Tesla CEO: No Beta Version Of The Model 3, Going Directly To “Early Release Candidate”

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There will be no “Beta” version of the Tesla Model 3. The company will instead be going directly to an “early release candidate,” CEO Elon Musk reportedly revealed on a recent “secret” investor conference call.

Very interestingly, Musk also reportedly stated Tesla would begin driving the early release candidate within a week or two.

So, how should the news be taken? (Obviously, some of the Chicken Littles will be running around squawking after hearing this, but what about the rest of us?) Well, the reason for skipping a Beta version of the Model 3, according to Musk, is reportedly because of the company’s use of advanced analytical techniques that circumvent the need. In other words, it’s apparently because there’s no need to do so, so why waste the time and resources — that’s the story according to Musk and Tesla.

As some further explanation here, “early release candidate” vehicles are typically built on the actual production lines that will be used for the normal production run. They are typically used to work out remaining kinks and flaws in the production line. That means that it sounds like Tesla’s Model 3 production lines are nearing completion, right?

Additionally, in general, skipping the Beta phase seems to indicate yet again that Tesla doesn’t have supplier/production delays. If it did, why would it go faster than is typical for a new car model?

Very notably, the conference call also reportedly featured a statement from Musk promising that initial Model 3 production quality will be much higher than initial Model S and Model X production quality was — partly owing to the analytical tools mentioned above. As we’ve discussed several times, this was also expected due to the Model 3 being “designed for manufacturing,” which is quite different than the Model S — which was apparently just designed to work well and look cool — and the Model X — which was seemingly designed to “Wow” and catch eyeballs.

Teslarati provides more: “On March 16, a user on the Tesla Subreddit (“electricmusk”) revealed that Elon Musk and other company officials were holding a conference call with the investors directly involved in the sale of shares and bonds. Tesla did not announce the call on its Investors Relations page nor provide a transcript of the call. … Those who were able to listen in on the conference call report one other interesting tidbit. At one point, Elon Musk is heard to say — albeit indistinctly — that Tesla will transition to the 2170 battery cells for the battery packs in its Model S and Model X cars ‘by the end of the year,’ according to reddit user electricmusk. Tesla’s 2170 lithium-ion cells are currently being manufactured at Gigafactory 1 and being used in its commercial and home energy storage systems. The cells will also be used in the upcoming mass market Model 3 sedan.”

Does that mean that the Model S and Model X will be getting range upgrades? Is this news related to the recent announcement that the Model S 60 and 60D are being discontinued?

Altogether, it’s a lot of interesting news. With regard to Model 3 production, while speculation can interesting, the truth is that we don’t have to wait all that much longer to find out how things are going — it’s only a few months now until mass production is slated to begin.

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James Ayre

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.

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