There was a lot of great information from the Earnings Call last week. I’m just going to cover only a bit from there. Here’s the link to read Q4’19 Update & listen to the webcast of the Earnings Call.

S3XY Changes

Last Wednesday, before the Earnings Call, Tesla released the Q4 & FY2019 Update sheet. In the report, it mentioned that Model Y started its production ramp beginning in January 2020, ahead of schedule. We are now looking at the limited release by the end of the quarter, March 2020!

Not only did they ramp up their production, but we received an update on the EPA range. It used to be 280, but now it’s 315 due to continued engineering efforts. This bump is impressive as it pushes this vehicle in as the most energy-efficient electric SUV in the market.

While there were a lot of people that had reserved the Model Y previously, I’m sure there were others that were hesitant with a sub 300-mile SUV. With Ford’s recent Mach-E release with the “target” range of 300, I’m sure Tesla pushed it’s engineering effort to make sure that it surpassed the 300-mile range.

As someone that wasn’t interested in the Model Y, this update alone had me peaking into the Model Y configurator. That’s where I noticed more changes. First, the $39,000 Rear-Wheel Drive (RWD) is no longer available in the configurator. There are only two options, Dual Motor All-Wheel Drive (AWD) & Performance.

The absence of the RWD is not surprising. We saw that Model 3 had removed the RWD Long Range models for quite some time. The only RWD available in the Tesla line-up is the Standard Range Plus Model 3 & Cybertruck. And as we have seen, the Rear-Wheel Drive is just proving not to be a popular option. Tesla is just either deprioritizing it or removing it altogether.

At this time, anyone that ordered the Rear-Wheel Drive Model Y might be out of luck. According to the FAQ, “Long Range Rear-Wheel Drive is not scheduled for production at this time.” I’ve seen some folks that still have their reservations, but they might need to upgrade to a Dual Motor if they want to receive their order.

More changes happened with Model Y. The 18″ aero wheels, 19″ sport wheels & 20″ performance sport wheels found on the Model 3 are no longer an option with the Model Y. Model Y gets their own set of wheels, probably to help differentiate it from the Model 3 & to boost the efficiency numbers! The Model Y Dual Motor now has a 19″ Gemini wheels & 20″ Induction Wheels for an extra $2000. The Performance has either the 19″ Gemini wheels & the 21″ Überturbine Wheels.

The Performance Model Y now has two variants. You currently have the Performance “Sleeper” version, which still has the 3.5 sec 0-60 time, the 19″ wheels, 315-mile range, and a top speed of 145 mph. The Performance Upgrade is surprisingly free, which boasts the same 0-60 time, 21″ wheels, 280-mile range, a top speed of 155 mph, performance brakes, lowered suspension, and aluminum alloy pedals. The surprising omission is the performance spoiler. Track mode is also absent, but not sure if someone is going to go on a track with a Model Y.

Model Y Performance Upgrade
Model 3 Performance Upgrade

If we move to the Model 3, we see the same configuration with the “sleeper” version and the “free” performance upgrade. If you remember when I purchased my car, the performance upgrade was an extra $5k. Sometime after I received my car, they removed the “sleeper” and dropped the performance upgrade by $5k. However, you could still purchase the “sleeper” at a lower cost off-menu. It appears that these options were popular enough that Tesla made these available via the configurator.

If you look at the EPA ratings for the Performance Model 3s, you’ll see that Tesla updated these to 322 for the “sleeper” version and 299 for the performance upgrade version. Now, this isn’t new. It was reported by many back in November that the EPA rating would change based on what was said by the Fuel Economy site. This new rating tracks with my experience. Performance Model 3 never had a 310-mile range. I guess that the sudden drop of rated miles that many Performance Model 3 owners saw might have been Tesla updating the software to match the rated miles accurately.

On the earnings call, Tesla mentioned that Model S and X have more range than what’s on the website. Shortly after the call, we saw the Model X’s range was over 300 miles. For someone like me that loves the X, this got me flipping back and forth between the X & Y. Now only if there’s an interior refresh, and I might be all in!

For the Model S, however, the range hasn’t been updated yet, but Elon mentioned that it’s somewhere in the 380s. He also said on the earnings call that they are rapidly approaching a 400-mile range for Model S. So, it’s likely that they are tweaking it more and hoping to change the site when they do reach that 400-mile range.

Robotaxis are coming soon

Robotaxis did make an appearance during the earnings call as well. Elon mentioned that they might enable car sharing before regulators approve full Self-Driving. What this means is that Tesla’s Robotaxis will behave at first just like Uber & Lyft, where there’ll be a driver behind the wheel.

Robotaxis emergence is excellent news for me. As someone that has a free year of Lyft Pink and uses Lyft cars a lot, I would love it to be able to jump from the current line of hybrid or internal combustion engine cars to those exclusively driven by Tesla. And if the cost to the rider is even cheaper as Tesla has mentioned before, I wouldn’t hesitate to take longer trips. Such as taking a day trip to wine country in Temecula.

Tip of the Week – Starting Summon Before Exiting the Vehicle

The tip of the week comes from a Twitter user, Earl Burrowes, Sr. He stumbled onto a Summon feature that might be useful for some. If you have seen the Super Bowl commercial with Hyundai, you probably saw the ad featuring “Smaht Pahk.” 

As Summon is not new to the Tesla community, this feature might have been hiding in plain sight. The feature is called “Starting Summon Before Exiting the Vehicle.” It’s actually in the manual. The manual online right now is for 2019.36.1, which came out in around October 2019. The reason why I think most people haven’t stumbled upon it is that it requires Continous Press to be disabled. By default, this feature is already on.

There are ways to cancel, or it would cancel on its own if any of the following occurs. So in the case that Summon goes awry, you can take action to stop it.


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