Musk Reads: Tesla Model Y has “next-level upgrades”

Tesla takes a coronavirus hit and a major battery project gets detailed. What's inside the Model Y?

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Tesla takes a coronavirus hit and a major battery project gets detailed. What’s inside the Model Y? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #156.

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

Musk quote of the week

“Y has next-level upgrades, especially body castings & heat pump.”


Tesla is expected to take a hit on deliveries for the first quarter of 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, although it’s still expected to improve year-over-year. Bloomberg reported Tuesday that analysts estimate Tesla delivered around 77,400 cars globally in the previous quarter, a 23 percent jump year-over-year but a 30 percent drop from the previous quarter. Morgan Stanley’s Adam Jonas places the figure at 88,000, far higher than the 63,000 in the first quarter of 2019 but short of the record-breaking 112,000 from the fourth quarter of 2019. Jonas explained that the team expects “a weak number” as Tesla normally completes a “disproportionate” share of deliveries in the last two weeks of a quarter.

Tesla competitor Rivian has shut down all facilities and “expect[s] some level of delay,” according to a Wednesday email. The company, which is expected to start production on the $69,000 R1T and $72,500 R1S later this year, stated that it’s “working to minimize the disruption to our launch schedule.”

Tesla and SpaceX employees have tested positive for Covid–19, reports last week claimed. Bloomberg this week reported that Fremont officials warned Tesla about the risks to public health by keeping its factory open, a dispute that ended March 19 when the automaker finally suspended production. Read more.

Tesla solar

Tesla plans to build one of the biggest batteries in the world. The company has plans to build 244 Megapacks in Hawaii to offer 810 megawatt-hours of storage total. The project would greatly outrank the South Australia project, which, at 129 megawatt-hours, was described as the world’s largest lithium-ion battery when completed in November 2017. The new Hawaii project, however, could find itself outranked by a 900 megawatt-hour project in Florida due to go online in late 2021. Read more.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to host a company presentation in April. It is unclear whether the timing may have changed with Covid–19, but Musk recently confirmed that the event would be livestreamed.

Musk Reads mailroom

Hal Baden writes:

Thanks for sharing Model Y video. Model Y is great in many ways, I simply had to give a disappointment comment regarding the Model Y.

I was really hoping that either the under floor rear storage or trunk storage for the Model Y would have been designed to allow storage of a space-saver spare tire. I think a spare tire is a necessity for road trips. I wish there had been a way to provide that feedback to Elon. Seeing the two rear storage area, the modification would not have been difficult. I do not know anyone who is happy about lack of spare tire option. Any ideas how to give feedback to Elon? (I have a reservation for RWD Long Range Model Y, which won’t arrive for a while, so I can still hope, I guess.)

You’re not the first to call for better spare tire storage options – users on the Tesla Motors Club forum also have the same issue. In terms of giving feedback directly to Musk, he’s famous for responding to concerns via his Twitter page.

Brian Galton writes:

Are the Y’s now being delivered have the new wiring system installed?

The new wiring system was outlined by Musk in a May 2017 conference call and detailed in a July 2019 patent application. It aims to reduce the amount of wiring needed from 3 kilometers in the Model S and 1.5 kilometers in the Model 3 to just 100 meters in the Model Y. At the time of writing, it seems to be unclear whether these proposals made it to the final product. We should find out more when Sandy Munro completes one of his livestreamed teardowns for the Model Y. Although he has the car, the teardown is currently TBD “due to Covid–19 restrictions.”

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Video of the week

A new video shows Tesla vehicles will soon be able to stop autonomously at red lights.

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The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #156, 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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