Tesla's four newest electric vehicles were on display this week, and they look stunning.
At the company's annual shareholder event and Battery Day on Tuesday, held at Tesla's Fremont, California facilities, the all-electric vehicle firm had its next-generation lineup shining in the Sun with dazzling designs.
From front to back, the four vehicles could be used to spell out the word "CARS."
- The Cybertruck pickup truck. Set to hit roads in late 2021 at a starting price of $39,900, this truck offers over 500 miles of range at the high end.
- The Cyberquad ATV. This is expected to be sold as an optional add-on for the Cybertruck.
- The second-generation Roadster, due to launch sometime after the Cybertruck. It will have a starting price of $200,000, and the ability to go from 0 to 60 mph in just 1.9 seconds.
- The Semi, which CEO Elon Musk declared in July should enter volume production soon. The predicted base price is $150,000.
The lineup was a powerful demonstration of Tesla's near-future plans, and the wide variety of vehicles on offer. Part of Battery Day, the event explained some of the company's biggest advancements in battery technology, which could lead to a 54 percent increase in battery range between charges and a 56 percent reduction in price per kilowatt-hour.
Prior to the event, Musk claimed that the news "affects long-term production, especially Semi, Cybertruck & Roadster."
Some of the biggest battery changes will be most relevant to these vehicles. During the on-stage presentation, Musk described how batteries have a cathode that act as a "bookshelf," where the metal is the shelf and the lithium is the book. Different metals set themselves apart by how many "books" they can store and how stable they are.
Cobalt is traditionally used in cathodes because it is stable, but it's not as cheap and energy-dense as nickel. It's also mainly sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo in poor conditions. Musk explained during the event that Tesla has found a way to better stabilize nickel for use as a cathode, eliminating the need for cobalt.
Musk said the company will take a three-tiered approach to batteries: iron for low-end vehicles, nickel manganese for mid-range cars, and high nickel for vehicles that need long range like the Cybertruck and Semi. That means cars like the ones in this photo will likely employ Tesla's latest material changes.
"Something like a like a Semi truck, it's extremely important to have high energy density in order to get long range," Musk said.
The Semi and Roadster were unveiled at back in November 2017, stunning viewers with their high performance. But the launch of the Cybertruck and Cyberquad in November 2019, with their angular designs, surprised some fans even more.
The Cybertruck appears to have received a warm response so far. Analyst team Loup Ventures claimed in March 2020 that, after speaking to construction professionals in the midwest, the truck is set for a better reception than anticipated.
The Inverse analysis – Musk is a big fan of tongue-in-cheek messages, and this is no exception.
When Tesla launched the Model S and X in 2012 and 2015, it brought their technologies to more traditional car form factors. Cheaper versions, dubbed the Model 3 and Y, launched in 2017 and 2020. The four cars, aimed at reaching a mass market of car buyers, spell out "S-3-X-Y."
With these four new cars, Tesla is set to attract new professions and even less mainstream buyers. And if the new additions do all come to market, then the firm's lineup will spell out an even clearer message: "S-3-X-Y C-A-R-S."