Elon Musk's Weekend Tweets – What Did We Learn?

15. April 2019 by Dr. Maximilian Holland

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

More about Full Self Driving

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

Firstly, compared to other mobility services vehicles (conventional taxis, Ubers, etc.), Model 3 is designed for a long life, with body and drive unit expected to last a million miles. Although the battery is designed to provide reliable service in 1500 cycles (close to 500,000 miles in the Long Range variant), replacing battery modules in the future will be relatively inexpensive, for the extremely high mileage vehicles that may require it: [19659007] Model 3 drive and body is designed as a commercial truck for a million miles of life. Current battery modules should last 300k to 500k miles (1500 cycles). Switching modules (not packing) only cost $ 5k to $ 7k.

– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2019

Musk also said that the price of FSD will increase over time, presumably in line with its growing autonomous abilities and thus the revenue generating potential it provides to owners: [19659007] From May 1st

– Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 13, 2019

In a bobbin, Musk agreed that the price increase could be "something like" $ 3,000 – but whether this would be a one-time increase, or if several such pricing steps can occur when FSD's capabilities increase, is less clear. Musk made it clear that Model Ys ordered now will lock in today's FSD pricing, and thus be protected against these future price increases. (Page Marking: Two members of CleanTechnica the writing team can lock themselves in their Model Y orders this month, partly for this reason.) It is also clear that Musk's basic message is that future pricing of the FSD will never be again as affordable as it is at the moment. Again, the reason for this is the substantially improved functionality 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 as to whether vehicles with the first Autopilot 2.0 hardware can be upgraded to the FSD or only version 2.5 hardware vehicles. Musk managed that all version 2.0 and higher / later cars can be upgraded / retrofitted to enable FSD:

Musk also attached to our own Alex Voigt's article on The Mystery of Model 3 Demand, and made some funny comments about horses:

Battery Cell Ramp

Last year, we covered that Gigafactory 1 was ahead of its original plan to reach an annual capacity of 35 GWh – it looked like it was on its way to getting there at the beginning of 2019. Musk shed more light on today's capacity. Although the current production is somewhere near a theoretical (peak?) 35 GWh annual round, "actual maximum output" is currently only around 24 GWh. In other words, the ramp to 35 GWh annually is still ongoing – not yet achieved. The bottleneck is apparently Panasonic battery cells. Because of this, other vendors have been drained to meet the Powerwall and Powerpack needs. In addition, Tesla's energy sales were much lower in 2018 than they could have had with sufficient battery cell supply. Here are tweets:

Calling out Wall Street Sycophants

In response to yet another FUD piece on Tesla, published by WSJ last week (which – in principle – I don't want to join), said Musk that "the news outlet" is a sock of Big Oil, and Bloomberg is almost as bad.

There were some Other tweets related to Tesla, including calling it "poetic justice" as Sentry Mode could help identify Y an ex-Traffic Court judge who scraped up a parked Tesla and just cut it when traced by the Tesla owner.


There was also a large number of tweets associated with the big week that SpaceX just had with its Falcon Heavy rocket. We do not want to go through these here, since it is not really our focus.

SpaceX nails another landing (SpaceX photo)

We know much more about the progress of Full Self Driving a week from now, when Tesla will keep one "investor day" on autonomy. Keep up to date with our reporting on it.

Tags: #ElonTweets, Elon Musk, horse, 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 question and encourage critical thinking about social and environmental justice, sustainability and human condition. He has lived and worked in Europe and Asia and is currently based in Barcelona.

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