Tesla doesn’t use the same annual model cycle as most automakers and it can result in some difficulties for customers trying to time their order in an attempt to get the latest features. Apparently, Tesla has no plan to conform to the industry standard despite some customers complaining.
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Of course, the biggest complaint being the lack of retrofits when Tesla introduces new hardware upgrades. The automaker slightly moved away from the practice recently by making the upgrade to a P100D battery pack available, but that didn’t indicate a permanent change in the company’s feature introduction strategy.
Shortly after, Tesla introduced the second generation Autopilot and a retrofit wasn’t made available.
Addressing the issue, CEO Elon Musk said that “Tesla will never stop innovating” and they are planning to introduce “major revision every 12 to 18 months”.
Musk added that if people are looking for cars that are only updated on an annual basis, they are looking for the wrong car with Tesla:
Musk previously claimed that Tesla is introducing “about 20 engineering changes” to the Model S every week to improve the vehicle and its production. The company doesn’t wait for annual model cycles to make changes, but Musk is referring to more major changes when talking about a 12 to 18 months timeline.
Tesla already launched several significant updates to the Model S since its market introduction in 2012, like the dual motor, the first generation Autopilot, and the design refresh. New battery packs and Ludicrous mode also come to mind.
The second generation Autopilot is the most recent one and Musk explained that a retrofit would require “stripping down the entire car and replacing 300+ parts”:
A partial retrofit for only the trifocal front-facing cameras would likely be easy, but the 5 additional cameras around the vehicle require wiring harness to be added all around and that’s makes everything more difficult.
It’s the risk when ordering a Tesla. The company keeps introducing new features and generally, they follow each other closely in order to keep sales going. For example, the deadline to get unlimited free Supercharging ended last week and sure enough, Tesla quickly released the new 100D battery pack right after.
Now to wonder what will be the next feature or more importantly, the next “major revision”.
What do you think will be the next major update? Heads-up display or faster fast-charging? Let us know in the comment section below.