1.30.2020 10:53 AM

Innovation

Musk Reads: Tesla Solar Roof V3 ramps up

The third-generation Solar Roof starts hitting more houses and Cyberquad competitors are feeling confident. Also, where is the Model S design refresh?

The third-generation Solar Roof starts hitting more houses and Cyberquad competitors are feeling confident. Also, where is the Model S design refresh? It’s Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #138.

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

Musk quote of the week

“Giga Berlin will build sustainable energy vehicles using sustainable energy, so net environmental impact will be extremely positive!”

Tesla

There’s something you don’t see every day. Musk was spotted cruising in the Cybertruck around Hawthorne, California, over the weekend. The upcoming electric car, due for launch in 2021 at an entry price of $39,900, features a striking angular design sure to turn heads. Read more.

What does the competition make of the Tesla Cyberquad? Electric ATV developers tell Inverse that, on the whole, they’re not too concerned about Tesla’s entrance into the market. The vehicle is set to be offered as an add-on for the Cybertruck, but specs are unavailable and competitors believe the leisure-focused vehicle may not offer the same utility as their industry-focused vehicles. Read more.

Amid the coronavirus breakout, Tesla has granted free supercharging to cars in China. The company has offered free supercharging in limited circumstances before, like after Hurricane Michael in 2018.

Tesla solar

Tesla’s solar glass roof is shipping out in higher numbers, if social media reports are anything to go by. The third-generation tiles were unveiled in October 2019 promising faster install times and greater resilience as part of a planned ramp-up to reach a broader audience. Musk originally unveiled the roof back in November 2016, focusing on how the tiles look like a regular roof to the untrained eye. Bar a smattering of installations, the roof remained a relatively obscure product. The third-generation roof looks set to change that.

One of the lucky recipients of the new roof is Alex Guichet, who shared his experiences with his 10.37-kilowatt Solar Roof through a specially designed website. The review even includes near-real-time readouts from Guichet’s roof demonstrating the amount of energy it’s harvesting.

What’s next for Tesla: Tesla is expected to report its fourth quarter 2019 results on Wednesday. A conference call to discuss the results further will be held at 3:30 p.m. Pacific time.

Musk Reads mailroom

Lee Southern writes:

I know you can’t always believe everything you read online, but I’m getting ready to purchase a Model S and I read somewhere Tesla was going to take the classic look of the S and give it the Model 3 appearance. It also said if you buy a vehicle then you may not get the one you want. Is there any truth in any of this?

Officially, Musk claims that Tesla is always tweaking its vehicles, so any new car will almost always have subtle adjustments and updates. Unofficially, Twitter user “greentheonly” has found software references to a number of potential changes on the way, including an integrated inductive phone charger and new battery configurations. But as for a full-scale interior refresh to make it look more like the Model 3, rumors go back as far as July 2018. Tesla has still not offered any indication that a refresh is on the way. As with most technology products, if you spend your life waiting for the next upgrade, you could find yourself caught in an endless loop of waiting.

Steve Hurd writes:

I’m a person who is almost blind and I’ve said to Elon on Twitter, without a reply, that if he’s gonna talk about autonomous vehicles the bar is that a totally blind person should be able to use a car for it to be truly called autonomous. Do you agree?

While the current cars require a driver ready to take the wheel at a moment’s notice, it seems logical that true level five autonomous driving would indeed enable a blind person to use the car uninhibited.

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

Video of the week

Austin Flack, one of the first with a third-generation Solar Roof, shares his experience.

Got a photo or video you’d like to see featured? Send it over to muskreads@inverse.com!

The ultra-fine print

This has been Musk Reads: Tesla Edition #138, 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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