Tesla's vertical integration and efficiency show why they're the leader in EVs

By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
Tesla's vertical integration and its competitors
Tesla's vertical integration and its competitors
Not a Tesla App

Supply chain issues brought on by the pandemic have been particularly challenging for the automotive sector. A global chip shortage among an onslaught of supply chain obstacles have adversely affected the entire industry. Tesla's vertically integrated strategy proved to be very advantageous when facing these supply chain challenges.

Tesla's insistence on vertical integration used to be one of the main reasons the company struggled to become profitable and reach volume production. Now, it has allowed the company to scale rapidly while the broader automotive industry is down amidst a supply chain disaster.

The conventional automotive business model has traditionally concentrated on design and final assembly while largely outsourcing to suppliers. This strategy left them extremely vulnerable to supply chain turmoil.

In the past, automakers outsourced as much as possible and mainly focused on supply chain management. In the short term, this strategy reduced production costs but in the long term, legacy automakers lost the ability to adapt, innovate and advance technology.

Automotive manufacturing has typically relied on third party suppliers which has led to supply chain contingency and reliance on external companies. This business model has been successful for a long time due to the maturity of the internal combustion engine and a lack of need for innovation.

Tesla recognized the stagnant supply chain of the automotive industry and revolutionized it by adopting a vertically integrated strategy.

Tesla is a chain of startups

- Elon Musk

In recent years, Tesla has defied the conventional business model, reducing supply chain needs and reliance on other companies.

Tesla has vertically integrated many production steps, from battery production to electric powertrain production and self-driving software. According to Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Tesla is a "chain of startups."

This strategy allowed Tesla to avoid shortages of batteries, which have hindered legacy automakers from reaching volume production of electric cars. Before legacy automakers began investing in electric vehicle manufacturing, Tesla partnered with Panasonic to build its first gigafactory to produce batteries. Now, the gigafactory ensures a reliable supply of batteries.

Lucid Motors, a newer EV automaker, has also adopted a more vertically integrated business model. CEO Peter Rawlinson says that gives them a huge advantage in the modern EV technology race.

In an interview, Rawlinson stated, “The electric powertrain cannot be bought off the shelf at a world-class standard, it is not a commodity. This is a technology race and the market doesn’t see it yet."

Tesla's in-house software development is perhaps their biggest advantage over its competitors. As a Silicon Valley born company, Tesla has never outsourced their software. They have instead developed a proprietary self-driving software that is improved by collecting data from Tesla's network of over one million beta testers.

Ford CEO Jim Farley emphasized the company's need to move away from the “catalog engineering” business model at a conference earlier this year, saying "The most important thing is we vertically integrate."

Tesla is potentially going a step further to vertically integrate their supply chain. In light of the skyrocketing prices of lithium, Tesla may plan to get into the lithium mining and refining business. Tesla is considering mining some of its own raw materials for the same reasons that they developed their own batteries, produced their own electric motors and built their own computer chip and software for autonomous driving.

Tesla's pace of innovation and lead in the industry has become clear as the traditional business model of outsourcing components and software to cut production costs is quickly becoming outdated.

Tesla's Next FSD v12 Update Will Be Available For Users on 2024.8

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla will soon roll out a FSD v12 which is compatible with update 2024.8 Tesla began its public rollout of FSD v12 last month, which brings a much more refined, human-like experience to the self-driving software.

To celebrate the achievement and show owners how big of an improvement FSD v12 is, Tesla offered a free month of FSD to all owners with compatible vehicles in the U.S. and Canada.

However, there was a caveat. The latest FSD v12 (v12.3.4) is Tesla update 2024.3.15. Since Tesla doesn't roll back updates since the process isn't rigorously tested, that means many owners who had already received Tesla update 2024.8.9 were left without a free trial and access to FSD v12.

Subscribing to FSD on Update 2024.8

In fact, if you're in the U.S. or Canada and subscribe to FSD while on update 2024.8.x, you'll actually receive the older, and quite a bit worse FSD v11.4.9.

The FSD v12 update has been highly anticipated and aims to finally upgrade Tesla’s ADAS level 2 system to something higher. Musk has talked about level 4 or 5, and even recently said Tesla is going all-in on FSD.

FSD v12 for Update 2024.8 Is Coming

Rohan Patel, who recently left Tesla, recently said that Tesla is already working on an FSD v12 update that is compatible with users on update 2024.8.x. This means that the next FSD update may finally be based on the 2024.8 codebase.

However, just this morning Tesla released the next major update to the platform, update 2024.14 for employee testing. The update is massive and includes an updated UI, hands-free trunk opening, a full-screen browser and more.

However, Patel never specified which codebase the next FSD update would be based on. If it's based on update 2024.8, then users who are upgraded to 2024.14 in the next couple of weeks may face a similar fate as users on 2024.8 today.

Release Date

Patel said to expect the release of the next version of FSD v12 this week. Since update 2024.14 is still being tested with "wave 1" employees, we'll likely see one of two things happen. We may see the next FSD update be based on 2024.8 and released very soon, or it'll be based on update 2024.14, but it may not be available for another couple of weeks.

Once this update arrives, owners with a Tesla on 2024.8.x will finally be able to update and receive their one-month trial of FSD v12 and finally experience what everyone has been excited about.

Tesla Adds V12 User Interface, Full Screen Browser Button, Nav Improvements, Full Screen Visualizations for All

By Not a Tesla App Staff

Tesla's latest V12 user interface will change the look and feel of some of the vehicle’s operations. This new interface, announced on X, is already partially available on the Cybertruck but will now be rolled out to the Model 3 and Model Y, equipped with AMD Ryzen processors according to Tesla. However, the new Model S and Model X will likely receive it as well, although possibly not at the same time. It integrates several new features and aesthetics that set new standards in vehicle interface design.

The new interface will become available in Tesla update 2024.14, which started rolling out to employees yesterday.

Centralized Vehicle Visualization

A standout feature of the v12 UI update, not to be confused with FSD v12, is the centralized vehicle visualization, which dominates the display while parked (shown in photo). This design choice enhances visual appeal and improves functionality by placing critical vehicle performance metrics, and status updates front and center. Similar to the layout in the Cybertruck, this feature provides drivers with a clear and immediate view of their vehicle's status and shows off the gorgeous 3D model.

Improved Navigation

The navigation system will see several improvements. You’ll now see a little trip progress bar that lets you visually see how far along you are on your route.

If your vehicle has a rear screen, as in the new Model 3, the redesigned Model S or Model X, then trip information such as ETA will also be displayed on the rear screen.

Tesla already has the ability to update your route if a faster route becomes available. You can change some of these settings under Controls > Navigate. However, now the vehicle will show you if a faster route becomes available and gives you a chance to cancel the updated route if needed.

Expanded Autopilot Visualizations

Tesla is now bringing its full-screen visualizations outside of North America. However, there will be some improvements as well. In addition to being able to have the visualizations go full screen, there will now be a small map displayed in the corner as well.

That’s one of the issues with the full-screen FSD visualizations right now. If you make them full-screen, you lose your navigation map completely and only have the next turn available.

This will be the first time full-screen visualizations are available outside North America. It’s not clear whether all the FSD visualizations will be available such as traffic lights, curbs and more will be displayed, but Tesla has slowly been adding additional visualizations for non-FSD users, so there’s a chance that this feature will finally display all FSD visualizations to users outside of North America.

It’s not immediately clear whether this feature will require Enhanced Autopilot or FSD.

Full-Screen Browser Support

With this update, Tesla will finally let you manually make the browser full-screen. While this will make Tesla’s Theater apps a little redundant since they just loaded the website of the selected streaming service, you’ll now be able to stream any video service full screen, as long as the service supports Tesla’s browser.

As expected, the full-screen button will only be available while the vehicle is parked.

Checking Compatibility and Availability

Owners can verify their vehicle’s compatibility with the new full-screen visualizations while parked and driving by navigating to Controls > Software > Additional Vehicle Info on their Tesla’s touchscreen. This update is tailored for Tesla vehicles equipped with the AMD Ryzen processor.

Latest Tesla Update

Confirmed by Elon

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

More Tesla News

Subscribe

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.

Sponsors

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

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter.