggest improvement we can hope for in the near future is the ability to adjust the light intensity.
Tesla's new Model 3 received a host of exterior and interior upgrades
Tesla outdid itself with the refreshed Model 3, known as the Highland. Despite all the fantastic upgrades, something is missing - the Performance version or perhaps the Plaid. The letter "T" has shown up on vehicle certificates in Europe, and despite Elon Musk's sense of humor, it is unlikely this is a Mr. T reference.
Deciphering the 'T'
A new document shows the new Model 3 Performance will have a dual motor
eivissacopter / X
Diligent scrutiny of the European Type Certificate, issued by the Dutch vehicle authority RDW and shared on the TFF Forum, revealed a subtle yet pivotal alteration — including the letter 'T' in the eighth digit of the Model 3 Performance's VIN.
This seemingly minor detail, indicative of the vehicle's motor/drive unit type, sparked curiosity and speculation on the forum. Could it be a tri-motor setup to usher in a new Plaid version of the Model 3? This vehicle has already got endless amounts of zip, but three motors? May The Schwartz Be With You!
This could also explain the Model 3+ badging that was spotted during the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China inspection of the refresh. However, the regulatory filings highlighted just two distinct variants of the car: a rear-wheel drive (RWD) with a 194 kW motor and an all-wheel drive (AWD) dual-motor setup that combines to deliver a formidable 331 kW of maximum power.
Initial conjectures leaned towards the possibility of a tri-motor setup, drawing parallels with the Plaid variants of the Model S and Model X. However, a deeper dive into the certification document clarified that the Model 3 Performance retained its Dual Motor setup, dispelling the possibility of a tri-motor upgrade.
Strategic Enhancements: A Glimpse into Potential Upgrades
Given the documented specifications, it becomes plausible that Tesla has strategically enhanced one of the dual motors, potentially aligning it with the advanced motor found in the Model S/X Plaid. This modification is poised to augment the top-end speed and acceleration of the Model 3 Performance, addressing its comparative limitations in extended races against traditional gas-powered supercars.
Meanwhile, the Model 3 refresh has become the new Bigfoot of the roads of North America, with rare sightings posted on social media. However, it appears the continent is excluded from the initial launch of the Model 3 Highland. Internal communications within Tesla suggest North American enthusiasts might have to exercise patience until 2024.
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