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  • ⚡ Teslaverse #7 a jolly good read on Cybertruck, Tesla Diner, Recalls and more

⚡ Teslaverse #7 a jolly good read on Cybertruck, Tesla Diner, Recalls and more

Caution! High Voltage ⚡

Hey, Jaan here.

I bet you are the chief evangelist among your folk.

I can already feel all the holiday dinner discussions that will be popping up over the next few days — and quite a few will have EVs on the menu.

My job here is to make sure you’re armed with the best FUD-repelling, excitement-creating, entertaining knowledge bits on EVs to help people along the right path.

The rest is up to you.

I know my folks sure have been learning quite a bit against their will.
Here’s my holiday dinner score from past years:

  • I’ve already converted my brother-in-law to drive an EV (hey Veiko 👋 );

  • My father-in-law turned from 100% EV-opposed to “hmm that is cool”;

  • My father still drives his X5 but keeps talking of the M3 acceleration I tested with him;

  • My sister’s family installed an outlet for charging to the best parking spot outside of their house, just for when I visit them;

  • The discussions have gone from “Oh, EVs don’t work for this or that” to “Did you see what this new one does?”.

We’re getting there.

I’d love to know about your stories too — send them my way in whatever form and perhaps we’ll go over a few in next week’s newsletter.

Today’s Teslaverse edition comes to you at the wildest timing possible (that’s my jam), and you can expect our regular EV industry report next week.

Whether you celebrate the current holidays or not — I wish you merry times and hope you’ll be able to spend a bunch of time with your loved ones!

Words: 3,742 | Time to read: 15 minutes | Feeling: jolly

This edition is born out of a collaboration between EV Universe (that’s me and you) and the fully contactless Tesla rental startup Beast Rent.

Beast has added another country to their growing list (7 countries so far), and is now available in Iceland.
Need a last-minute Christmas gift? Consider getting a Beast Bucks gift card.

Alright, back to the show 👇️ 

Updates on the Cybertruck

Image: from @JoeTegtmeyer flyover video

Oh, you can’t believe how much I’ve found out on the truck since we made the 7,000-word deep dive right after deliveries. It seems to me that it continues to be the most detailed overview to date, anywhere.

If you missed that, I highly recommend taking a look at the dive here.

Now, we’ve gotten quite a few updates and new resources since then. Let’s take a look:

On the prices & specs:

  • The Foundation Series Cybertruck starts at $119,990 (+$20k the highest normal tier), with a $1,000 reservation credit applied and a $250 non-refundable order fee. The final price is $122,135 before taxes and other fees.

  • Franz von Holzhausen said on the Jay Leno video (below), that there were over 2 million deposits made.

  • Cybertruck is officially approved for $7,500 Federal Tax Credit if you can purchase one for less than $80,000. The government of Ontario updated the list of eligible vehicles for the Green License Plate Program, with Cybertruck now added.

  • My speculations — that the 123kWh & range numbers provided were correct and the efficiency shown was off — seems to have been confirmed so far.

On safety: Tesla says It’s not about the size of your crumple zone, it’s about how you use it. Releasing together with the short video, Tesla says that

When in a high-speed collision, Cybertruck’s front underbody casting is designed to break into small pieces. This helps reduce occupant impact by absorbing & dispensing energy

While we don’t have any NHTSA or IIHS tests to go on — just that the truck complies with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards because it couldn’t be delivered to customers otherwise — Musk seems confident saying: “Yes, we are highly confident that Cybertruck will be much safer per mile than other trucks, both for occupants and pedestrians.”

This is a bit of a mixed bag with the possible factors of driver assistant systems. I’d love to know more on the physical safety side.

On the opinions of the Cybertruck: more than anyone could ever count. But this one caught my eye:

Giorgetto Giugiaro, the legendary designer who was also behind DeLorean DMC 12, called the Cybertruck a “Picasso of automobiles” (link), and added something that might be the exact thing I haven’t been able to put into words so far:

“It will be hugely successful because people want to stand out. It does not represent the search for harmony and perfection but for emotion and robustness.”

On the Boat mode: Musk says they are “going to offer a mod package that enables Cybertruck to traverse at least 100m of water as a boat. Mostly just need to upgrade cabin door seals.”

Meanwhile, until that mod, Cybertruck doesn’t win in the EV water fording match: here’s the Maximum driving water (wade) depth, per Sawyer Merritt (link)

  • Rivian R1T: 43.1"

  • Range Rover: 35.4"

  • Tesla Cybertruck: 32"

  • Ford F-150 Raptor: 32"

  • Ford Ranger Pickup: 31.4"

  • Jeep Wrangler: 29.9"

  • Toyota Land Cruiser: 27.5"

  • Ford F-150: 23.6"


  • Cybertruck Parts Catalog for an endless rabbit hole to go through. So much you can learn there. Tesla seems to have now removed the pricing, which gave some good insights on what to expect — for example the 4ft wiper blade cost $75 (and arm & blade assembly $165), while the giant windshield cost $1,900 (before labor). A front steering actuator was at $3,300, while a fender would cost $550 each.


  • Tesbros captured the whole experience of the first Cybertruck Foundation Edition delivery outside of the delivery event (and later wrapped it green):

  • Here’s the new YT channel from Zachary and Ella, the ones that took delivery of the truck above: @OurCyberLife, with 5 videos so far. Zachary works for Tesla as a frontend engineer for internal tooling in the cell org.

  • Jay Leno with Franz and Lars, going over some easter eggs, features and design in this 1h video:

  • Top Gear hosted the two other early CT reviewers, Jason Cammisa and MKBHD, in this 40-minute video:

  • Ford F-150 Raptor R on pavement vs Cybertruck on dirt — drag race (carwow video)

And Sandy Munro of the Munro Live has put up four wonderful videos on the Cybertruck now:

#1: An hour-long Sandy Munro video from Giga Texas where he had the opportunity discuss the Cybertruck in detail with Lars Moravy (Head of Vehicle Engineering), Franz von Holzhausen (Head of Design), Drew Baglino (Head of Powertrain and Energy), Pete Bannon (Head of Low Voltage), and David Lau (Head of Software):

I didn’t timestamp out the part where Ford sponsors the video, it’s just funny to see.

Definitely listen in if you want to learn more about the “etherloop”, the gigabit ethernet loop that connects all of the Cybertruck’s high-speed controllers together.

This also explains the reduction of the wiring in the car we talked about in our deep dive, and it was interesting to hear they’ve gone from 490 wires used in Model 3 to just 155 in Cybertruck. The way they use the improved comms speed of these is fascinating too — for example, it helps with creating the active road noise cancellation system thanks to bidirectionally transmitting audio data to/from the car’s speakers.

#2: Sandy Munro was able to tour the factory with commentary by Lars Moravy. You can see the work done on the Cybertruck HFS panels and more in this 37-minute video:

#3: Sandy also had this great interview 2 days ago with Jason Cammisa (1h video). Listening to these two talk is highly entertaining on its own, and the details make this perfect:

#4: Of course, the Sandy interview with Elon Musk on the delivery event:

And to finish this part — here’s Franz picking up the VIN #2 for himself.

PS! Don’t miss the first-ever FrunkPuppy Friday edition with only Cybertruck frunks this time:

The end of the year is often busy in terms of people changing positions. We’ve got quite a few to report on at Tesla.

This first one is interesting — I’ve searched and found no news sites, Tesla-specific or otherwise, that have covered this one so far (other than my X account and this newsletter, that is):

Jeroen van Tilburg leaves Tesla. Jeroen was the Head of EV Charging Network / Supercharger EMEA, starting in January 2018. He was leading the buildout of the Supercharging network in Europe.

Here is his departing note on X (link), and the original I refered to on LinkedIn. (link) Jeroen says his focus now shifts to his family (and goes on to note how consumed he has been with the work at Tesla).

I also put together this little profile with his highlights:

I had a chance to listen to Jeroen on the EVS35 a few years ago and was left even more in awe of Tesla's approach to scaling the premium charging network around here. The key bottleneck back then seemed to be long waits for permits to roll out new superchargers.

Sidenote — Rebecca Tinucci, the Senior Director of Charging Infra at Tesla, was looking for a new Head of EMEA Charging about 3 months ago. We reported on it in our October’s Teslaverse, asking if Jeroen is moving somewhere. So I guess they found the person the replacement too?

Ganesh Venkataramanan, Tesla Dojo “supercomputer project” lead for the past five years, has left the company (link). Peter Bannon now takes his place. Tesla's head of AI infrastructure Tim Zaman also left the company, joins Google DeepMind.

Chris Lister, formerly Tesla VP of Operations → the Chief Supply Chain Officer at Redwood Materials. (link) Redwood Material has quite a lot of ex-Tesla people working on the mission.

The Recall!!!

I wish I could add more red to this headline. That’s how it feels like when reading most of the media. I mean, things must be going terribly, right? Well…

Tesla issued a software update for a voluntary recall — no vehicles recalled physically, it’s an over-the-air update — to 2,031,220 of its S3XY vehicles in the US to change the alerts on its Autosteer, a feature of the Autopilot system. Here is the Recall Report document from NHTSA (pdf).

Per NHTSA’s chronology shown, this stems from the 2021 NHTSA investigation of 11 incidents involving Teslas with Autosteer engaged and stationary first-responder vehicles (see chronology on page 4). Most vehicles were updated with the 2023.44.30 update above on Dec 12th.

The problem: This is the description of the Safety Risk in the document

“In certain circumstances when Autosteer is engaged, if a driver misuses the SAE Level 2 advanced driver-assistance feature such that they fail to maintain continuous and sustained responsibility for vehicle operation and are unprepared to intervene, fail to recognize when the feature is canceled or not engaged, and/or fail to recognize when the feature is operating in situations where its functionality may be limited, there may be an increased risk of a collision.”

Translated: default safety checks in the driver-assist system may prove inadequate at times, which could result in drivers not paying enough attention to the road.

The fix: Here are the release notes to the software update (link). And this is what was written on the NHTSA doc:

“The [software update] remedy will incorporate additional controls and alerts to those already existing on affected vehicles to further encourage the driver to adhere to their continuous driving responsibility whenever Autosteer is engaged, which includes keeping their hands on the steering wheel and paying attention to the roadway. […]

Translated: more nagging by the car to pay attention, easier to engage/disengage, and easier to see if the feature is engaged. They’ll also boot you from the feature if you repeatedly fail to comply as a driver.

Meanwhile, Rohan Patel, VP of Tesla Public Policy and Business Development, has been increasingly taken the discussion around Autopilot (and other) safety to public via his profile on X. Latest, responding to Senator Blumenthal on the recall. (link)

Tesla hasn’t done this often either: creates an official post to refute the claims made about its safety systems in an “egregiously” negative Washington Post article.

The media: Now, of course, you know the headlines will omit the software update part and just blasts about the 2M-Tesla recall. I’ve seen this cause the relatives and friends of Tesla owners texting them that they need to go take the car in to Service. 🤦 

The me: Naturally, I had to make a few jokes about it like this one, or this one:

This image still I used here, by the way, is from the 2-minute teaser video Netflix uploaded where Julia Roberts in the Leave the World Behind movie comes across a road full of crashed Teslas, apparently caused by the “full self-driving” gone rogue.

Note that I do not comment on Autopilot and FSD and barely report on them at all. Why? It’s easy — I just don’t know enough about it. There are enough loud opinions and reporting all around for you (I can point you both toward the fans and the critics if you’d like). It does seem we’re advancing towards an autonomous future. Not sure what the stops are like along the way. I’ll let you know when it’s here and about evenly distributed.

Tesla decided to compensate for the sudden end of EV subsidies in Germany until the end of the year (18-31st of Dec). (link) Before, the government would cover €4,500 and the automaker another €2,250 of the discount to consumers — which Tesla now covers all by itself.

Tesla Europe launched a new 'Advent Calendar' promotion, ran until 24th of December. (link) Prizes include a trip to Norway with 2 nights’ accommodation, flights and participation in the Tesla Winter Driving experience, Cyberquad for Kids, and other merch. It is active in 15 European countries.

I don’t think I’ve seen Tesla owners rejoice as much for a while. And for a small yet important fix: Tesla now lets you turn off auto wipers when FSD or Autopilot is engaged on the Model 3 and Y. (link) The random activation (or lack of) of windshield wipers on Autopilot/FSD have been a problem as long as I can remember for many (not all). and it’s been puzzling me how Tesla didn’t do this sooner.

2023 Holiday software update from Tesla (link) — includes the option to customize your horn lock sound, Apple Podcasts, navi showing speed cameras, auto 911 calls, blind spot indicators, 3D viz for park assist. If they keep listing out their features so neatly, I’m out of a job soon.

Perhaps the most notable is the high-fidelity park assist, which shipped to the customers that have vehicles without ultrasonic sensors (and will ship to those with USS eventually):

This looks… useful!

Ashok Elluswamy, Director - Autopilot Software at Tesla, went into the details behind this feature in a great thread on X here. And here are some real use videos from Tesla drivers (1, 2)

US: Model 3 RWD and LR will not qualify for the IRA tax credit after Dec 31st. M3 Performance will still be eligible. Here’s a possible explainer from @TroyTeslike: “Panasonic was never able to increase 2170 cell production at Giga Nevada enough, and Tesla in the US still continues to import cells that don't qualify for 52,000 Model 3s per quarter.” (link)

For the Model Y, the online configurator says “reduction likely after Dec 31.”

It’s also likely Tesla will change something pricing wise, since the EV rebates will cause weird price positions of its vehicles — for example, a Model 3 Performance would be $2.5k

Europe: The refreshed Model 3 has been approved to receive adaptive headlights (“Adaptive Main Beam") in Europe (first Tesla to do so), activated with a future OTA update (link)


According to some Chinese media, Giga Shanghai will restart construction of Phase 3, dedicated to the new $25,000 next-gen vehicle. They state Tesla started preparations for phase 3 in 2021 and formed a team but suspended the actions in the summer of 2022. Tesla has not confirmed this so far. (link)

Meanwhile, Giga Shanghai production is set to make a new record in Q4, with Model Y continuing to increase its rate (making 2x as many Model Ys as Model 3s now). (link)


Tesla has received land-use permits from Mexico’s federal environment ministry to build the Giga Mexico in Nuevo Leon, with the state government estimating the cost of the project to exceed $5B. (link) Rumors say construction could start in a few weeks, but no confirmation yet. The state also confirmed a $153M incentive package this week (link) and it seems they call the area now the “Tesla District”. (link)

García Sepúlveda, governor of Nuevo Leon, said in an interview that the Giga Mexico will occupy about 800 hectares (~1,976 acres), and be a three-phase project. He says there are basically three or four factories in one (link):

“The size of the factory that they told us is going to be double or triple, and that not only will it be (produced) the new Tesla design economic car, but the Cybertruck, probably another production line for the Y and batteries..”


According to the Finance Minister of Thailand, Srettha Thavisin, he showed Tesla executives industrial estates throughout the country last week for potential investment. “I went out of my way to entertain them so they would fall in love with Thailand… they are looking for 320 hectares of land.” (link)

The Indian government reportedly might be willing to give Tesla lower import duties if the EV maker also invests in a local manufacturing facility within a set period of time. (link) Also, per the same media report the German gov is planning to file a protest because its own automakers would be left out.


In Europe: The Model Y seems to be well on track to become the best-selling vehicle of any fuel type in Europe this year, so expect those headlines in early January.

Between January and October this year, Tesla Model Y is the best-selling vehicle of any fuel type in: Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. (link) data by JATO.

More Model Ys were sold in Jan-Oct (209,503) than all VW brand’s BEVs together (165,594).

It’s also creating some new records for the history books in different countries, like breaking a 37-year sales record in Denmark which was set in 1986 by the Opel Kadett for most cars sold in a calendar year. (link)

In the US, Tesla continues to be the best-selling EV by several laps, but we’ll see where the models rank on overall sales. For example, in Q3, Model Y jumped to the 2nd place of all new registrations, being behind only of the F-150 (link).

In China, Tesla is the 2nd-largest NEV (BEV+PHEV) maker in November and year-to-date with a ~7.8% market share, behind BYD which also produces PHEVs. (link)

In the Middle East: Tesla now launched its vehicle configurator in Qatar, its fourth country in Middle East after Israel, United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. (link)

Tesla added Ireland, Romania, and Hungary to the non-Tesla Supercharging list in Europe, now in 19 European countries. They’ve also updated the support page on this to be country/language specific: (link). In addition to these 19 European countries, Tesla has also opened its chargers in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mainland China, and South Korea.

Tesla’s Diner in Hollywood’s Santa Monica Boulevard is taking shape now, with subfloors in place — here’s the (drone video) uploaded yesterday. Here are the technical plans for the site (link).

Here’s a render from Tesla from the Investor Day this year:

Wireless charging confirmed to be in the works:

Oh, we’re working on the inductive charging. So you don’t need to plug something in at that point. You just pull in your garage, drive over the pad, and you’re charging.”

Franz von Holzhausen, on the Jay Leno video above

Tesla 🤝 Best Western International for installing 2,000 of Tesla Universal Wall Connector chargers to hotels throughout North America starting in 2024. (link) Tesla and BWH Hotel aim to expand their partnership worldwide in the future.

Context: Tesla partnered with Hilton earlier this year for 20k Universal Wall Connectors to deployed across 2,000 of its hotels in North America.

Here’s a look inside a Supercharger dispenser (link).

And I’ll do you one even better - the Tesla V4 Supercharger installation manuals were leaked on the ‘net for a brief moment and I might or might not have grabbed about 30 pages of it. Ask me, in case it is of interest to you.

NACS: SAE published the Technical Information Report (TIR) for NACS, referred to as the SAE J3400 standard, in a step closer in the standardization process, probable release in fall 2024. (link) The US Department for Transportation said that the TIR release happened with “unprecedented speed”, with less than 6 months since first announcement. (link) The TIR report can be purchased for $195 from SAE here.

Meanwhile, another important piece has fallen for a NACS future:

Most of VW Group (VW, Audi, Porsche, Scout Motors) announced adopting NACS beginning in 2025. (link)

  • Something for the Christmas mood: driving home for Christmas in Norway, reindeers and everything (1min video)

  • A Tesla hits a Tesla to avoid hitting a Tesla, all captured by a Tesla. (40s video)

  • How about a Tesla lightshow… with 5 Cybertrucks? (2min video)

✔️ We’re done with the Teslaverse #6.

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— Jaan

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