Musk Reads: Tesla gets a battery range boost

Full self-driving set for a boost and Musk teases new cars. Which countries are bringing in gas car sales bans?

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Full self-driving set for a boost and Musk teases new cars. Which countries are bringing in gas car sales bans? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #222.

Musk quote of the week

“FSD [full self-driving] Beta 5 coming out in a few days. Improvement should be significant.”

Jordan Giesige, host of YouTube channel “The Limiting Factor,” is renowned as offering deep dives into Tesla’s battery tech. Coming soon, he speaks with Musk Reads+ about his post-Battery Day thoughts; where Tesla will go from here; and what the batteries could mean for the average consumer.

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The Tesla Model S has received a boost in battery range, Electrek reported last week. A Monroney sticker spotted on a new Model S shows the car with 409 miles of range between charges. These stickers show ratings from the Environmental Protection Agency. In June 2020, the car’s battery range was updated from 391 miles to 402 miles. Tesla’s website still advertises the car with a 402-mile range. The company is set to release the “Plaid” Model S in late 2021, with more than 520 miles of range.

Speaking of impressive range, Musk this week claimed the Tesla Semi will reach up to 1,000 kilometers, or 621 miles, in the long term. Musk made the comments in a live-streamed interview during the three-day European Conference on Batteries. The Semi comes in 300-mile and 500-mile varieties, meaning the company expects to add over 100 miles more range over time.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to roll out updates to the ongoing full self-driving beta “every five to 10 days.” Musk stated last week that the firm will widen the beta if the latest release “looks good.”

In other Musk news…

  • Musk is “excited” about developing original electric cars in Europe, he said in an interview this week. The CEO suggested the under-construction Giga Berlin facility could design “a compact car, so perhaps a hatchback or something like that.” Musk recounted a story about how he was “driving a Model X around Berlin and we had quite a bit of trouble finding a parking space that we could fit.” Musk previously suggested Tesla would release a smaller Cybertruck for European consumers. Read more.
  • It was a pretty good week for Musk overall. Bloomberg reported he’s now the second-richest person in the world, overtaking Bill Gates and just behind Jeff Bezos.
  • Tesla is not the only company exploring new cars for Europe. Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe said last week that new vehicles for Europe and China would “really drive volume” in the markets. Scaringe revealed little, except that the cars would be smaller and use components from previous cars. Rivian aims to start delivering the R1T truck in June 2021 and the R1S SUV in August 2021. Read more.
  • What about vehicles other than cars? Waymo, which started life as Google’s autonomous driving project, teased “endless opportunities” last week beyond just taxis. Read more.

Musk Reads mailroom

AJC writes:

Would Muskreads run a few articles about [Britain, Germany, New Jersey, California] banning gas and diesel vehicles by 2025 and 2030. The mainstream media don’t seem to be reporting on these important moves. Thanks.

There are a number of interesting moves in these areas taking place:

  • The UK is set to ban the sale of gas and diesel cars from 2030, Reuters reports. The ban was originally expected for 2040; in February it was brought forward to 2035; and this month it was brought forward again to 2030.
  • Germany’s Federal Administrative Court ruled in 2018 that Stuttgart and Duesseldorf could ban highly polluting diesel cars from its streets. The federal council called for a 2030 ban on sales in 2016, but a ban has not been implemented.
  • California governor Gavin Newsom announced an executive order in September that would ban gas car sales by 2035.
  • New Jersey’s Department of Environmental Protection called for a ban in October on gas car sales by 2035.

Reuters reports China has been exploring a ban while the Canadian province of Quebec announced this month it will ban sales from 2035. Norway could be the first country to actually implement a ban, with a bold deadline of 2025.

Ernie Wise writes:

Why not build a plant in Weirton, WV? They lost a steel mill with 13,000 working there, has a lot of land still there for your plant, and borders Ohio and Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh, PA is just 30 minutes away, so why not talk to to the local politicians about making it work? What have you got to lose, you might like it.

There is an article on WVPublic about the mill that’s well worth listening to or reading, which forms part of a five-part series on Weirton. Musk suggested a factory on a tri state border back in 2017, which some interpreted to mean West Virginia.

Where would you like to see Tesla build its next factory? Send in your comments and queries to

Photo of the week

The northernmost Tesla Supercharger, located in Varangerbotn, Norway.

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 #222, 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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