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Big Musk Oslo Q&A: Tesla adding real time traffic, any instant music and total control over suspension in Model S 6 update


(another view)

There is so much info in this video. Redditors have broken down the big points:

-Model X will be only about 5 cm longer than the S.

-Model X will be in early stages of production by end of Q1 2015, and shipped globally 3-5 months later.

-AWD on Model X will have no efficiency loss, which is the first of its kind.

-Model X Falcon wing doors will have sensors to stop it from hitting nearby cars or low ceilings in a garage.

-Model X 3rd row seats in the back will be removable or fold down, and there is potential to take out the 2nd row to make it a cargo van-like transportation vehicle.

-In order to make the Model E, Tesla needs cost per KW to go down ideally by 40% but Elon said it’s still doable if only 30%.

-They are improving the seats in the Model S, some changes are actually being made on the production line now. He said they might allow existing customers the ability to come in and change out the seats for a small fee.

-Elon is fairly confidant Tesla will have the first autonomous or autopilot vehicles on the road. He was a bit uncomfortable saying when, as to not release big news too early.

-Lots of cool updates over air coming, like proximity lines in the reverse camera, improved radio quality, etc.

-Tesla predicts the value of a Model S after 3 years will be significantly higher than their guarantee.

-Elon stated he believes one can expect the Model S to last up to 20 years, compared to most ICE cars now lasting between 10-15.

-Elon doesn’t rule out the possibility of Tesla Motors expanding to Air and Sea transport, but he says that’s a long ways away as they have to stay focused on their current projects with their finite resources.

EDIT: Forgot to add that a few people from the crowd asked Elon if it’s true that they will void their entire warranties if they mod their cars. Elon seemed to disagree with what they were told by the service centers, in that he thinks the subsystem that is modded would be what gets voided. Example, if you mod your sunroof, then you no longer have a warranty on the sunroof.

Another Q&A from the Netherlands below:


  • Musk says it’s likely (“probably, not 100 %”) you’ll be able to drive from the Benelux to the south of France around april this year. (12min)
  • By the summer there’ll be a dramatic difference in number of Superchargers in Europe. (13min)
  • High density of Superchargers in the Benelux because there’s lots of customers there. (13min).
  • They’ll update the map on the website to show a more detailed overview of current Superchargers and Superchargers being built (like the US map).
  • Life traffic will be available in the navigation system.
  • He said: “We’re close to one Supercharger a day in Europe”. Don’t know if he means that they’re building one a day or what. (11min)
  • He said the 700 Euro maintenance is too expensive and that he’ll look into it. (12min)
  • Battery swap news: Tesla will do a trial between LA and SF, “hopefuly up and running in the next few months”. (33min)
  • Adaptive Cruise Control “is an important feature to have down the road”. (40min)

Full Q&A here:


(Opens with a video of an owner talking about his car.)

(Musk and Straubel tag team introduced.)

With version 6 of the software, which is in testing, we’ll be adding real-time traffic.

You’ll also get internet music and be able to ask for any song at any time.

We’ll be adding in a bunch more suspension functionality. Much wider range of speeds, … (I missed some)
full control over suspension. Snow at higher speed. Add more functionality to the
suspension of the vehicle.

More than doubling the superchargers in Norway, and on the way to Europe.

Almost anywhere in Europe by the end of this year. And certainly to Paris. Focus on some of the key connecting routes.

Norway will have the highest superchargers per capita, by far, in the world.

(Some discussion of the technical challenges with Norway charging.
Safety features confused by the variance in the grid, etc.)

Q & A

Q1: If we already have the S, why should we buy the X?

A(JB): One great benefit, other than more space, is AWD. Lot more cargo space. Full seven passengers. More ground clearance.
A(EM): Preference issue. Sedan vs. SUV. The X will be bigger, obviously taller. Handling and acceleration will be better on sedan than SUV.

Q2: Our car is messy due to empty center console area.

A(EM): Drop in center console will be available. We wanted an open space… but intended for it to be modular.

Q3: Social media. Production and coal based energy. Example from media of Model S not as green as you think.

A(EM): In terms of energy consumption, Norway is extremely green because of the hydro power…no carbon emissions. Generally when they do these calculations, they assume the world doesn’t go to sustainable power production… but it has to. But both sides of the equation (sustainable power generation and consumption) need to be solved. For most of the world, I think it’s going to be solar. In terms of the production of the car itself, it’s not really different from a gasoline car from standpoint of constituent elements. Number of analyses that are incorrect.
A(JB): Decided to do our own study. We’ve done that whole study internally, and probably will release a whitepaper to answer a lot of these critics. The energy payback driving a Model S happens quite quickly. In miles… less than 10,000 miles.

Q4: What’s your strategy to keep Tesla ahead of the game.

A(EM): Our goal is that the big car companies *do* copy Tesla. The biggest positive impact we’ll have is by getting other companies … sustainable transport faster. I don’t know why they’re taking so long. If we make great cars, people will buy them; if we don’t, they shouldn’t buy them.

Q5: Looking 5-8 years ahead, how many kWh can you put into a battery and at what cost?

A(EM): Potential for bigger battery packs in the future. Maybe next year… Main focus is to figure out how to get to our 3rd generation car… cost. The goal of Tesla has always been to make a compelling mass market car. Money that Tesla makes from the Model S and X goes to that. An affordable electric car that’s great. Model S is a great car but it’s expensive. The Leaf is not that great, but is affordable. Missing thing is to have something that’s both.

Q5B: No number projections right now?

A(EM): Proprietary. Difficult to say an exact thing. Goal is to drop cost/kWh by at least 30%, but at least 40% for high volume car. Bigger deal is capacity. We have to make a factory that’s very big. Gigafactory… about 30 GWh/yr of production. If you add all the factories in China, Korean, Japan today… this factory would be bigger than that.

Q6: Please make it possible to disable stability control.

A(EM): I’m told it’s illegal to disable stability control.
A(JB): In the U.S.

Q6B: Not on tracks though…

A(EM): We’ll look into that. Safety is number one….

Q7: Uphill starting. The car hold while you start. Without manual brake, making a very fine-tuned uphill start on snow is difficult. Ask you to put in a function to hold it on a steep so you can take it directly from standstill without going a few centimeters backwards.

A(EM): An active hill hold. Instead of creep. Which is generally what people want… and imprecisely achieved by creep. That is something that we’re working on. Needs to have the right behavior in all circumstances.
A(JB): We definitely are working on that. We can confirm that.

Q8: Can you supply a performance package? 200 km/h is too slow. Please think about high performance.

A(EM): Higher top speed?
A(JB): It’s something we know we could improve upon. We should be able to go faster in some conditions. A higher top speed is something worth having down the road.

Q9: … Tesla will bring the first truly autonomous car to market?

A(EM): Likely. We call it autopilot … analogous to the way aircraft operate. You can engage an autopilot for most of the journey. Corner cases… expectations for an autonomous car for safety will be at least a factor of 10 higher than for a person. Active safety features. Active safety in the limit becomes autonomy. Highest priority is to identify sensor suite … hardware. Software can be upgraded over time. Not the right time to say more. It is a longterm priority of Tesla. I think we’ll be the first to market with significant autonomy.

Q10: With the huge gap you created, do you anticipate Tesla becoming the biggest car manufacturer in the world? How do you see the traditional car industry surviving in the long term.

A(EM): (Deep laugh.) Best vote of confidence I’ve heard in a long time. The goal is not market share for its own sake. Sustainable transport sooner rather than later. We had to make it a no-brainer to have an electric car. Previous cars have been like golf carts. Had to show people an electric car could be the best car. (Some discussion about current market of cars.)
A(JB): Most important thing is … make the product excellent and amazing.
A(EM): Good chance that Tesla ends up making more than half a million cars a year. Long way to go.

Q11: Any thought to Model X have a removable back seat for more cargo space?

A(EM): Will have a removable 3rd row. Ah, you mean removal of the 2nd row. Interesting idea. Would be expensive for a delivery van but would be pretty awesome.

Q12: (Ed: I missed the kid’s question.  )

A(EM): For the foreseeable future, we’ll be focused on cars. But I do have this idea for … plane. Focused on cars but exciting potential for air transport. Not just supersonic but for vertical takeoff and landing.

Q13: Dimensions of Model X? Falcon doors and roof. How are we to bring our skiing stuff into the mountains?

A(EM): Design of the X has been a very hard design problem. Aesthetics and functionality to work together… particular difficult for SUVs. Want it to be as stunning as one can make an SUV. The design problem for the X is 2-3x harder than for the S. Wheelbase the same, and overall length very very close… to Model S; within 5cm on length. Height shouldn’t be a problem for normal garage. Maximizing internal volume when looking at packaging for the doors, for example; rigid but not deep.
A(EM): With both doors open, there’s a triangular space between the doors. Place for a ski box potentially. Other place would be on the inside, slide it longitudinally under the seats.

Q13B: Option to open one of the doors at a time? Half a meter ski box. 4WD… will take more batteries? Are you looking into bigger battery package so we can keep same mileage as Model S? Am I right to say you will keep the falcon doors in production model?

A(EM): Show cars that never come to reality… shouldn’t do that. For sure, anything we show will make it to production. Any car that is shown as a prototype to customers, the production car must be better.
A(EM): Challenge with the X is not the AWD but the fact that the car will have a greater frontal area, and slightly higher drag coefficient. Energy consumption about 10% greater per km. Unrelated to power train.
A(JB): Typical experience of AWD is that the efficiency will be worse. We’ve worked really hard to not have that same effect. We found some clever ways with dual motor AWD, not just mechanical linkage. To make that an efficiency neutral option. Breakthrough. Flat efficiency tradeoff.

Q13C: Showed the car with fairly high-tech mirrors. Will they reach production, or will it have conventional mirrors?

A(EM): Constrained by regulators on side mirrors. They’re like little air brakes. It would be great to get rid of them in favor of cameras, which are much lower form factor. Definitely going to have that longterm, but the question is regulatory approval.
A(JB): Internally… better for visibility, etc. (Sighs.)
A(EM): Having cameras instead of mirrors is a meaningful improvement for cars.

Q14: Miss the navigation scrolling on BMW. On Leaf, I miss forward back on scroller.

A(EM): Not sure I understand the concern on the scroller. (He describes existing functionality on the S.)

Q14B: (question about voiding the warranty when doing some custom professional work on seats)

A(EM): Might lose the warranty on the seat, but not the whole car.

Q14C: Back gets dirty quickly. Something with turbulence? Perhaps move the camera a little bit higher?

A(EM): With V6, you’ll be able to set the ride height manually — almost 2 inches higher. Widened the band where you can set the ride height, approximately double what you can do now.

Q15: Where do you seek inspiration (besides family, friends, colleagues)?

A(EM): Customers, hearing feedback. Reading biographies, history is very interesting. If you read about industries that are not your own, you can get ideas from cross-fertilization of different industries. Very helpful to understand different industries for inspiration.

Q16: (Enable travel to Crotia?)

A(EM): Good supercharger coverage for Croatia, Serbia.
A(JB): Supercharger network is not something where we plan to finish it. Constant feedback from customers through and into Gen3. Almost like a road system. Better over time, and keep investing.
A(EM): Also improving core technology. First 90 kW, now 120 kW… later this year most stations 135 kW.

Q16B: Boat…batteries…solar panels….

A(EM): Would be really great to have electric boats, planes, and everything. Got to stay focused on cars. Probably be a while before we get into boats, and not sure if we will get into boats. Other companies for sure will make electric boats.
A(JB): Long-term future is electric propulsion for most of these modes of transport. We just can’t do it all ourselves.

Q17: From the wife… Is it possible to take the BMW seats out, and put them into a Tesla?

A(EM): Improved seat comfort? (Laugh.) I agree. The seats should be more comfortable. There is an upgraded seat that we’re working on. Pretty sure it can be offered as a retrofit. I think one element is going into production this week or next week. I’m 90% sure they can be offered as a future upgrade. Element… adjusts the springs on the seat. One thing that’s not quite right about the front seats is that the spring force is too high under the center of the butt. Raises you too much out of the seat. By modifying the spring force you sit better in the seat. Fairly easy thing to modify for existing seats. Looking to see if we can offer this for a minor cost. Longer term there’s a bigger seat upgrade but that’s probably more like a year. Seats are harder to modify than you might think because of the safety aspect. Sensor pad for the airbag for how heavy, and where located in the seat to adjust decision on how to deploy the airbag.

Q17B: (Question about backseat material to cover the back seat for people with dogs.)

A(EM): Sounds like a good idea. Our labrador has done some damage to the backseat. We’ll add that to the list. Good suggestion.

Q17C: Better stereo. Consider the high end stuff.

A(EM): I haven’t personally experienced a car that’s better. Assuming you ordered the hi-fi checkbox, I would put that up against any other car. However, there is no improvement in the radio reception. Something we’re working.
A(JB): DAB. There’s some work we have to do on that. And some improvements coming.

Q18: … bluetooth …

A(EM): I’m not sure it’s the chip.
A(JB): Antenna reception problem in some cases.
A(EM): It should be coming through pretty well. First I’ve heard of this concern. We should have the high fidelity feed coming through well.

Q19: In the winter with the ski box, I have to pitstop to charge. I’d love to know when are the new superchargers coming, and where. When we have an adapter for CCS?

A(JB): Mennekes type 2? We have an adapter for CHAdeMO coming; releasing soon. There’s many more CHAdeMO than the combined standard. Waiting to see adoption of the standard… Entirely possible, and we can adapt and use that.

Q20: (?)

A(JB): Available here in about April.

Q21: Lifecycle analysis… If you could double the life expectancy of a car, it could have a big environmental impact. I never see this debated anywhere. Model S. Aluminum – won’t rust to pieces. Drivetrain efficiency. A lot of possibilities to become a car that would outlast the other manufacturers’ cars. I miss this issue of life expectancy and robustness in the PR and debate.

A(EM): Model S should last a long time. Electric motors have a long life-time. In general, for the power train it should have a longer life than gasoline… no wear and tear, moving cylinders, etc. With replacement of the pack in the 8-10 year period, car could easily last 20 years.

Q21B: Warranty?

A(EM): We made that to match the warranty of the U.S. What are the other makers doing… and match that. It’s not a prediction that something bad is going to happen at the end of it. It may be something that we need to revisit.

Q21C: Why doesn’t Model S have simple eyelits for security cargo when folding down the seats.

A(EM): Oversight in the design process.

Q22: About p!ssed about service… I want extra life. Dashcam, lead bars… voids warranty?

A(EM): Rule of thumb… modifications to the car might affect the warranty in the affected subsystem.

Q22B: Warranty was 5 years, then it went down to 4? Why so low compared to, for example, Ford…

A(EM): Someone perhaps misspoke regarding “5”… Goal was just to match premium cars offer as a warranty in the U.S.

Q23: Who do you consider as your main competitors businesswise? Or blue ocean w/o competitors?

A(EM): We don’t think about competitors. Just about how we make the best possible cars.

Q24: Where does all our data go, and how do you store that data? Are you storing it green, or should we make space for you here to store with us?

A(EM): Only data we store long-term is diagnostic data. To see if the car might need servicing. For example, monitoring a 12V that might be due for service. Meant for diagnostics information. We don’t store speed or position data. Can be obtained real-time in an emergency. Is it stored in a green way? Probably not.

Q25: (question about hierarchy of car makers, with Tesla at the lead) Expand the market to other car companies.

A(EM): We have partnerships with Toyota and MB. What we found with other companies is that there motivations are not great. They want to make the least EVs required by law. Competitive pressure seems to be the main driver of them going electric.

Q26: (question about the X doors and ferries)

A(EM): There will be proximity sensors on the door that analyze the environment and automatically stop before hitting the top of the garage roof or the car next to you. Will change the opening dynamics according to the environment.
A(JB): Should be able to open the doors in a much narrower space.

Q27: Superchargers in Stockholm, Sweden, … summer?

A(EM): Should be pretty close. Can’t say for sure. By end of summer, probably likely.
A(JB): Planning to add at least 100 superchargers throughout Europe this year.

Q28: Silicon Valley. Do you think it would happen anywhere else?

A(EM): It’s about the probability of success. Highest in Silicon Valley. Could have been done in southern California where SpaceX. Conceivably Austin, TX, or Boston. The probability of success would be much lower anywhere else.

Q28B: When can we meet so I can help you solve the high quality audio problem?

A(EM): We want to get it as close to perfection as possible.

Q29: Can you guarantee us shorter delivery times in Norway? Will you be able to provide residual value guarantees, to facility lease? Stock price… are you still unsure whether you deserve this high stock price?

A(EM): Given stock price is 10x our trailing revenue, it’s difficult to say one deserve. It’s higher than we have any right to deserve. Frankly I prefer if it was not going like a big rollercoaster. It creates a distraction for people at Tesla; you don’t want it to be a mood barometer.
A(EM): Residual value guarantee… I think we could probably do something like that in Norway. We feel the residual value will be meaningfully higher than the guarantee. It may or may not be necessary. It’s really just to give people comfort.
A(EM): Delivery… Prioritized Norway in the first quarter, more than any other country in Europe. Prioritized it as much as we really can without shortchanging other countries. Our top priority this quarter.

Q30: Model X…Sig reservation 1. When? Hopefully the time between the launch in the U.S. and Europe will be shorten than for the S.

A(EM): S was the first car we made ourselves completely. We wanted the first units near to the factory and engineering center. A lot less changing about the X, and more infrastructure. Gap between initial production and arrival to Norway should be much shorter… a couple months. Guess around middle of next year for the X to arrive here (Norway). Volume production of the X in U.S. will probably be end of the first quarter next year.

Q30B: (?)

A(EM): Potentially for AWD Model S. For the next several months, certainly not be there. Close to when an X happens. Not soon.

Q31: Will it possible to move forward the deliveries of the Model X (due to the incentives cap of 50,000 vehicles)?

A(EM): I’m hearing the cap will probably be raised to a higher number than 50,000. My guess is it’s going to be raised. Probably be okay for Model X.

Q32: (Ed: Missed another question.  )

A(EM): Lines not in v6, but perhaps a dot release.
A(EM): Adaptive cruise control. Sensors mean it can’t just be a software upgrade. On our roadmap for sure.

Q33: Could you tell me about plans for connected car features?

A(EM): Lot of potential for applying network intelligence to cars. Sharing traffic blockage information; an important part of navigation. Will be in our navigation software.

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Avatar for Seth Weintraub Seth Weintraub

Publisher and Editorial Director of the 9to5/Electrek sites. Tesla Model 3, X and Chevy Bolt owner…5 ebikes and counting