Musk Reads: Tesla Roadster 2020 Gets Even Faster

Tesla Roadster 2020 could hide a “subtle” feature, and full self-driving could boost the price of cars.

Tesla Roadster 2020 could hide a “subtle” feature, full self-driving could boost the price of cars, and Tesla tweaks its pricing lineup. It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #88.

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A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.

Musk Quote of the Week

“If we make all cars with FSD package self-driving, as planned, any such Tesla should be worth $100k to $200k, as utility increases from ~12 hours/week to ~60 hours/week”


The Tesla Roadster 2020 could pack an impressive array of thrusters behind the license plate, Musk revealed this week. Musk responded to Roadster concept art that depicted the vehicle Back to the Future-style. The $200,000 car, with a top speed of over 250 mph, could offer an even higher top speed through a “SpaceX” options package that adds 10 small cold air rocket thrusters around the car. It will use composite overwrapped pressure vessels, like the ones used at SpaceX, to hold the air in the rear seats. Pricing and further details about the feature have yet to be revealed. Read more.

Tesla tweaked its pricing this week, dropping the Standard Range versions of the Model S and Model X. The website now lists the vehicles as starting from $79,990 and $84,990, respectively. Other changes include making the “Ludicrous” package a standard feature for performance editions of the premium cars. Pearl white multicoat is the standard option on all cars, and the Standard Range Plus Model 3 is now $1,000 cheaper, at $38,990. Reddit users noted that the now-standard pearl white is notoriously harder to paint.

In wider industry news, the UK could become the first country to mandate all newly built homes come with an electric car charger. It’s part of a multi-part government plan to boost electric cars, with less than 200,000 on British roads. Other proposals include rolling out contactless card payments at public charge points from next year and leveraging smart chargers to more efficiently use electricity. Jaguar Land Rover is also set to receive a £500 million ($622 million) loan from the government to develop electric cars.

Tesla Solar

Reader Scott Jensen asked this week whether we could include a regular weekly update on Tesla and solar. Your wish is our command!

An ex-SolarCity executive is using Tesla Powerwall to bring clean water to the world. Hayes Barnard, former chief revenue officer and now president of GivePower, told Inverse that he helped develop the BLUdrop.

It uses six Powerwalls and 50-kilowatts of solar panels to take 75,000 liters of brackish water or seawater and turn it into safe drinking water. Desalination facilities are nothing new, but the power storage and solar means it can work 24 hours per day without generating carbon emissions and produce even more water. Read more.

In Other Musk News…

Musk delved into Neuralink in a presentation Tuesday evening. The brain-computer interface company has developed a chip with 1,204 electrodes that can interface with neurons in the brain.

Initial human tests, conducted at the end of next year, will aim to help medical patients by using four chips to control a smartphone. Future versions could enable humans to achieve a symbiotic relationship with artificial intelligence, Musk says. Read more.

Musk Reads Mailroom

Reader Richard Hilliard asked us what charging technology Tesla uses in the UK. Good question!

  • Unlike Musk’s home turf that uses a proprietary connector, Tesla cars in the UK and the rest of the EU use standardized connectors. The Tesla Model S and X uses a Type 2 connector, while the Model 3 uses a CCS Combo 2 port. The latter is the same connector used with ultra-fast charging networks like Ionity. Tesla also sells a CHAdeMO adaptor for the Model S and X, so those cars can use chargers designed for the Nissan Leaf and other cars.

Jinks Dabney says Musk needs to “stop fooling around” and release a Tesla Model S that can go more than 500 miles on one charge.

Got any comments or queries? Don’t forget to send them over to

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is set to report its second quarter earnings on July 24, with a conference call scheduled for 2:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Photo of the Week

Tesla Model 3 in yellow? See more.

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The Ultra-Fine Print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #88, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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A version of this article appeared in the “Musk Reads” newsletter. Sign up for free here.