Tesla acronyms, abbreviations, terms and what they mean

By Kieran Burgess
Tesla abbreviations and defintions

WTTWOT! Or in plain English, Welcome To The World of Tesla! As you dip your toe in researching your much anticipated Tesla purchase online, or pull up for your first ever supercharge and strike up a conversation with the owner in the next (but one) stall, you’ll soon come across a new language: TWAs (Tesla World Acronyms). If you hadn’t stopped here, you might be scrabbling for words to keep up, but luckily you did stop here, and we’ve got you covered. You’ll be aware of some general EV (Electric Vehicle) and ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) abbreviations already, but if you want to know your SCs from your SuCs and more Tesla-specific TWAs, you’re in the right place.

Charging

CCS

Combined Charging System - a newer charging port that has become the standard in Europe and other markets

CHAdeMO

CHArge de MOve, a popular DC charging standard

J1772

AC power charging connection standard by SAE

MC

Tesla's Mobile Connector that was previously included with vehicles. Older generations are called the Universal Mobile Connector (UMC)

HPWC

Tesla's wall connector used to be called the High Power Wall Connector, but it is now just referred to as the Wall Connector

SC

OK, so this abbreviation comes up a lot in the Tesla community. And there are three possibilities with SC, so context is everything. SC can refer to the Service Center, which you hopefully won’t need. It can also refer to a SuperCharger in the Tesla network. Finally, it is occasionally used to refer to SolarCity, a solar energy company that was acquired by Tesla in 2016.

SuC

You might see this as an abbreviation for a Supercharger that helps to differentiate it from a Service Center.

SOC

State of Charge. The percentage your battery is charged.

PPU

Pay Per Use, for charging either at Superchargers or other public chargers

Electricity & Energy

AC

Alternating Current - the electricity in your house uses alternating current

DC

Direct Current - energy stored in batteries uses direct current

NEC

The National Electrical Code is a common standard for electrical wiring and equipment in the US

NEMA

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association is the largest association of electrical equipment in the US

NEMA 14-50

This common plug is often used to charge EVs and provides a maximum 50 amps of power, however EVs should only use up to 40 amps due to a constant load.

kW

Kilowatt (1000 watts, a unit of electric power)

kWh

Kilowatt-hours on the other hand refers to how much energy has been consumed in total. It is an absolute figure, equivalent to gallons or liters of gas burned in an ICE car.

Wh/mi

Not a Tesla-exclusive term, but an important one for EV owners. Watt-hours per mile is the EV equivalent of MPG, and tells us how much energy is being used per mile. Lower is better.

Regen

Again, an EV term rather than Tesla only, but you’ll see it used a lot in the Tesla community. It’s short for Regenerative Braking, and refers to the re-capture of kinetic energy by the battery when slowing down, or going down a steep hill. Regen is often the biggest thing new Tesla owners notice and have to adapt to. Once you do, there is no going back!

Computing Hardware

CPU

Central Processing Unit - the main chip in a computer responsible for processing data

GPU

Graphics Processing Unit - some computers contain a processor specifically made for rendering graphics

MCU

The Media Control Unit is the big touchscreen in the middle of the dashboard, and the computer that drives it. The car’s various radios, and all the entertainment and drive-related visualizations are routed through here. You may come across some numbers attached to MCU that specify the hardware version.

MCU1

MCU1 refers to Tesla's first Media Control Unit hardware which was used in Model S and Model X vehicles until March 2018

MCU2

This is Tesla's second general Media Control Unit hardware. It was used in Model S and Model X cars after March 2018. The Model 3 and Model Y started with MCU2 and later transitioned to MCU3 in late 2021. Vehicles with MCU1 can be upgraded to MCU2. MCU2 has the Intel Atom processor.

MCU3

This is Tesla's third and latest MCU hardware. It contains AMD Ryzen's chip, making it much faster than MCU2. For the Model S and Model X it also features a dedicated GPU that will be used for high quality games that rival the PS5 and Xbox Series X. There is no official word from Tesla yet, but MCU2 does not appear to be upgradeable to MCU3.

HW1

Hardware 1 refers to Tesla's original hardware for Autopilot. It was supplied by MobileEye and was only available on the Model S and Model X.

HW2

Around October 2016 Tesla transitioned to their own hardware with version 2.0. This was also only available for the Model S and Model X.

HW2.5

Hardware 2.5 was available in the Model 3 and the Model S and Model X around July 2017.

HW3.0

Tesla eventually released hardware 3.0 in April 2019, which features much faster processors. Owners who bought the FSD package (not the subscription) and had hardware 2.5 are given a free upgrade to hardware 3.0.

ECU

The Electronic Control Unit is the hardware in a vehicle used to control various driving functions.

eMMC

Embedded Multi Media Card is flash storage that is used to store certain information.

IC

An Integrated Circuit, is a chip that is integrated onto a circuit board. This could could refer to the Instrument Cluster on a Model S or Model X.

PCB

Printed Circuit Board used in electronic systems.

Driver Assistance System

DAS

Driver Assistance System, in Tesla's case this would be Autopilot

AP

Autopilot is the term that allows Tesla's to perform some level of self-driving. All Teslas today include basic Autopilot that allows the car to use TACC (Traffic-Aware Cruise Control) and Autosteer.

EAP

Enhanced Autopilot is a package that is a subset of FSD. Tesla offered it for a number of years, but it no longer offers it.

Enhanced Autopilot included features such as TACC (Traffic-Aware Cruise Control), Autosteer, Smart Summon, Autopark, automatic lane changes and more. It does not include as much as the FSD package, which allows the car to also navigate on city streets.

FSD

Full Self-Driving. Refers to the package that currently, in beta form, allows Teslas to navigate many more streets and scenarios by itself (with an alert and engaged driver on standby). In Europe and Asia FSD is still limited, but cars with the FSD package are ready to go from a hardware perspective as soon as the regulations allow.

TACC

Traffic-Aware Cruise Control - All Teslas today compare standard with TACC.

These are the Tesla acronyms and abbreviations you’ll encounter most often. Which ones are new to you? Have you come across any others?

Software

UI

UI stands for User interface, also commonly referred to as GUI (graphical user interface). You'll often find this term when referring to the design of a piece of software.

UX

UX is the User Experience of a piece of software.

OTA

OTA stands for Over-The-Air, referencing Tesla's ability to download car updates over Wi-Fi or in some cases using the vehicle's cellular data.

Car Features

DRL

Daytime Running Lights are lights on your vehicle that remain on even during daylight.

IC

The Instrument Cluster on a Model S or Model X. This term could also mean Integrated Circuit which is a chip that is integrated onto a circuit board.

TPMS

A vehicle's Tire Pressure Monitoring System

HVAC

The Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning system in a home or vehicle

Governing Bodies & Agencies

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

IIHS

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (for safety ratings)

EU

European Union

NHTSA

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration - The U.S. federal government agency that governs vehicle safety.

SAE International

Formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers, it's a US-based association for developing standards for engineering professionals

Tesla / EV Terms

GF

GigaFactory - What Tesla calls their various factories, such as Giga Factory Texas

ICE

ICE refers to traditional gas and diesel-powered vehicles that contain an Internal Combustion Engine

ICEd

Being ICEd refers to an EV charging spot being taken up by an ICE vehicle

SA

Tesla's Service Advisors which are the main contact at Tesla Service

Investing

TSLA

TSLA is Tesla's stock symbol but the term is often used around someone investing in Tesla as well

TSLAQ

TSLAQ is pronounced "Tesla Q" and refers to individuals who publicly criticize Tesla and may be short-selling (the opposite of buying stock when profits are earned when the stock goes down) Tesla stock

FUD

FUD stands for Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt and is sometimes used when someone is spreading misinformation to cast fear

Batteries

LFP

This is referring to the battery chemistry in the car’s high voltage pack, specifically the chemical symbols for Lithium (L), Iron (F) and Phosphate (P is actually for Phosphorus on its own, but PO₄³⁻ doesn’t have the same ring to it). Tesla started shifting some of its shorter-range cars (the SR MYs and M3s) to LFP in 2021, away from battery chemistry involving Nickel and Cobalt.

Even if you’re not a chemist, it’s still worth knowing which battery chemistry you have. It is recommended to keep LFP battery charge limit at 100%, unlike the previous Li-ion batteries that are stressed out if charged fully too often.

4680

Staying with the high voltage battery, 4680 refers to the newer battery technology that is being phased in at Giga Berlin, Giga Texas and Giga Shanghai. These batteries offer efficiency, range and cost improvements over the previous, smaller batteries. The numbers come from the dimensions of each individual cell: 46 x 80mm.

Tesla Models

SR

Standard Range. For example, a M3SR refers to the Model 3 Standard Range model.

SR+

The Standard Range Plus variant has a larger battery than the Standard Range and some additional features.

MR

Mid Range vehicle which was available for the Model 3 (discontinued)

LR

Long Range model which includes a larger battery than other variants. For example, a M3LR refers to the Model 3 Long Range model.

P

Performance model. This could refer to the performance model of any Tesla vehicle.

P3D

The performance variant of the Model 3 dual motor

P3D+

Performance Model 3. This term was used when Tesla offered the Model 3 with and without the additional performance hardware such as larger wheels and disc brakes and a spoiler. This model is commonly referred to as the P3D.

P3D-

The performance Model 3 without all the features in the P3D+

M3P

The same as P3D

MY

Simply referring to the Tesla Model Y

MX

Model X

MS

Model S

M3

Model 3

CT

Cybertruck

Motors & Drives

DM

DM refers to a Dual Motor vehicle

AWD

All Wheel Drive - In a Tesla, this means that at least two motors are powering the vehicle. Some cars contain two rear motors and a single front motor, while all Model 3s and Model Ys will contain a single front and rear motor.

RWD

RWD refers to the car being a rear-wheel drive vehicle. In Teslas that means that there's a single motor in the back powering the car.

Alternatively, you might see a M3RWD (Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive).

General Information

EV

Electric Vehicle

PHEV

Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (ICE/EV combo)

LHD

Left-hand drive

RHD

Right-hand drive, as used in Australia, England and Japan

OEM

Original Equipment Manufacturer

Artificial Intelligence

NN

Neural Network refers to AI and is a subset of Machine Learning (ML) that Tesla uses to develop Autopilot

Tesla to reward Powerwall customers in California who opt-in to virtual power plant program

By Lennon Cihak
Tesla to launch new virtual power plant program
Tesla to launch new virtual power plant program

Tesla’s new partnership with gas and electric company PG&E in California will give Powerwall owners the opportunity to earn money while giving energy back to the grid.

The virtual power plant (VPP) is a connection of distributed energy storage systems that work in tandem to give energy back to the grid to avoid dirty and costly peaker power plants. Essentially, when the grid is being strained, then the VPP can kick in and draw power from Powerwall owners enrolled in the program, and other distributed energy storage system owners, to use clean energy and avoid brownouts across the state.

Here are some of the advantages with this new VPP with PG&E:

Stabilize California’s Grid: The extra capacity your Powerwall provides could help avoid or reduce blackouts in a severe emergency. This way, Powerwall can keep the lights on for both you and your community.

Clean the Grid: Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid is in critical need of additional power. That is when the least efficient generators would typically come online.

Unite as a Tesla Community: Team up with other Powerwall owners who are accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy and help form the largest distributed battery in the world - potentially over 50,000 Powerwalls. As part of the VPP, your Powerwall will have an outsized positive impact on the grid over traditional demand response programs.

Maintain Your Energy Security: Powerwall will discharge during VPP events but won’t discharge below your Backup Reserve. Adjust your Backup Reserve to control your contribution while maintaining backup energy for outages.

Earn Compensation: Through the ELRP pilot, you will receive $2 for every additional kWh your Powerwall provides during an event. You don’t have to change your energy usage behavior to participate.

In 2021, Tesla piloted a test VPP program in California for Powerwall owners to voluntarily opt-in without compensation. The test VPP program would then pull energy from the Powerwalls when the grids needed it.

“Become a part of the largest distributed battery in the world and help keep California’s energy clean and reliable,” reads a statement from Tesla. “Opt-in to the Tesla Virtual Power Plant (VPP) with PG&E and your Powerwall will be dispatched when the grid needs emergency support. Through the Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) pilot, you will receive $2 for every additional kWh your Powerwall delivers during an event. Adjust your Backup Reserve to set your contribution, while maintaining backup energy for outages.”

With Tesla and PG&E’s new VPP program owners will receive $2/kWh, which is quite significant. For comparison, where I live in Southern California, Tesla charges $0.58/kWh for supercharging during peak hours.

According to Electrek, “they could earn anywhere from $10 to $60 per event or more for bigger systems.” 

Tesla stated that they have roughly 50,000 Powerwalls that may be eligible for this new program.

Tesla Cybertruck design finalized; to enter production mid-2023: Elon Musk [Video]

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla Cybertruck
ksbw.com

In an interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that the Cybertruck design has now been finalized. Musk didn’t get into details about the design, but gave a rough timeline for production of the Cybertruck.

With the design now "locked", he estimates production will begin “the middle of next year, roughly 12-months’ish” which would put the first Cybertruck deliveries in the second half of 2023.

Musk did not say when the final design will be revealed, but recent sightings of the alpha builds give us many hints as to what to expect.

When discussing the Cybertruck design Elon said they “got too carried with the…,” before pausing, hinting that they have added a number of new features not included on the original prototype.

While it's not clear what additional features Elon was about to mention, we have an idea of what is to come.

One of the most controversial additions has been the side mirrors, which are required by law, although Musk has said that they will be easily removable by owners.

Another controversial feature of the Cybertruck is the windshield wiper. While we have only seen the large single wiper, Musk did say that the final design would be different than what has been seen on recent builds.

Tesla did patent a laser beam windshield wiper, but we'll likely see something more traditional on the Cybertruck.

Another feature we could see on the final build are doors with no handles. At the Cyber Rodeo, Elon opened the Cybertruck door by pushing a button on the side of the truck. The doors also seemingly open and lock depending on proximity to the vehicle.

You can watch the full interview below.

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Tesla News

Upcoming Release

View the release notes for the upcoming version 2022.16.2.

Confirmed by Elon

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

Days Until Next Release

0

We expect version 2022.20 to be released imminently.

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.

Subscribe

Subscribe to be notified when new software is released.