Musk Reads: Cybertruck reveal date confirmed

The Tesla Solar Roof gets tested; the Pickup Truck will sport a “movie set” design; and is the Porsche Taycan really faster than the Model S?

The Tesla Solar Roof gets tested; the Pickup Truck will sport a “movie set” design; and is the Porsche Taycan really faster than the Model S? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #119.

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

Musk quote of the week

“Connected, autonomous cars require great software. Advanced factories also require great software. The car industry is not very good at software.”

Tesla

The Pickup Truck is set to launch on November 21 in Los Angeles near SpaceX’s rocket factory, Musk confirmed via Twitter on Wednesday, ending months of speculation about the truck’s launch and its groundbreaking design.

The vehicle “looks like an armored personnel carrier from the future,” Musk claimed Tuesday during a fireside chat with Lieutenant General John Thompson at the Los Angeles Air Force Base. Musk claimed that the upcoming truck will look like it “came off a movie set … like, ‘Whoa, what is that thing?’” The interview offered some new insights into why Musk is determined to design something that he’s unsure will sell particularly well: “People try to make products they think others would love but they don’t love themselves. If you don’t love the product, you should not expect that others will … if it’s compelling to you, it will be compelling to them.”

Did Top Gear mislead viewers in its Model S versus Porsche Taycan showdown? The show claimed in a statement that the Taycan Turbo S finished a quarter-mile in 10.69 seconds, while the Model S Performance clocked in at 11.23 seconds. The show claims the car was in Ludicrous+ mode, but fans have questioned whether the car also had Launch Mode enabled. A DragTimes race recorded a 10.67-second quarter-mile in the Model S. The controversy led Musk to declare that the “show should be called ‘Low Gear’!

The German government has rolled out new subsidies for electric vehicles on Tuesday, the same day Volkswagen officially started production of its ID.3 electric vehicle. Electric cars priced under €40,000 ($44,365) will receive a €6,000 ($6,655) subsidy, up from €4,000 ($4,436). Electric cars over €40,000 will receive a 25 percent larger subsidy, but cars over €60,000 ($66,548) will receive nothing. The scheme is expected to run until the end of 2025.

Tesla solar

Tesla’s third-generation solar roof is getting put through its paces. In a Halloween-themed video shared by Musk last week, the company threw a Tesla-carved pumpkin onto the roof from several stories high. The smashing pumpkin demonstrates the resilience of the new roof tiles, designed to withstand wear and tear over decades to serve as a viable alternative to a traditional roof. Read more.

Tesla and Walmart have settled a lawsuit over rooftop solar panels catching fire (see Musk Reads #98). In a statement provided to CNBC Tuesday, the pair said they are “pleased to have resolved the issues raised by Walmart concerning the Tesla solar installations at Walmart stores.” It added that “safety is a top priority for each company, and with the concerns being addressed, we both look forward to a safe re-energization of our sustainable energy systems.”

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to roll out a software update in the coming weeks for the Model S, X, and 3 that will bring single-pedal driving for greater range, faster supercharging, and five percent greater power. Musk also revealed on Tuesday that the company is planning some foundational upgrades to the cure operating system before rolling out two-factor authentication.

Musk Reads mailroom

German Ruiz writes:

“I own a Tesla car and I love it. I’m also the president of Classic Construction Group based in Westport, Connecticut.

“Anyway, I would like to know what is required to be a Tesla installer of solar roof shingles.”

Musk did indeed mention plans to support third-party installations for the Tesla Solar Roof, but it seems the initial rollout will be completed by Tesla in a similar manner to previous installations. Tesla expects to ship the roof to all the states it currently supplies solar, and it plans to ship a new roof tile design every six months. They may be in-house installations for now, but with the rapid pace of expansion, that could quickly change.

Got any comments or queries? Don’t forget to send them over to muskreads@inverse.com.

Video of the week

James May, “Captain Slow” of Top Gear and The Grand Tour fame, has got himself a Model S.

The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #119, 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.