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Autonomous Vehicles

Details Leaked From Elon Musk’s All-Hands-On-Deck Tesla Conference Call

There are many people who spend much of their days on Twitter looking around for new Tesla tidbits. Some of these people are highly engaged/active as well and have gotten connected with Tesla staff members who routinely leak them info from inside the company. One of those very active Tesla Twitter people, Sawyer Merritt, shared a few hours ago that Tesla CEO (or “Technoking”) Elon Musk was about to hold an all-hands-on-deck conference call. Sawyer apparently got to watch it or listen to it as it was taking place and decided to “live tweeted” what was said after details of the call were relayed to him. (I’ll get back to meta issues regarding this process and company leaks at the end of the article.)

The tweet thread is at least a dozen tweets long. Below are key summaries of the potential news, with the tweets themselves embedded on the bottom of the article.

Tesla Cybertruck in NYC Store before SNL

Tesla Cybertruck in NYC on May 8th, 2021. Image courtesy of Mira Shahan & Brendan Miles for CleanTechnica.

The Tesla Cybertruck is reportedly being delayed until late 2022. (And that means volume production in 2023, presuming it doesn’t get delayed again.) This is not all that surprising, especially given that Elon made a comment during AI Day that seemed to indicate the same. He mentioned that “Hardware 4” for Tesla Full Self-Driving would probably launch in about a year with the Cybertruck. That implied to many of us a rough timeline of Cybertruck deliveries beginning in the second half of 2022. Given that the truck is unique in several ways and could face all sorts of growing pains on the way to volume production, and given that the design reportedly isn’t done yet and production doesn’t seem imminent at all, a late-2022 production start doesn’t come across as much of a surprise, but it’s good to see it confirmed (sort of). Of course, many people think the Cybertruck has serious production challenges that will make it delayed much beyond 2022, or never produced at all. Not being an expert on these matters, I don’t have a deeply informed opinion on it, but I do think that mass production of the Cybertruck would be up there in Tesla’s chest of truly great achievements.

“FSD 10 is quite profound, a revelation, is the future; V10 next week and ‘button request’ 2 weeks after that,” Elon reportedly said. In case you haven’t been following along, that refers to Tesla Full Self-Driving and the big update many of us have been waiting on for ~2 years. It is expected to provide us with “door-to-door” Autopilot features. We are still far from having Tesla robotaxis that a driver doesn’t have to monitor, but the hope is that Elon is right and broad release of FSD Beta will go out in a few weeks.

Open Tesla Supercharger stations may launch beyond a testing phase in Europe next month, seemingly starting in the Netherlands. This is again not all that surprising considering Elon’s recent updates on this plan and the fact that Tesla had an open station being tested out in the Netherlands a year ago (that Maarten Vinkhuyzen visited for CleanTechnica, even charging there with his Renault ZOE). How fast this will roll out in Europe and beyond is the big question. We shall see!

“Elon is expecting to grow by a factor of 10 at least.” I think the tweeter means that Elon expects Tesla will increase in size at least 10 times over, not that Elon expects to get super duper fat.

“Elon is maybe going to Mars in about 10 years.” Hmm, while that may spook some people out, remember that this is “Elon time” and ~2 weeks can mean ~1 year. With that the case, 10 years could easily be 20 years. However, I do think SpaceX grabs more and more of Elon’s attention and that the timelines over there in SpaceX land may be a bit more accurate.

Robovan! There’s apparently a robovan planned eventually, with a special focus on assisting those with disabilities.

Semi-affordable $25,000 Tesla won’t be called Model 2. I’m surprised that this actually came up on the call (presuming it truly did), but even so, “Model 2” was always extremely unlikely (didn’t follow the previous logic of Tesla vehicle names — “Model S” for sedan, “Model X” for crossover, “Model E” turned into “Model 3” due to Ford not relinquishing a trademark). It was just a placeholder for us and others to use when writing about this vehicle. That said, I am slightly devastated since I really wanted this Tesla vehicle lineup:

  • Model 2
  • Model S
  • Model 3
  • Model X
  • Model Y
  • Model 4
  • My Shirt

In simpler terms: 2 S-3-X-Y 4 My Shirt.

“Model C” would fit previous Tesla nomenclature logic better (“C” for “compact,” or “cheap”). However, word is that Elon once said it wouldn’t be “Model [fill in the blank].”

“Elon said Tesla is considering Model 2 not having steering wheel and pedals and just roll the dice on FSD.” Admittedly, I find this one a bit confusing. If the goal is to produce a simpler, smaller, lower-cost vehicle for a portion of the market that can’t afford another Tesla, then it doesn’t seem like this would be a fully autonomous vehicle. The cost of FSD is $10,000 at the moment and the price regularly goes up — is half the cost of the car going to be FSD soon? On the flip side, if you want to get useful robotaxis on the street once FSD is ready, don’t you want to use larger, more practical cars or vans? I’m not sure how thought out this concept was, or if the tweet worded it well. We shall see (maybe).

Giga Berlin approval in October. Reportedly, Tesla Giga Berlin’s approval is expected in October, potentially leaving enough of a window to start producing consumer vehicles there at the end of the year. (This is not really news, as Tesla and Elon recently indicated essentially the same thing.)

“Tesla is going to spell Tesla on GF Austin roof for planes landing on airport near by.” Hmm.

The info above comes from this “tweetstorm”/tweet thread:

Many have highlighted that publicizing internal Tesla notes, targets, and updates not meant for public consumption is irresponsible and could even get Tesla staff fired. A lot of Tesla fans have been concerned that sharing leaks like these hurts the company. I don’t have a strong opinion on that in general, since I think depends on the situation/leak. However, anyone from within the company who leaks details like these should keep in mind that such activity can easily get them fired, particularly when this kind of thing becomes routine. Also, it’s worth keeping in mind why some things are public and some things aren’t. What do you think about the leaks above or leaking in general?

 
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Written By

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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