Elon Musk discusses the future of Tesla with the Financial Times at the 'Future of the Car' conference

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Elon speaking at the Future of the Car conference
Elon speaking at the Future of the Car conference

Earlier this week Elon Musk spoke to the Financial Times at the Future of the Car conference. The Chief executive of Tesla and SpaceX gave a few interesting quotes in this exclusive interview.

The interview started with a bit of overlap with Elon Musk and Co-Founder of Tesla JB Straubel both talking together. JB mentioned that it's "tougher now for EV startups because what are they going to do that Tesla hasn't or won't do. What is their niche?"

Elon added "Companies are jumping in at the deep end, trying to make a high volume vehicle without having ever made a vehicle before. Start small and make mistakes at a small scale with a lot of reserve capital."

Elon was asked who he views as the most impressive EV startup and he answered "Volkswagen is making the most progress aside from Tesla." He also noted that there will be some strong EV companies coming out of China.

When asked about supply constraints, Elon said that he sees constraints in lithium coming in about three years, in large part due to the difficulty of converting the ore into battery-grade material.

Elon said that Tesla may have to get involved in mining/refining raw materials. When discussing supply constraints, Elon also iterated that the 20 million vehicle target for 2030 is simply an aspiration; "We may achieve it, but we may not."

Full Video Interview

When asked about the current situation in China, Elon stated that he has had recent conversations with government officials. From these conversations he believes that it is clear that the lockdowns are being lifted rapidly, adding "I would not expect this to be a significant issue in the coming weeks." This statement is optimistic as the lockdowns have posed huge supply chain challenges for Tesla and the broader economy.

When asked about demand, Elon said "now its demand is exceeding production to a ridiculous degree. We’re probably gonna just stop taking orders for anything beyond a certain period of time because some of that timing is like a year away.

Elon stated that there is some probability that Tesla would make a car smaller than the Model 3. Tesla has alluded to increasing efficiency when discussing the Robotaxi, so it would make sense that it would be smaller than the Model 3.

This would be an interesting move for the automaker. Tesla has previously alluded to the idea on their Q1 earnings call where they discussed the difficulty of setting their prices so far out because they don't know what their future costs will be.

When asked about how long he would stay at Tesla, Elon responded: "as long as I can be useful."

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Tesla to add CCS connector to Superchargers in the US

By Jorge Aguirre
Tesla Superchargers in Taiwan with Tesla and CCS connectors
Tesla Superchargers in Taiwan with Tesla and CCS connectors
@hsumacher/Twitter

The CCS (Combined Charging System) has become the standard for electric vehicle charging over the last few years.

When Tesla first debuted the 2012 Model S, the CCS charging connector didn't exist. In fact Tesla developed its proprietary Tesla connector because there wasn't anything capable of fast DC charging.

Today, the CCS connector supports charging speeds up to 350kW.

For comparison, Tesla's latest v3 Superchargers can currently charge at speeds up to 250kW, although Tesla plans to update v3 Superchargers later this year to support up to 324kW.

Tesla already offers Superchargers with CCS connectors in several regions, but they will now begin adding CCS connectors to Superchargers in the United States.

Tesla will add the CCS connector in addition to Tesla's own connector. This will give non-Tesla owners access the extensive charging network, Elon Musk said.

This announcement follows the path announced by the CEO to eventually open its Supercharger network to all-electric vehicles globally.

Non-Tesla electric cars have been allowed to charge at select Tesla Supercharger locations in France, the Netherlands, and Norway since November.

Allowing Superchargers - which account for more than half of all fast chargers in the United States to charge all electric vehicles would be easier and less expensive for everyone involved, and it would substantially improve the landscape of the current fast-charging infrastructure.

CCS is the obvious charging standard to go with, given that Tesla, like many other manufacturers, has already accepted CCS standards in Europe and its Supercharger stations are already equipped with CCS connectors.

Tesla's cars and Supercharger stations in North America use its own proprietary connector, which has rendered Non-Tesla owners unable to use Tesla's fast-charging infrastructure.

It also prevents Tesla owners from charging at other DC charging stations, unless they spend a considerable amount of money purchasing a CHAdeMO or CCS adapter.

Speaking at the Financial Times Future of the Car summit, Musk said they will add the connectors even if it lessens their competitive advantage over other automakers.

“It's a little trickier in the US because we have a different connector than the rest of the industry, but we will be adding the rest of the industry connectors as an option to Superchargers in the US. We are trying as best as possible to do the right thing for the advancement of electrification, even if that diminishes our competitive advantage,” Musk said.

This is comparable to Tesla's approach in Europe when the Model 3 was originally introduced with the CCS standard. Both Tesla and CCS connectors were installed at new Supercharger stations, and the carmaker also began retrofitting some existing stations.

Last year, the Taiwan EV Charger Equipment Supplier and Manufacturer Advancement Alliance declared that CCS should be the country's charging standard, forcing Tesla to retrofit CCS connectors to all Superchargers.

Tesla upgraded Superchargers with CCS connectors in addition to their proprietary connectors a few months after the decision.

Tesla's CEO gave no indication of when the company planned to begin installing CCS connectors at stations in the United States.

Is Your Vehicle Compatible?

The connector the US is using differs slightly from the CCS connector in Europe. In the US it's known as CCS combo 1, or CCS1 for short. This is the connector that Tesla will support in the US and it is not interchangeable with CCS2 that is used in Europe.

Tesla is already selling an adapter to go from CCS1 to Tesla's plug, but it is currently only available in South Korea. Tesla is likely to make this adapter available for sale in the US in the future.

However, your Tesla will need to specifically support the CCS adapter. If your Tesla was built after May 2019, then it likely supports the CCS adapter. If it was before then, then it will need to be retrofitted if you plan to charge using the CCS 1 adapter.

You can check whether your car supports the CCS adapter by going to Controls > Software and tapping Additional Vehicle Information.

You can also find more information about how to check whether your car is supported, the cost of a retrofit, and the cost of the adapter in our CCS adapter article.

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Tesla software update to address display restarting due to CPU overheating

By Jorge Aguirre
Tesla to address display restarting in certain situations
Tesla to address display restarting in certain situations

Tesla has issued a new recall affecting 129,960 vehicles from 2021 and 2022, due to an overheating issue with the infotainment center CPU.

The automaker has discovered a fault where the center display may become laggy due to the CPU overheating when the vehicle is pre-conditioning the battery pack for Supercharging or while it's Supercharging.

“A lagging or restarting CPU may prevent the center screen from displaying the rearview camera image, gear selection, windshield visibility control settings, and warning lights, increasing the risk of a crash”, Tesla wrote in their recall notice.

Tesla claims to have discovered the issue during standard endurance testing. Although there have been no reports of wrecks or injuries, the company has received 59 warranty claims from January to early May.

Luckily, just like past recalls, the automaker will be able to fix the issue with a software update. The Recall Report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Safety reads:

“On May 3, 2022, Tesla began deploying an OTA firmware that will improve the management of the CPU temperature and associated communications with elevated temperature operation. This remedy will mitigate temperature elevations in the CPU when the vehicle is fast-charging or preparing to fast-charge, which will prevent slow processing or restart.”

Tesla will contact the specific owners with an official recall notice, expected to be mailed July 1, 2022.

Tesla’s ability to issue over-the-air software updates in order to fix most of the issues that have led to official safety recalls lately, highlights the effectiveness of their approach to in-car operating systems and connectivity, a feature that seems to be gaining fast adoption by other automakers, and will surely change the landscape of the automotive industry.

A typical traditional recall, in which affected owners must bring their vehicles in for service, could easily bankrupt a carmaker, which must pay for labor and parts to perform the repairs.

Affected vehicles appear to be limited to those with Ryzen-based CPUs, Tesla's latest MCU. MCU 3 provides increased responsiveness and faster loading apps such as streaming services and the web browser.

If you have a Tesla with a Ryzen-based CPU and have experienced a delay when using the touchscreen or had it restart randomly, you may see improvements when this fix is rolled out.

The fix is expected to be in later revisions of Tesla's 2022.12 updates.

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Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Days Until Next Release

34

Estimated days until version 2022.20 is released.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

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Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.