Tesla Model 3 To Have “Next Generation” Technology Or Not?

6 months ago by Tesla Mondo 24

Tesla Model 3 Release Candidate

MUSK’S 11TH-HOUR MODESTY ABOUT MODEL 3 RINGS FALSE

Nom nom? No! No!

A year ago, Tesla’s chief tech officer JB Straubel said Model 3 will have the company’s “next generation” technology. But yesterday Musk downplayed any notion of Model 3 upstaging the S and X. Cannibalismo non grata!

Musk’s Tweet On Model S Superiority

Straubel also stated:

“I think it will surprise people with the level of features it includes.”

So then, wherein lies the truth? Obviously somewhere between Straubel and Musk, but probably closer to the Straubel end of the continuum, because a year ago there was no pressing concern about the S or X getting cannibalized. Loaded terms like “next generation” could leave the lips without repercussion. Sigh. Such innocent times.

Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

So if indeed the Model 3 sports “next generation” technology, and assuming this goes beyond dry stuff like build-friendly design and myriad efficiency improvements, what’s this all about? Any new James Bond features akin to bioweapon defense, falcon wings, ludicrous acceleration, automatic-opening doors? Hyperspace?

Well, since Model 3 is super-simple and low-risk, that leaves the user interface and the roof as fertile ground for gee-wiz stuff. The UI is probably a wholly different experience from Model S/X, even without a true heads-up display. Musk did compare it to a spaceship, remember? Was he merely breathing up our pant legs? Unlikely.

And the roof is probably photovoltaic to a useful degree. In fact, TeslaMondo believes Tesla will pioneer photovoltaic density alongside battery density. With time, smaller and smaller surface areas will become more usefully “solar.” Why not start with a car roof?

In a few years, about the only things Tesla won’t be able to solarize will be its Tesla-brand traffic tunnels. Then again, skylights and mirrors could come into play.

*Editor’s Note: This and other Tesla-related posts appear on TeslaMondo. Check it out here.

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24 responses to "Tesla Model 3 To Have “Next Generation” Technology Or Not?"

  1. Anon says:

    The battery in the TM3 is ‘Next Gen”… The rest of it, not so much.

    1. Bonaire says:

      So if a slightly larger can (2170 vs. 18650) is next gen, be aware that 2170 can sizes for battery cells is not new in the battery cell making industry. Using a next-gen cell chemistry structure, anode, cathode and/or separators and emulsion process would be next-gen. taller, fatter cells do offer better physics behind density. But what else?

      1. Anon says:

        Chemistry tweaks. And the new inverter used in TM3 is pretty slick, now that I think of it…

        These tech-evolutions and refinements will be in all their vehicles in the near future.

    2. ross says:

      I think the autopilot will be “next gen” also

  2. realdb2 says:

    In my opinion the Model 3 will eventually have almost all of the same technology as the Model S if you want to pay for it.

    Technology that is standard on the Model S will be an upgrade on the Model 3 so they can hit a price point.

    Like Musk has stated the past, the newest technology will probably be rolled out to the Model S first before eventually trickling down the Model 3.

  3. ijonjack says:

    Photovoltaic Roof: trunk lid , Front hood…Extra Power for accessories . If they can condense it to make more power, all that space can be very Productive.

  4. przemo_li says:

    Tesla proved already capable of introducing big changes gradually. S&X will get updates of whatever model 3 will debut

  5. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ sven says:

    It’s obvious what Musk is trying to achieve with his Tweet.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3flv5nWZgII

    1. ffbj says:

      I always like it when the guy touches the barbed wire fence. It’s ow, that’s barbed wire, dude.
      You you just settle.
      http://www.nbc.com/saturday-night-live/video/settl/2949238?snl=1

  6. RM says:

    All the experts are overlooking the obvious.

    The original plan might have been for a HUD (as evidenced by Musk’s spaceship statements as well as their hiring of Microsoft Hololens engineers), however the insane demand and accelerated production ramp required them to jettison features and postpone anything but RWD.

    Hence, Musk now walking it all back. The hoped-for March 31st final reveal was replaced by a mea culpa tweetstorm, and Musk saying on a quarterly CC that the real final reveal would be sometime in June/July.

    It seems likely, that aside from a few minor tweaks, the production Model 3 will be nearly identical to the prototype.

    1. Anon says:

      Better in some ways, but not too different visually. Not a bad thing, IMHO.

    2. Rich says:

      Agreed
      The HUD wasn’t ready and instead of suffering from Model X syndrome, Tesla added it to the future features list and are keeping the schedule. Tesla is focusing on what’s important and not getting lost in the weeds. IMO, this is the right thing to do.

      I was really hoping for a next gen blow my socks off HUD (as a paid option), but ultimately it doesn’t change my purchase decision.

  7. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    I am guessing Elon’s “lowering expectations” Tweets were just a marketing strategy. That fits right in with Tesla’s low-key approach to advertising the M3.

    Firstly, Tesla would rather sell the higher-priced Model S to customers right now, instead of having them wait for a lower cost M3 in a year or three.

    Secondly, Tesla wants to avoid the Osborne Effect; they don’t want the M3 to appear more attractive than the MS because of any new tech the M3 will have.

    Still hoping the M3 has an option for an HUD to replace the absent instrument cluster! Not that an HUD would really be “next generation” tech; I understand that some cars already in production have them.

  8. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    TeslaMondo wrote:

    “With time, smaller and smaller surface areas will become more usefully ‘solar.’ Why not start with a car roof?”

    As a scientist, TeslaMondo is a good cheerleader. 😉

    There isn’t that much energy per square foot/meter in sunshine. Even if solar cells were 100% efficient, it wouldn’t be nearly enough energy to actually run the car more than a very few miles per day, and that’s even assuming you always park it in the sunshine instead of the shade.

    Solar cells, or solar window glass, will be a good thing in that it will let Tesla cars sit in long-term parking at the airport without running the battery down from vampiric drain. It would also allow the ventilation fan to be run when the car is sitting out under a hot summer sun. But the idea that future tech would enable solar panels or “solar glass” on a car to provide significant amounts of power… that’s something only someone who’s not scientifically literate could hope for. There just isn’t enough surface area.

    1. Brad says:

      Not to mention the additional weight of solar cells on a car will easily cancel out any minor gains by the cells themselves

      1. William says:

        Or, just accept minor charging gains and, just go with it as you see fit.

        https://www.dropbox.com/s/7tsdyo9ydisacp3/Photo%20Mar%2021%2C%2011%2021%2055%20AM.jpg?dl=0

  9. Another (Euro) industrial point of view says:

    Maybe GM Bolt will appear to be tougher competition to Model 3 than first thought then. I am curious how Leaf 2 will be.

    1. floydboy1 says:

      OR NOT!

      1. William says:

        “OR NOT” at all possible, given all of GM EVs total history, as a thorough perspective.

  10. wavelet says:

    I don’t get what some people were expecting. Above anything else, the 3 has to be much cheaper to manufacture (while being reasonably safe and reliable). Period.

    If a specific “next-gen” (whatever that means) tech aids in that goal, it might make sense; otherwise it doesn’t, pretty much by definition.

    Having a single screen & no buttons (which also means very little wiring for them) helps in that — but HUDs are still fairly expensive, so they don’t.
    I’m probably not a candidate for any vehicle where the main gauges aren’t visible looking forward, but that’s me.

    1. Roy_H says:

      Yeah, I don’t get this no instrument cluster bit implemented as an LCD or not. Suggesting that in some future where autonomous driving is so ubiquitous that people will have no use for a speedometer etc. is just not applicable to-day. And I bet even 30 years from now, many people will choose to drive manually, just because they enjoy it so these features will always be required.

  11. unlucky says:

    It won’t even be a smaller Model S.

    To make a car that much cheaper you have to take a lot of stuff out. Even Tesla does.

    It’s unreasonable to expect Tesla’s new, far cheaper car is going to compete with their more expensive Model S, let alone surpass it. It’s going to be more of an econo box. It clearly has a far cheaper interior.

    It’s going to take a lot to make a long-range EV at that price right now. Look at the Bolt and realize this car is supposed to be even cheaper.

    People have to temper their expectations

  12. JR says:

    I dont think there will be much difference in autopilot hardware, there are 2 versions of nvidia hardware px2, and how i undestand they are allready using the smaller version with 4 camera for the model s and x.

    They will control the access to features with software, and making the screen 15 inch.

    About the battery size, i think they could go up to 85 mayby 90 but i think this is a magic number from the model S and X a point where they are worry about canibalizing on the S and X and keeping there eksisting costumers happy. They feel the need to keep the classes seperated.

  13. Adam says:

    None seems to have thought of the possibility that their could be a double reveal.

    Perhaps an updated S and X with a HUD (amongst other things like a high quality interior) so that a HUD on the 3 is not creating a one up on the S/X.

    And the seemingly strange idea that everyone thinks a model 3 can’t out perform is strange for myself. A BMW M3 is faster than a 7-Series, so what.