Musk Reads: Tesla autonomy upgrades imminent

Cybertruck demand soars and Tesla Solar Roof gets pictured. Where's the solar train?

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Cybertruck demand soars and Tesla Solar Roof gets pictured. Where’s the solar train? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #150.

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

Musk quote of the week

“We’re tracking to release more FSD features later this month.”

  • Musk teasing new full self-driving features. Musk also noted that improved rules for autonomous driving are expected to roll out in the European Union in the next few months.


The Tesla Cybertruck is surging. Data suggests consumers prefer the vehicle over the Fiat Chrysler Ram 1500. Analysts at Loup Ventures have raised their predictions for the Cybertruck, expecting it to now account for 15 percent of demand by 2023 rather than five percent. To meet new production demand, Musk has proposed a new factory in the central United States. Musk had previously floated the idea of a factory in Texas. Read more.

Tesla has shipped its 1 millionth car, a red Tesla Model Y. The milestone helps cement the company as a more mass market vehicle. Data from UBS shows 28 percent globally would like to buy the Model Y, a figure that rises to 65 percent in China. Read more.

Tesla solar

Tesla has set up a Megapack in New Brunswick, Canada, that’s expected to save the local energy firm up to $200,000 per year. The 2.5 megawatt-hour installation will be used to support the grid during peak times. Tesla unveiled the Megapack last June, with the promise of 60 percent greater energy density versus the Powerpack. These batteries can be used to store renewable energy from sources like wind and solar, providing round-the-clock energy distribution.

A new Tesla Solar Roof image shared by Musk last week demonstrates what is possibly its best feature: the ability to hide the solar panels and make them blend into the roof. Read more.

In other Tesla news…

  • Researchers at Penn State may finally make Musk’s million-mile battery dream come true. Musk suggested last year that cars would one day ship with batteries capable of supporting up to a million miles of journeys. Read more.
  • German construction firm Arikon has been chosen as Tesla’s official contractor at Giga Berlin. Cranes have moved into position.
  • The British government’s new budget will exempt electric cars from the luxury car tax. Vehicles with a list price over £40,000 ($51,815) can pay up to £465 ($602) extra per year for five years. The change will retroactively apply to cars first registered as early as April 2017.
  • Coronavirus means Tesla’s current quarter “isn’t going to be pretty,” analyst Dan Ives claimed Tuesday.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is set to break ground on Giga Berlin in the second half of March, minister of economics Jörg Steinbach claimed in a recent interview. Tesla received permission to clear the forest last month, a decision that was suspended by an urgent lawsuit and then reinstated. Tesla has cleared around 90 hectares in the first phase of construction. When asked on Twitter whether he would attend the groundbreaking ceremony, Musk declared “definitely.”

Musk Reads mailroom

pokerpilot writes:

Solar powered trains?

Check out this train from Indian Railways back in 2017 and the world’s first line directly powered by solar in 2019. The Byron Bay Railroad Company’s project is also impressive!

Michael Clinton writes:

Existing facilities would need to be re-tooled to make the Cybertruck, Why not put a new Gigafactory at the site near Reno that could be designed specifically for the Cybertruck?

It looks like Musk is indeed exploring his options with plans for a Gigafactory somewhere in the central United States.

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Video of the week

Out of Spec Motoring produced a brilliant deep dive on the Tesla Model 3’s updated Track Mode:

Got a photo or video you’d like to see featured? Send it over to!

The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #150, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

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

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