Musk Reads: Tesla design changes

The solar business could soar and Musk hints at two new vehicles. More Superchargers?

The solar business could soar and Musk hints at two new vehicles. More Superchargers? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #190.

Musk quote of the week

“Tesla is open to licensing software and supplying powertrains & batteries. We’re just trying to accelerate sustainable energy, not crush competitors!”


Tesla’s upcoming advanced new paint has been pictured in prototype form. In April 2020, Musk declared that the Giga Berlin factory under construction would feature the “world’s most advanced paint shop, with more layers of stunning colors that subtly change with curvature.” Ryan McCaffrey, host of the Ride the Lightning podcast, shared an image via Twitter this week of a “deep crimson” Tesla. Musk confirmed that the photo showed a prototype of the planned color.

In other Tesla color news this week, Musk confirmed that fans would be able to heat the Cybertruck’s steel exterior to produce more shades of color than the standard silver. Musk previously confirmed that fans will be able to wrap the Cybertruck in any pattern or color after purchase. Read more.

Tesla solar

Tesla’s solar energy business could one day become the same size as its automotive business, Musk claimed during the company’s latest earnings call. Energy generation and storage accounted for $370 million of Tesla’s $6 billion quarterly revenue, meaning it accounted for just six percent of its total revenue. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to host its planned Battery Day soon. Comments from Musk suggested the event could take place on September 15 alongside the shareholder meeting. Visitors should receive a tour of the cell production system. The event is expected to be one of the most important in the firm’s history. Read more.

In other Musk news…

  • A new Tesla software update will disable the passenger face vents when no passenger is detected. This is expected to bring an improvement to the vehicle’s range.
  • During the company’s second-quarter 2020 earnings call last week, Musk confirmed the company will build a factory in Austin, Texas. The facility will focus on Cybertruck and Semi, as well as Model 3 and Model Y vehicles for the eastern half of North America. The Fremont facility would be left to focus on Model 3 and Y for the western half of North America, as well as global production for the Model S, X, and Roadster. Read more.
  • Tesla plans to change the internal design of the Model Y to make it easier to manufacture, maintaining the same external appearance. Read more.
  • Musk expects the company to eventually produce two new vehicles: a compact vehicle and a high-capacity passenger vehicle. The latter coincides with previous reports that Tesla is helping to build a 12-passenger vehicle for its projects with The Boring Company. Read more.
  • Musk issued a plea to mining companies to provide nickel for the firm’s electric vehicles. Read more.
  • In a now-deleted tweet, Musk responded to a post about the role lithium played in the removal of Evo Morales from power in Bolivia by declaring that “we will coup whoever we want! Deal with it.” The post attracted sharp criticism.

Musk Reads mailroom

Daniel Anderson writes:

Who can I contact to set up a Supercharger facility in Port Angeles, Washington?

One option is to contact Musk directly via his Twitter account, as he has been known to provide updates on Supercharger expansion to fans. Another is to see if there are any local businesses interested in hosting a Tesla charging spot. These charging sites have played host to some fantastic creative designs, like Tony Caciolo’s 1950s-style gas pump in Pennsylvania.

Dennis Sweeney writes:

I am a snow bird living in Connecticut during the summer and Florida during the winter. Is it feasible to leave a Tesla in Florida, unused for 6 months or will this result in damage to the batteries?

Based on other drivers’ experiences, it should be fine. In an article for CleanTechnica, Srini Vennam described his experience with leaving the Model 3 alone for 63 days. The car had 299 miles of power when he left it and had only lost 100 miles in that time. He concluded that “the Long Range Model 3 can easily go for six months without charging.” Users on the official Tesla forums note it’s a good idea to turn on power-saving features and to avoid checking its status using the app.

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Photo of the week

Deep crimson Tesla.

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The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #190, the weekly rundown of essential reading about futurist and entrepreneur Elon Musk. I’m Mike Brown, an innovation journalist for Inverse.

What did you think of today’s stories? Hit reply to this email to let us know. Thanks for reading!

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