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.



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


CHArge de MOve, a popular DC charging standard


AC power charging connection standard by SAE


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


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


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.


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


State of Charge. The percentage your battery is charged.


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

Electricity & Energy


Alternating Current - the electricity in your house uses alternating current


Direct Current - energy stored in batteries uses direct current


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


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.


Kilowatt (1000 watts, a unit of electric power)


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.


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.


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


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


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.


Printed Circuit Board used in electronic systems.

Driver Assistance System


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


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.


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.


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.


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?



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 is the User Experience of a piece of software.


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.

Single Stack

A technology stack refers to the technologies used to build a system. A single-stack refers to using the same technologies for multiple applications, instead of having separate technology stacks for each one. Single-stack is often mentioned regarding Tesla to applying everything it has learned in city driving to its Navigation on Autopilot highway feature.

Car Features


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


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.


A vehicle's Tire Pressure Monitoring System


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

Governing Bodies & Agencies


Environmental Protection Agency


Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (for safety ratings)


European Union


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


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


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


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


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



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


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



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.


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


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


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


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


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


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


The performance variant of the Model 3 dual motor


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.


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


The same as P3D


Simply referring to the Tesla Model Y


Model X


Model S


Model 3



Motors & Drives


DM refers to a Dual Motor vehicle


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 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


Electric Vehicle


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


Left-hand drive


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


Original Equipment Manufacturer

Artificial Intelligence


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

Tesla's Rebecca Tinucci Recognized in Time's Top 100 Most Influential Climate Leaders

By Kevin Armstrong
Rebecca Tinucci at Tesla's Investor Day 2023
Rebecca Tinucci at Tesla's Investor Day 2023
Not a Tesla App

As the Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure at Tesla, Rebecca Tinucci is not just a key executive in the company but also a pivotal figure in the electric vehicle industry. She has been recognized as one of the "100 Most Influential Climate Leaders in Business for 2023" by Time Magazine.

Well Deserved Recognition

Tinucci's notable achievement in 2023 was her successful negotiation with other leading EV manufacturers to expand access to Tesla's charging network across the United States. This strategic move involved integrating major automotive brands such as BMW, Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, and Toyota into Tesla's charging ecosystem.

This expansion has made Tesla's charging standard the de facto choice in North America and opened new revenue streams for the company by welcoming non-Tesla EV owners to use its network. Additionally, it has positioned Tesla to benefit from federal charging infrastructure funding, from which it was previously excluded.

This strategic expansion under Tinucci's leadership signifies a monumental shift in the EV charging landscape. By creating a more inclusive charging network, Tesla has not only bolstered its position in the market but also contributed significantly to the broader adoption of EVs, reinforcing the company's commitment to sustainability and innovation.

Tinucci was a shining star among Tesla's leadership during the Investor Day 2023 event in March. She enthusiastically led the audience through Tesla's charging advancements and teased the future. Tinucci was the one to first hint at the Tesla retro diner that is now under construction in Los Angeles. She also gave a lot of ammunition to speculate about a possible charging pad.

Educational and Early Professional Foundations

After completing her Commerce, Finance, and Management studies at the University of Virginia, Tinucci embarked on her professional journey in 2008 as a Management Consultant at Kurt Salmon Associates in New York. In 2009, she ventured into entrepreneurship by establishing Evatran. This enterprise, known as Plugless Power in the market, specializes in the pioneering field of wireless EV charging.

Tinucci's career took a significant turn when she relocated to the West Coast in 2018 and joined Tesla in a pivotal role as a Senior Product Manager. She distinguished herself by forming and leading a team focused on developing Machine Vision technologies for advanced manufacturing processes there. Her ability to drive progress was quickly recognized, leading to her promotion to Senior Program Manager of the Energy Group within just four months, where she focused on software development and pivotal strategic projects.

Ascending the Ranks at Tesla

Tinucci's climb through Tesla's ranks was rapid and impactful. She soon took on the role of Staff Technical Program Manager, where she was responsible for overseeing critical initiatives throughout the engineering division. As the Senior Manager for Super Charging, she played a crucial role in Tesla's expansion, implementing innovative features such as integrating wait times into Tesla's navigation system for busy Supercharger stations and introducing variable charging rates based on the time of day at selected locations.

Her promotion to Senior Director of Charging Infrastructure marked a significant milestone in her career. Tinucci oversees Tesla's worldwide charging business units in this role, directing a team of more than 450 professionals. Her recognition by Time Magazine underscores her influence and the critical role she plays in advancing sustainable transportation solutions. As she continues to lead Tesla's charging infrastructure to new heights, her contributions are setting new benchmarks in the EV assigning domain.

Tesla Adds 25+ Cybertruck Accessories, Including OMFG Glass Decal, Wraps, Air Compressor, Ramp and More

By Kevin Armstrong
The OMFG glass decal for the Cybertruck
The OMFG glass decal for the Cybertruck

We have good news if you happened to be one of the first handful of people who took delivery of a Cybertruck on November 30. More than 25 accessories are available for purchase to amp up the most talked about vehicle on the planet.

Cybertruck Color Paint Film, Matte Black or Matte White

There are three wraps available for the Cybertruck
There are three wraps available for the Cybertruck

We thought wraps would become available, but surprisingly, Tesla is offering the service immediately. Cybertruck wraps are available in matte black or white for $6,500. This premium wrap option allows owners to personalize their vehicle and adds a layer of protection to the Cybertruck's already robust exterior.

Another option for those seeking to maintain the Cybertruck's appearance is the transparent satin film, available for $5,000. This film provides an extra layer of protection, helping keep the vehicle's body safe from scratches and the elements.

Basecamp - The Outdoor Enthusiast's Dream

Basecamp is a tent made specifically for the Cybertruck
Basecamp is a tent made specifically for the Cybertruck

Since day one, four years ago, people have been talking about the camping capabilities of the Cybertruck. Like most trucks, it's unlikely that most Cybertrucks will even leave the pavement. However, for those who love the great outdoors, the Cybertruck BaseCamp has you covered.

Priced at $2,975, this accessory is perfect for camping, featuring an ultra-light geodesic air-frame design. It inflates quickly, offers a tactical grey kaleidoscope-patterned interior, and includes screen windows for airflow and star-gazing, making it an ideal companion for outdoor adventures.

More Shopping Options

A foldable ramp for the Cybertruck adds more utility
A foldable ramp for the Cybertruck adds more utility

Tailgate Ramp ($400): is a practical addition for loading and unloading cargo like ATVs or dirt bikes, enhancing the Cybertruck's utility.

Cybertruck MOLLE Panels ($250): we saw these at the Tesla Lithium factory groundbreaking. Customize and organize your Cybertruck with the MOLLE Panels for $250, offering versatile mounting options for gear and tools.

Tesla is offering a roof rack for the Cybertruck, similar to other models
Tesla is offering a roof rack for the Cybertruck, similar to other models

The roof rack costs $800 and is an essential accessory that offers additional storage options for long trips.

Vault Cargo Divider ($350): This divider allows for better organization and secure transportation of goods in the truck's bed.

Snow Chains $345: a must-have for driving in snowy terrains, ensuring safety and traction in challenging conditions.

Additional Cybertruck Accessories: Enhancing Functionality and Style

Cybertruck Air Compressor Ultra + Tire Repair Kit: Keep your journey uninterrupted with the Cybertruck Air Compressor Ultra and Tire Repair Kit, priced at $550. This kit ensures that you're prepared for any tire-related emergencies on the road, which becomes since the Cybertruck doesn't come standard with a spare tire. This item will become available in early 2024, according to Tesla.

Cybertruck Bumper Protectors: Protect your Cybertruck's exterior with durable bumper protectors for $80, safeguarding against scratches and dents.

Cybertruck Glass Roof Sunshade: For $115, the Cybertruck Glass Roof Sunshade reduces sunlight glare and heat, making it a must have in extreme temperatures.

Cybertruck Spare Tire + Tool Kit: Although the Cybertruck doesn't come standard with a spare tire, you can buy one to tie down in the truck's bed. The Cybertruck Spare Tire and Tool Kit is $1,250.

The OMFG glass decal for the Cybertruck
The OMFG glass decal for the Cybertruck

My personal favorite is the Cybertruck OMFG Decal for $55. The window didn't smash during the delivery event when it was hit with a baseball, like it did with a steel ball at the Cybertruck announcement four years ago. However, you can relive that moment and have an OMFG Decal.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

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


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.


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.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

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


Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.