Teslas may soon apply brakes for a consistent experience when regenerative braking is limited

By Kevin Armstrong
Tesla may soon support applying the brakes automatically when regen is limited
Tesla may soon support applying the brakes automatically when regen is limited
Forbes

It's challenging to determine Tesla's best feature or the one that has changed driving habits the most, but regenerative braking must be high on the list for anyone who owns an electric vehicle.

After getting accustomed to the system, the brake pedal becomes obsolete.

However, that piece of metal to the left of the accelerator is quickly remembered during cold temperatures or when the battery is fully charged and regenerative braking is reduced or not available.

A feature found in Tesla's latest update (2022.16) appears to address that issue by adding an option to make the car perform the same with or without regenerative braking.

When regenerative braking is reduced and the driver lets off the accelerator pedal the car will automatically apply its regular brakes. This gives the driver a consistent driving experience whether regenerative braking is fully available or limited.

Regenerative braking is one of the most significant factors that make electric vehicles so efficient. While in motion, if the driver applies less pressure to the accelerator or lifts their foot nearly off the pedal to decelerate, most EVs will slow down like the brakes are being applied, but they are not.

This one-foot driving style saves the use of brake pads and sends a charge back to the battery, creating additional energy. Tesla believes this is such an important feature it made the strongest regenerative braking mode standard in 2020.

However, if the car is fully charged, the battery will not take more energy. This system has also been known to act differently in cold climates.

Now, thanks to the 2022.16 update, during those circumstances, specific Tesla's Model 3s and Model Ys will perform the same without the ability to engage regenerative braking.

In the release notes, Tesla stated, "Your car can now automatically apply regular brakes for consistent deceleration when regenerative braking is limited due to battery temperature or state of charge."

According to @greentheonly, this feature is only available on limited Model 3s and Model Ys with specfic hardware. It's possible that Tesla is testing out the feature on very limited hardware or specific vehicles before making it available more broadly in a future update.

Understandably, some drivers may be turned off by the car blending in the brakes without the driver specifically pressing the brake pedal, so Tesla has made this feature optional.

If drivers want to be reacquainted with their brake pedal, then they don't need to enable the new feature; for those who do: tap Controls > Pedals & Steering > Apply Brakes When Regenerative Braking Is Limited. But, again, this is only available for select Model 3 and Model Y vehicles.

There's no news on when it will be made available for more broadly.

Another change came through on the latest over-the-air update, so subtle you may not have realized it was there.

After reading this, you may want to check out the display's top left corner. There is a line that is directly above the speedometer. Maybe you've noticed it before and not given it a second glance, but the line provides some valuable information.

The line is in the center if the car is not using or gaining energy, but it turns black during acceleration and green during regenerative braking.

You're not alone if you haven't noticed it or ignored it, as Tesla has made the line thicker and easier to see. This update is also only available for Model 3 and Model Y Teslas.

Elon to Switch to the Cybertruck; Volume Production in 2024

By Kevin Armstrong
Cybertruck mass production to start in 2024
Cybertruck mass production to start in 2024
Kim Java

Tesla's fourth quarter and 2022 earnings call with investors was mostly good news unless you were planning to drive a Cybertruck soon. While company executives eagerly jumped on every question asked by investors, there was a noticeable pause when a point-blank question was asked about Cybertruck's mid-year production date.

Elon Musk responded "um, we do expect production to start, I don't know, maybe sometime this summer. But I always like to try to downplay the start of production because the start of production is always very slow. It increases exponentially, but it's always very slow at first. So I wouldn't put too much thought in start of production."

Volume Production Next Year

If the millions of people with Cybertruck reservations were in attendance, you might have felt the air leave the room. The previous belief was mass production would start by the end of 2023. There may be some stainless-steel beauties on the road by then, but only a few. "It's kind of when does volume production actually happen, and that's next year," said Musk.

Perhaps sensing some disappointed buyers, Lars Moravy, Tesla's Vice President of Vehicle Engineering added, "(I'd) like just to emphasize on that, we've started installation of all the production equipment here in Giga Texas, castings, general assembly, body shops. We built all our beta vehicles, some more coming still in the next month, but as you said, the ramp will really come 2024."

The Cybertruck Will be Elon's Next Car

Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019 at the memorable event that included the unbreakable armor glass smashing. Musk was wearing the smashed glass Cybertruck t-shirt while taking questions from investors. While the wait continues, he is adamant that it will be worth it, "So it's an incredible product. I can't wait to drive it personally. It will be the car that I drive every day… it's just one of those products that only comes along once in a while, and it's really special."

The original release deadline was set for 2021. However, the production date has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances, like a global pandemic. Nevertheless, it is a positive sign that beta vehicles have been produced. Images of what appears to be a Cybertruck were leaked a few months ago.

Recently, chief designer Franz von Holzhausen did confirm that the Cybertruck was ready for production, but it's a work in progress. Every Tesla beta product gets thoroughly examined and meticulously reviewed before the next step. But at least it's a step in the right direction.

A Look at Tesla's 2022 Numbers and Record Quarter

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Tesla set new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations.
Statista

Tesla published their Q4 2022 and full-year financial results, setting new records in production and deliveries while beating analyst expectations. Tesla’s annual profit rose to $12.6 billion in 2022, from $5.5 billion in 2021. Annual revenue rose to $81.5 billion, from $53.8 billion the year prior. Tesla reported fourth-quarter revenue of $24.32 billion beating analysts' $24.07 billion estimate. The automaker also reported earnings per share of $1.19 beating analysts' $1.12 estimate.

Tesla’s stock rose more than 5% in after-hours trading following the earnings release and surged more than 10% the next day.

Tesla's Q4 2022 revenue set a new record for the company, up 59% from a year earlier. In addition to automotive revenue of $21.3 billion, Tesla recognized $324 million of deferred revenue from the company’s driver assistance systems.

FSD Beta Numbers

Tesla reported that 90 million miles have now been driven with FSD Beta, up from 58 million miles in the previous quarter. The company also confirmed that they have about 400,000 FSD Beta users in North America, a sizeable increase since the last report. With such a steep increase in miles driven and FSD Beta becoming widely available in North America, Tesla is making significant progress with its autonomous driving software.

In late 2022 and into this year, Tesla began cutting prices on its cars globally. Elon spoke about how recent price cuts have fueled a surge in demand for Tesla: “Thus far in January we’ve seen the strongest orders year-to-date than ever in our history. We’re currently seeing orders of almost twice the rate of production.” He added: “These price changes really make a difference for the average consumer.” Tesla acknowledges that average sales prices have to decrease over time because affordability is part of Tesla's mission to grow into a company that sells multiple millions of cars annually.

Price cuts will impact profitability, but margins should remain healthy, Tesla CFO Zach Kirkhorn affirmed. Tesla has wider operating margins than the industry average, which allows them to make such price cuts.

Elon issued an uncertain forecast for 2023, saying Tesla planned on 1.8 million vehicles for the year without specifying whether that was a target for production or deliveries. If the company were to deliver 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, that would result in 37% annual growth.

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