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Elon Musk's Weekend Tweets – What did we learn?

April 15, 2019 of Dr. Maximilian Holland

Tesla CEO Elon Musk had a busy weekend on twitter and a decent number of exchanges of information arose that will be of interest to current and future Tesla owners. Let's dive in and examine what we learned.

More about full self-driving

We had already learned from Musk's recent interview with Lex Fridman that he believes that the asset value of Tesla vehicles capable of full self-driving (FSD) will increase over time due to their potential to generate revenue from mobility services on the Tesla network. Musk followed up with a number of tweets shedding a little more light on this.

First, the model 3, compared to other mobility service vehicles (conventional taxis, Ubers, etc.) is designed for a long life, where the body and drive are expected to be millions of miles. Although the battery is designed to provide reliable service over 1500 cycles (close to 500,000 miles in the Long Range variant), it will be relatively inexpensive to replace battery modules in the future for the extreme high-mileage vehicles that may require it:

Musk also said that the price of FSD will increase over time, probably in line with its growing autonomous capability and thus the revenue generating potential it gives to owners:

In an underpass, Musk agreed that the price increase could be "roughly" $ 3,000 – but whether it would be a one-time increase or if several such pricing steps could occur, as the FSD's capabilities are increasing is less clear. Musk made it clear that the model Y's ordered will now lock in the current FSD pricing and thus be protected from these future price increases. (Sidnot: two members of Clean Technica The writing team can lock in their model Y orders this month, partly for that reason.) It is also clear that Musk's basic message is that future pricing of the FSD will never be as affordable as at present. Again, the justification for this is the significantly improved functionality that it will offer over time:

Musk also offered some breadcrumbs about some of the FSD's future abilities:

According to Tesla superfan Ryan McCaffrey, there has been some confusion in the Tesla ownership community if vehicles with the original Autopilot 2.0 hardware can be upgraded to FSD or version 2.5 hardware careers only. Musk clarified that all version 2.0 and later / later vehicles can be upgraded / retrofitted to activate FSD:

Musk also linked to our own Alex Voigt's article about Model 3 mystery demand, and made some funny comments about horses:

Battery Cell Ramp

We covered last year that Gigafactory 1 was ahead of its original schedule to achieve an annual capacity of 35 GWh – it looked like it was on the right track to get there in early 2019. Musk shed more light on the current capacity. Even though the current production is somewhere near a theoretical (peak?) GWh annual rate, the actual maximum output is currently only around ~ 24 GWh of interest rate. In other words, the ramp continues to 35 GWh annually – not yet achieved. The bottleneck is apparently Panasonic battery cells. Because of this, other suppliers have been dropped to cover Powerwall and Powerpack needs. In addition, Tesla's energy sales were much lower in 2018 than they could have had enough battery supply. Here are the tweets:

Calling out Wall Street Sycophants

In response to another RD&D piece on Tesla published by WSJ last week (which basically – I will not link to), Musk said the "news" is a sock of Big Oil, and Bloomberg is almost as bad.

There were some other tweets related to Tesla, including "poetic justice" that Sentry Mode could help identify an ex-Traffic Court Judge who scratched a parked Tesla and just cut it when traced by the Tesla owner.


There were also a large number of tweets related to the big week that SpaceX has just had with its Falcon Heavy rocket. We will not go through these here because it is not our focus.

SpaceX nails another landing (SpaceX photo)

We will know much more about the development of Full Self Driving a week from now on when Tesla will hold an "investor day" on autonomy in the vehicle. Stay updated for our reporting.

Tags: #ElonTweets, Elon Musk, horses, panasonic, Tesla, Tesla Energy, Tesla Full Self-Driving, Tesla Gigafactories, Tesla Gigafactory 1, Tesla Powerpack, Tesla Powerwall, Tesla Sentry Mode, WSJ

About the author

Dr. Maximilian Holland Max is an anthropologist, social theorist and international political economist, trying to ask questions and encourage critical thinking about social and environmental justice, sustainability and the human condition. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia and is currently based in Barcelona.

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