Service and Supercharging Improvements
Within the past few years, Tesla’s Achilles heel has been customer service. During the model 3 production ramp, so many people were purchasing cars that Tesla had to dedicate all of its resources to the vehicle. This left a very small amount of staff dedicated to customer service. Couple that with an enormous increase in car sales and Tesla really couldn’t keep up with the sheer demand.
This caused problems with deliveries too, frustrating customers with the lack of contact and late delivery times. Since then, Tesla has become more stable, allowing it to focus on the things that keep their existing customers happy, like service and supercharging.
Recently, Bloomberg conducted a survey of 5000 Model 3 owners, concluding that Tesla’s willingness and quality of repair for manufacturer defects has improved. At the beginning of Model 3 production, the Model 3s suffered from construction problems like misaligned panels and rattles in the bodywork. Although this has improved over time, it still exists in part.
Now Tesla is dedicating a larger portion of their resources to customer service, it is able to perform such repairs in a timely and high-quality fashion. This is especially important considering that the defect was Tesla’s fault, not just a customer repair.
According to the survey, repairs on Tesla’s which have been damaged in accidents are taking longer, partly due to the fact that they are lower on Tesla’s list of priorities. Despite this, Tesla is making improvements to their service centres based on customer feedback and it seems to be working well.
To add to that, the supercharger network is improving too. With the rapid rise of Model 3 sales, lots of strain was put on the Supercharger network, especially in Tesla dense areas like California.
In 2018, Musk pledged to increase the number of available supercharger stations to 23 000. Although that goal probably wont be reached, the Supercharger network has been expanded greatly. Tesla continues to add multiple supercharging stations every week, improving the ownership experience for Model 3 owners.
With the coming of the V3 superchargers, the existing superchargers will be under less strain than before. This is because when a Model 3 uses a V3 charger, it can be in and charged within 30 minutes, under half the amount of time it takes at a V2 Supercharger.
Based on Bloomberg’s survey, that raises the ‘Supercharger availability’ score from Model 3 owners to 4.27 out of 5.
Elon Musk Plants One Million Trees
Upon reaching 20M subscribers on YouTube, Jimmy Donaldson (Mr Beast) was challenged by the internet to plant 20 million trees. To do this, he partnered with a huge amount of other content creators, covering the YouTube home page.
Seemingly, Musk caught word of this on Twitter, commenting that it ‘seems legit’ and that he will be donating 1M trees. After that, he did, contributing 1/20th of the total goal.
Team trees has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation in order to plant the trees at $1 per tree. Although this won’t stop climate change, it will provide significant impact to the natural world. Thousands of species, each of which contain hundreds of thousands of members are likely to live in the trees that are planted.
Furthermore, it acts as a message to global leaders, a message that the global community demands climate action immediately. Being the environmentally sustainable man that he is, Musk wanted to take part in such an important message.
Musk Reduces Tesla Solar + Powerwall Price
Wildfires in California are causing evacuations, power outages, and loss of habitat. On Tesla’s factory wall, their vision is clearly stated: to accelerate the adoption of sustainable solutions. One segment of that is solar and Powerwall. Solar provides the energy and Powerwall stores it for later use.
If the power goes out, the home can be powered by the energy stored in the Powerwall, causing little disturbance to the homeowner. Ideally, enough solar panels in a sunny area would facilitate complete off grid electricity.
As wildfires are intensifying in California, in part due to global warming, the number of power outages has significantly increased. In response, Musk decided to lower the prices of solar + Powerwall by $1000 in order to allow more homeowners to enter the market.
In a tweet following, Musk clarified, “We do not make much money on this product, so $1000 means a lot.” This really emphasises Tesla’s vision. They care for their customers and would rather power as many peoples homes as they can, sacrificing profits for that reason.
Traffic Cones Visualised in Latest Autopilot Update
During Tesla’s general improvements to autopilot, they added more advanced recognition of vehicles. For example, a truck now shows up as a truck on the autopilot display, accurately depicting both shape and size.
Adding to this, on software version 2019.36.1, your Tesla now displays objects around the vehicle like traffic cones. This has been demonstrated by a user on twitter.
According to Musk, Model 3 will be able to show clearly the objects around it, helping with tasks like parking where the driver may not be aware of low lying objects. Furthermore, the new system helps to tackle blind spots by providing a rotatable 3D view of the surroundings. In the future, this could advance to use the Model 3s touch screen to provide the user with a more immersive experience.
Tesla ‘Cyberpunk’ Pickup Truck Renders
Development of Tesla’s upcoming ‘Cyberpunk’ pickup truck has been kept fairly well under wraps since Musk first released information on it. Cleverly, Musk has been releasing small details and renders over time, sparking people to come up with their own ideas for what the truck may actually look like.
Upon release of one of the truck’s lights by Musk, the render above popped up. It was based on speculation that the thin strip light pictured in the image was on the front of the truck, something which was later confirmed by Musk on Twitter.
From a more architectural perspective, Teslarati created a render of the truck based on all the available leaks and teasers which have come to light. Most of the renders so far, such as the first one in this article, have been more stylised and artistic. This architectural render provides a more detailed view at the proportions of the truck. It’s evident that Tesla is going for a streamlined shape here, perhaps to improve range.
Of course, this is all speculation and it’s likely that most of the details about the truck will be kept relatively secretive until the main reveal of the truck. This could happen this month, perhaps November 21st.
That’s the end of this weeks Tesla Weekly, check back next week for the latest rundown of Tesla news.