Tag Archives: Tesla

Tesla Makes Reno a Critical Stop on Way to Las Vegas and CES

 Investors invited to exclusive tour of Elon Musk’s Gigafactory

  • Driving down battery costs is key as Model 3 production nears

As far as Tesla’s concerned, what’s happening in Las Vegas can stay in Las Vegas. The real action is some 400 dusty miles northwest, across the state in Reno.

The electric-car maker is seizing on next week’s consumer electronics show to host investors and analysts at Gigafactory 1, the sprawling Nevada plant where it makes batteries and energy storage packs. Tesla Motors Inc.’sinvitation-only “investor event” will take place Jan. 4, as the tech and automotive industries swarm into Las Vegas for CES 2017. Though self-driving technology will be in the spotlight this year at CES, Tesla typically skips large industry trade shows, preferring to announce products separate from the pack.

Tesla Gigafactory 1

Source: Tesla Motors

“We are excited to see the scope and scale, not just of the facility itself, but in the levels of automation and potential advancements in manufacturing,” said Joe Dennison, associate portfolio manager of Zevenbergen Capital Investments in Seattle. Dennison said he’s eager to learn more about Tesla Energy products and hear any updates on timing or battery-cost reductions ahead of the Model 3 introduction.

While visitors have to pay their own air fare and hotel costs, they’ll get some time with Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk and Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel, according to guests who have received invitations. Tesla may need the good graces of Wall Street and investors this year as it spends heavily to expand production to 500,000 vehicles annually by 2018, some 10 times the number of vehicles delivered in 2015.

Battery Demand

The $5 billion Gigafactory 1 plant was born out of Tesla’s massive need for lithium-ion batteries both for its vehicles — including the Model 3 due in late 2017 — as well as energy storage-devices such as the Powerwall. Tesla, in partnership with Panasonic Corp., is working to collapse its battery supply chain and drive down costs. In its third quarter letter to shareholders, Tesla said “the Gigafactory remains on track to begin cell production later this year.”

A vehicle charger, right, in the lobby of the Gigafactory 1.

Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Reno has clawed its way back from the recession, embracing tech and the arts alike as the city sheds its image as a second-tier destination for gamblers and visitors to Lake Tahoe. The hope is that Tesla’s gigafactory will attract other manufacturers and help to transform the region.

Musk has said that he expects the fourth quarter to be profitable. It will be the first earnings period that includes SolarCity Corp., the solar-panel installer it bought for $2 billion.

Machinery inside Gigafactory 1

Photographer: Troy Harvey/Bloomberg

Tesla boosted a credit linewith Deutsche Bank AG by $200 million, according to a regulatory filing last week. The company has the potential to add another $50 million to that agreement and increased a separate credit facility by another $300 million. Musk surprised investors in October by saying Tesla didn’t need to raise equity or borrow money this quarter, when some analysts were projecting it might soon need $2.5 billion to cover the company’s ambitious growth plans.

CES is heavy on autonomy this year and includes an opening keynote from Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of Tesla supplier Nvidia Corp. Tesla’s forthcoming Model 3 sedan will be equipped with hardware to enable full self-driving, and Musk hopes to showcase an autonomous cross country drive from Los Angeles to New York by the end of 2017.

Source: Dana Hull. Bloomberg Business

The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan (just between you and me)

Tesla_logo

Background: My day job is running a space transportation company called SpaceX, but on the side I am the chairman of Tesla Motors and help formulate the business and product strategy with Martin and the rest of the team. I have also been Tesla Motor’s primary funding source from when the company was just three people and a business plan.

As you know, the initial product of Tesla Motors is a high performance electric sports car called the Tesla Roadster. However, some readers may not be aware of the fact that our long term plan is to build a wide range of models, including affordably priced family cars. This is because the overarching purpose of Tesla Motors (and the reason I am funding the company) is to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution.

Critical to making that happen is an electric car without compromises, which is why the Tesla Roadster is designed to beat a gasoline sports car like a Porsche or Ferrari in a head to head showdown. Then, over and above that fact, it has twice the energy efficiency of a Prius. Even so, some may question whether this actually does any good for the world. Are we really in need of another high performance sports car? Will it actually make a difference to global carbon emissions?

Well, the answers are no and not much. However, that misses the point, unless you understand the secret master plan alluded to above. Almost any new technology initially has high unit cost before it can be optimized and this is no less true for electric cars. The strategy of Tesla is to enter at the high end of the market, where customers are prepared to pay a premium, and then drive down market as fast as possible to higher unit volume and lower prices with each successive model.

Without giving away too much, I can say that the second model will be a sporty four door family car at roughly half the $89k price point of the Tesla Roadster and the third model will be even more affordable. In keeping with a fast growing technology company, all free cash flow is plowed back into R&D to drive down the costs and bring the follow on products to market as fast as possible. When someone buys the Tesla Roadster sports car, they are actually helping pay for development of the low cost family car.

Now I’d like to address two repeated arguments against electric vehicles — battery disposal and power plant emissions. The answer to the first is short and simple, the second requires a bit of math:

Batteries that are not toxic to the environment!
I wouldn’t recommend them as a dessert topping, but the Tesla Motors Lithium-Ion cells are not classified as hazardous and are landfill safe. However, dumping them in the trash would be throwing money away, since the battery pack can be sold to recycling companies (unsubsidized) at the end of its greater than 100,000-mile design life. Moreover, the battery isn’t dead at that point, it just has less range.

Power Plant Emissions aka “The Long Tailpipe”
(For a more detailed version of this argument, please see the white paper written by Martin and Marc.)

A common rebuttal to electric vehicles as a solution to carbon emissions is that they simply transfer the CO2 emissions to the power plant. The obvious counter is that one can develop grid electric power from a variety of means, many of which, like hydro, wind, geothermal, nuclear, solar, etc. involve no CO2emissions. However, let’s assume for the moment that the electricity is generated from a hydrocarbon source like natural gas, the most popular fuel for new US power plants in recent years.

The H-System Combined Cycle Generator from General Electric is 60% efficient in turning natural gas into electricity. “Combined Cycle” is where the natural gas is burned to generate electricity and then the waste heat is used to create steam that powers a second generator. Natural gas recovery is 97.5% efficient, processing is also 97.5% efficient and then transmission efficiency over the electric grid is 92% on average. This gives us a well-to-electric-outlet efficiency of 97.5% x 97.5% x 60% x 92% = 52.5%.

Despite a body shape, tires and gearing aimed at high performance rather than peak efficiency, the Tesla Roadster requires 0.4 MJ per kilometer or, stated another way, will travel 2.53 km per mega-joule of electricity. The full cycle charge and discharge efficiency of the Tesla Roadster is 86%, which means that for every 100 MJ of electricity used to charge the battery, about 86 MJ reaches the motor.

Bringing the math together, we get the final figure of merit of 2.53 km/MJ x 86% x 52.5% = 1.14 km/MJ. Let’s compare that to the Prius and a few other options normally considered energy efficient.

The fully considered well-to-wheel efficiency of a gasoline powered car is equal to the energy content of gasoline (34.3 MJ/liter) minus the refinement & transportation losses (18.3%), multiplied by the miles per gallon or km per liter. The Prius at an EPA rated 55 mpg therefore has an energy efficiency of 0.56 km/MJ. This is actually an excellent number compared with a “normal” car like the Toyota Camry at 0.28 km/MJ.

Note the term hybrid as applied to cars currently on the road is a misnomer. They are really just gasoline powered cars with a little battery assistance and, unless you are one of the handful who have an aftermarket hack, the little battery has to be charged from the gasoline engine. Therefore, they can be considered simply as slightly more efficient gasoline powered cars. If the EPA certified mileage is 55 mpg, then it is indistinguishable from a non-hybrid that achieves 55 mpg. As a friend of mine says, a world 100% full of Prius drivers is still 100% addicted to oil.

The CO2 content of any given source fuel is well understood. Natural gas is 14.4 grams of carbon per mega-joule and oil is 19.9 grams of carbon per mega-joule. Applying those carbon content levels to the vehicle efficiencies, including as a reference the Honda combusted natural gas and Honda fuel cell natural gas vehicles, the hands down winner is pure electric:

Car Energy Source CO2 Content Efficiency CO2 Emissions
Honda CNG Natural Gas 14.4 g/MJ 0.32 km/MJ 45.0 g/km
Honda FCX Nat Gas-Fuel Cell 14.4 g/MJ 0.35 km/MJ 41.1 g/km
Toyota Prius Oil 19.9 g/MJ 0.56 km/MJ 35.8 g/km
Tesla Roadster Nat Gas-Electric 14.4 g/MJ 1.14 km/MJ 12.6 g/km

 

The Tesla Roadster still wins by a hefty margin if you assume the average CO2 per joule of US power production. The higher CO2 content of coal compared to natural gas is offset by the negligible CO2content of hydro, nuclear, geothermal, wind, solar, etc. The exact power production mixture varies from one part of the country to another and is changing over time, so natural gas is used here as a fixed yardstick.

Becoming Energy Positive
I should mention that Tesla Motors will be co-marketing sustainable energy products from other companies along with the car. For example, among other choices, we will be offering a modestly sized and priced solar panel from SolarCity, a photovoltaics company (where I am also the principal financier). This system can be installed on your roof in an out of the way location, because of its small size, or set up as a carport and will generate about 50 miles per day of electricity.

If you travel less than 350 miles per week, you will therefore be “energy positive” with respect to your personal transportation. This is a step beyond conserving or even nullifying your use of energy for transport – you will actually be putting more energy back into the system than you consume in transportation! So, in short, the master plan is:

  1. Build sports car
  2. Use that money to build an affordable car
  3. Use that money to build an even more affordable car
  4. While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options

Don’t tell anyone.

Tesla Model S Self Driving Autopilot Software

 Tesla’s commitment to developing and refining the technologies to enable self-driving capability is a core part of our mission. In October of last year we started equipping Model S with hardware to allow for the incremental introduction of self-driving technology: a forward radar, a forward-looking camera, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors positioned to sense 16 feet around the car in every direction at all speeds, and a high-precision digitally-controlled electric assist braking system. Tesla’s Version 7.0 software release allows those tools to deliver a range of new active safety and convenience features, designed to work in conjunction with the automated driving capabilities already offered in Model S. This combined suite of features represents the only fully integrated autopilot system involving four different feedback modules: camera, radar, ultrasonics, and GPS. These mutually reinforcing systems offer realtime data feedback from the Tesla fleet, ensuring that the system is continually learning and improving upon itself. Autopilot allows Model S to steer within a lane, change lanes with the simple tap of a turn signal, and manage speed by using active, traffic-aware cruise control. Digital control of motors, brakes, and steering helps avoid collisions from the front and sides, as well as preventing the car from wandering off the road. Your car can also scan for a parking space, alert you when one is available, and parallel park on command.

Tesla Autopilot relieves drivers of the most tedious and potentially dangerous aspects of road travel. We’re building Autopilot to give you more confidence behind the wheel, increase your safety on the road, and make highway driving more enjoyable. While truly driverless cars are still a few years away, Tesla Autopilot functions like the systems that airplane pilots use when conditions are clear. The driver is still responsible for, and ultimately in control of, the car. What’s more, you always have intuitive access to the information your car is using to inform its actions.

This release also features the most significant visual refresh yet of the digital displays for every single Model S around the world. The Instrument Panel is focused on the driver and includes more functional apps to help monitor your ride.

The release of Tesla Version 7.0 software is the next step for Tesla Autopilot. We will continue to develop new capabilities and deliver them through over-the-air software updates, keeping our customers at the forefront of driving technology in the years ahead.

Source: Tesla

SolarCity & Tesla create residential solar battery backup system

Solar-city_logo
Tesla_logo
SolarCity incorporates new Tesla battery to create turnkey residential solar battery backup system – system cost reductions are over 60% lower than previous product; cost breakthrough also results in greater savings for business and government customers.

In an important step toward the distributed electricity grid of the future, SolarCity will make more affordable battery storage available to residential, business and government customers across the U.S., and remote communities around the world. SolarCity Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Peter Rive provided additional detail about the rollout tonight in a post on the company’s blog.

For businesses and government organizations, SolarCity will incorporate the new Tesla battery into its DemandLogic energy storage system to significantly increase the utility cost savings customers can realize from using stored solar electricity.  DemandLogic, which is being adopted by several of the largest retail, biotech and Internet companies in the U.S., allows businesses to reduce energy costs by using stored electricity to reduce peak demand, and can also provide backup power during grid outages. DemandLogic’s management software automates the discharge of stored energy to optimize savings on utility demand charges for customers.

For remote communities around the world, SolarCity will incorporate the new Tesla battery into its GridLogicmicrogrid service. GridLogic combines distributed energy resources—solar energy systems, batteries and controllable load—to enable a cleaner, more resilient and more affordable way of providing power. SolarCity’s microgrid service will ensure that any community anywhere in the world vulnerable to power outages and high energy costs—including remote or island communities, hospitals and military bases—can have dependable, clean power off-grid, when the grid is down. GridLogic can operate either in conjunction with or independently of the utility grid.

For residential solar customers, SolarCity will provide a turnkey battery backup service that includes permitting, installation and ongoing monitoring. Equipment includes Tesla’s home battery, the Tesla Powerwall, which consists of an advanced hybrid solar/battery, inverter and monitoring and control systems. The fully-installed system stores electricity generated from the solar power system, using that power to automatically provide backup power during utility grid outages. SolarCity’s battery backup service replaces noisy, dirty fossil fuel generators with zero-emission storage technology. Roughly the size of a suitcase, the sleek, enclosed pack can be easily mounted on indoor or outdoor walls.  When a power outage occurs, the control system immediately begins feeding power to the home from the solar system and the battery to continue operating the most commonly needed, eligible circuits selected by the customer, including the refrigerator, lighting, computer, alarm system and electrical outlets. When the battery is depleted, it can be recharged by solar power even if the outage continues for multiple days.

Incorporating Tesla’s new battery technology, SolarCity is now able to configure a solar system (along with other energy management technologies) as a stand-alone, off-grid power supply.  SolarCity plans to first offer these off-grid systems to eligible Hawaii customers that might otherwise be prevented from using solar power.

The combination of solar power generation and battery storage will make the utility grid safer and less susceptible to service interruptions, and will also lower the cost to expand and maintain the grid. SolarCity’s energy storage rollout supports efforts already underway in multiple states to integrate aggregated storage capacity with existing grid resources. A distributed network of solar power systems and energy storage devices can also make renewable energy available on demand to utilities and their customers. In the future, distributed solar and storage resources are likely to become marketable assets, and homeowners and businesses may be able to collect revenues by providing self-generated, clean energy to others.

SolarCity will begin taking orders for the new energy storage systems on May 1st and expects to begin installing customers in October. SolarCity will initially make its battery backup options available only to new solar customers in the company’s current service area, and will accommodate customers on a first-come, first-served basis. The company plans to make the battery backup system available to its existing solar customers later this year. Off-grid solutions offered in Hawaii are expected to become available in the first half of 2016. Potential customers can call 888-765-2489 or visit www.solarcity.com/batterybackup to inquire about pricing or reserve a system.

Contractor licenses: www.solarcity.com/company/contractor-licenses

 

Over 30 million new cars will be connected by 2015 according to SBD

Vehicle manufacturers continue to invest in telematics globally and SBD forecasts over 30 million new cars will be connected by 2015. The latest developments from SBD’s quarterly OE Connected Car Guide are outlined below:

CHINAOE-Guide-insight-q1-20141

OEMs continue to introduce connected services to either match their competitor’s offering or improve their own offering.

Following the first off-shore connect service, which was developed by Pateo, PSA has now launched the next generation connectivity called DS Connect on DS models. It is one of the most localised systems, developed specifically for the Chinese market and includes a wide range of services, one being call centre support which is popular in China. Unlike PSA’s connectivity in EU, the new solution uses an embedded SIM module to enable connected and call centre based services. PSA is working with local partners such as China Unicom and Pateo to deliver this service.

EUROPE

Jaguar Land Rover has recently announced plans to launch a new embedded telematics solution, InControl, an embedded safety and security offering, closely followed by a smartphone integration solution (with Bosch SoftTec).

Mini has added BMW’s embedded solution for safety-related services into its service category.

Nissan is currently working with Airbiquity on a smartphone integration strategy, but due to the platform fragmentation, roll-out has been slower than expected.

Tesla , who launched their connected services in the USA, have recently launched them in Europe as well.

USA

Audi has moved from using T-Mobile as their network provider to now using AT&T for the 2nd generation LTE-equipped Audi Connect services.

The 2nd generation of HondaLink has been introduced with an expanded app offering. Honda is also expected to be one of the first OEMs to offer Apple’s new smartphone integration solution, CarPlay.

Volvo has offered telematics services in Europe for over 10 years and has just launched services in the US. Currently this is via a tethered solution offering infotainment and plans to add navigation services in the future. Volvo is also expected to introduce its Volvo OnCall solution as well.

SOURCE: SBD via Telematics News

Telefónica to provide M2M connectivity for Tesla electric vehicles across major European markets

Telefónica to provide M2M connectivity for Tesla electric vehicles across major European markets

– The solution will power Tesla’s Model S telematics and infotainment services.
– Connectivity provided by Telefónica and its M2M World Alliance partners.

London, 2nd April 2014 – Telefonica today announced an agreement with Tesla, the world’s leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, to provide Machine-To-Machine (M2M) connectivity for the Tesla Model S in Europe. Telefonica  and its M2M World Alliance partners will provide connectivity for Model S across multiple countries in Europe, including in Germany and the United Kingdom on Telefonica’s O2 network, in Spain on Movistar, and in the Netherlands on KPN.

Telefonica’s global M2M solution – powered by Jasper – will enable connectivity for Tesla’s industry-leading in-car infotainment telematics including navigation, online music, and internet browsing, and remote vehicle diagnostics that relay information about the car’s safety, security and performance to the driver and Tesla service in real time.

The Tesla Model S, an award winning five-door sedan, was launched in 2012, with deliveries beginning in Europe in 2013. Its state of the art features include remote driver support and a connected infotainment control centre. The 17 inch touchscreen puts rich content at the fingertips of drivers and passengers, seamlessly integrating media, navigation, communications, cabin controls and vehicle data.

The agreement, which establishes Telefonica as Tesla’s largest European connectivity partner, is supported by KPN in the Netherlands and Belgium as part of the M2M World Alliance, simplifying Tesla’s deployment of connected cars.

With its proven M2M technology, Telefonica’s services offer flexible and reliable connectivity solutions for Model S customers across Europe. The ability of Telefonica  and KPN to work together locally will further improve the customer experience by maintaining a smaller pool of suppliers with a common M2M service.

José Luis Gamo, CEO at Telefonica Multinational Solutions, said: “As we accelerate our transformation into a digital telco we see lots of opportunities to empower consumers. Connected cars that provide drivers with more information and a better and safer driving experience is a perfect example of this. Tesla is one of the world’s most forward thinking and exciting businesses. We share their passion for innovation and are thrilled to be working with them to deliver a superb connected in-car experience to Tesla drivers across Europe.”

The Connected Car market will achieve mass-market penetration in the next few years. The number of vehicles with built-in connectivity will increase from 10 per cent of the overall market today to 90 per cent by 2020, according to the Telefonica Connected Car Industry 2013 report, which features contributions from eight of the world’s largest car manufacturers.

Jimmy Wind, Managing Director m2m/New Business of KPN said: “This is a great example of how the M2M World Alliance delivers simple and effective solutions to major multinational customers. We’re delighted to work with Telefonica supporting such a prestigious company as Tesla”

 

About Telefónica

Telefónica is one of the largest telecommunications companies in the world in terms of market capitalisation and number of customers. From this outstanding position in the industry, and with its mobile, fixed and broadband businesses as the key drivers of its growth, Telefónica has focused its strategy on becoming a leading company in the digital world.

The company has a significant presence in 24 countries and a customer base that amounts more than 323 million accesses around the world. Telefónica has a strong presence in Spain, Europe and Latin America, where the company focuses an important part of its growth strategy.

Telefónica is a 100% listed company, with more than 1.5 million direct shareholders. Its share capital currently comprises 4.551.024.586 ordinary shares traded on the Spanish Stock Market (Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao and Valencia) and on those in London, New York, Lima, and Buenos Aires.

For more information about Telefonica’s m2m business, visit m2m.telefonica.com or follow them on Twitter at @m2mtelefonica and Linkedin

 

About Tesla

Tesla Motors’ (NASDAQ: TSLA) goal is to accelerate the world’s transition to electric mobility with a full range of increasingly affordable electric cars. California-based Tesla designs and manufactures EVs, as well as EV powertrain components for partners such as Toyota and Daimler. Deliveries of Model S in Europe started in 2013.

 

About KPN

KPN is the leading telecommunications and ICT service provider in the Netherlands, offering wireline and wireless telephony, internet and TV to consumers and end-to-end telecom and ICT services to business customers. In Germany and Belgium, KPN pursues a Challenger strategy in its wireless operations and holds number three market positions through E-Plus and BASE. KPN provides wholesale network services to third parties and operates an efficient IP-based infrastructure with global scale in international wholesale through iBasis.

Source: Telefónica

Tesla Motors, AT&T partner on connected car

Tesla-Moters-Musk

Companies Collaborating to Deliver Wirelessly Connected Vehicles with Safety, Security, Diagnostic and Infotainment Services

AT&T, the leader in connected cars, and Tesla, the premier all-electric vehicle manufacturer, have entered into a new multi-year exclusive agreement to enable current and future Tesla vehicles in North America with high speed wireless connectivity. AT&T connectivity will power Tesla’s remote engine diagnostics, telematics, and industry-leading infotainment features such as Internet radio, Web browsing, live traffic, weather and navigation, all accessed through the 17-inch touchscreen.

“It’s an honor to work with a company as innovative as Tesla on delivering a connected experience inside automobiles for both drivers and passengers,” said Ralph de la Vega, president and CEO, AT&T Mobility.

“Tesla’s goal has always been to catalyze the market for electric vehicles for all consumers while providing an exceptional driving experience,” said Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla. “AT&T’s advanced and reliable wireless connectivity will help Tesla continue to deliver a cutting-edge ownership experience.”

In addition, AT&T announced yesterday two major initiatives to lead innovation in the connected car market – a first-of-its-kind connected car innovation center in Atlanta, called the AT&T Drive Studio, and a new global automotive solution and development platform, now called AT&T Drive.

AT&T Drive Studio features a working lab, showroom to build and exhibit the latest innovations, and serves as an overall hub where AT&T can work hand in hand with companies and respond to  opportunities presented by automotive manufacturers.

AT&T Drive is the company’s connected car platform – a modular and flexible, global solution that allows automakers to pick and choose what services and capabilities are important to them and allows them to differentiate their solutions in the marketplace.  From connectivity and billing solutions to data analytics and infotainment, this platform will allow auto makers and developers to develop their own innovative and customized connected car solutions, now and in the future.

As a telematics leader, AT&T already provides mobile internet access in vehicles manufactured by both domestic and foreign automobile makers. AT&T was the first to enter the market with a proprietary, global SIM platform which made it possible for automotive, consumer and M2M equipment makers to work through a single carrier to wirelessly enable and connect products across the globe, and cars are being sold throughout world today with this SIM.

Source: Tesla

Tesla Using AT&T Service in Cars

 
Tesla Motors Inc. (TSLA), the electric-car maker led by billionaire Elon Musk, picked AT&T  to provide high-speed wireless service to its vehicles, giving the carrier a boost in its effort to expand beyond mobile phones.

All Tesla cars come equipped with AT&T network chips, which allow two-way connections for services such as roadside assistance and stolen-vehicle location, the Dallas-based carrier said today. The Tesla service also includes Internet access, navigation and entertainment on a 17-inch (43-centimeter) touch screen. Terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed.

Tesla, which sells its cars directly to consumers at prices starting at about $70,000, is AT&T’s latest connected-car partner. In February, AT&T replaced Verizon Wireless as OnStar service provider to General Motors Co. (GM) cars beginning with 2015 models. Carmakers and mobile carriers are seeking to extract more revenue from users while they’re on the road.

“Tesla is the most appealing car to technophiles,” said Roger Entner, a wireless-industry strategist with Recon Analytics LLC in Dedham, Massachusetts. “Connecting cars makes a tremendous amount of sense.”

Chris Penrose, an AT&T executive in charge of emerging devices, plans to announce the partnership at an event in San Francisco today. AT&T’s service also could be used to provide in-car Wi-Fi hot spots, letting anyone in the vehicle connect to the Internet via mobile devices.

“We’ve been working with AT&T. They’ve been the service provider for Model S” in North America, said Elizabeth Jarvis-Shean, a spokeswoman for Palo Alto, California-based Tesla. She declined to comment on cellular or data service changes provided by AT&T.

Cellular System

“Cars are becoming multimedia entertainment systems and there’s a lot of money in that,” Entner said.

Unlike conventional cars, Tesla’s Model S receives wireless programming updates via an installed cellular system to improve vehicle operations. Such updates typically occur when the car is recharging overnight.

Navigation, mapping and data functions in the Model S also rely on the cellular system. Some owners have said the speed of refreshing Google Maps displayed in the car needs an upgrade.

Model S owners such as Douglas Carlisle of Menlo Park, California, cite cellular speed as one of the few areas in which the car needs improvement. Tesla doesn’t currently charge data fees for the installed cellular system.

“At times the map refresh isn’t as smooth as it could be, so that could get better,” Carlisle said in a July interview.

Source: Bloomberg