While most of the information that came out of Tesla’s earnings yesterday about the Model 3 were related to the vehicle’s production program, CEO Elon Musk also disclosed new details and gave a few interesting hints about the upcoming vehicle.
Considering Musk pushed the final unveiling of the Model 3 to a few months later than anticipated, it might be a while before we get more information on the vehicle and therefore, reservations holders and enthusiasts (ourselves included) are sure to over analyze any new detail until then.
During the conference call following the earnings, Musk was asked to elaborate on the Model 3’s “design for manufacturability”:
“The Model 3 is designed for manufacturing. It is conservatively a simpler car than the S or the X. Some of these indications are obvious. For example the Model 3 only has one screen whereas the S and X have two screens and two separate computers powering each screen. The Model 3 has 1.5 kilometers of wiring. The Model S has 3 kilometers of wiring so we’ve simplified the wiring system conservatively.”
That’s an interesting comment that is sure to spark more speculation about the rumored heads-up display in the Model 3.
Musk says that there’s only one screen in the vehicle, which would be the 15-in horizontal center display. The Model S and X have both a screen for the center display (MCU) and a screen for the instrument cluster (ICU). If the production version of the Model 3 doesn’t have a screen for the instrument cluster then it would have to be something else and aside from a heads-up display, there are not that many options.
Here’s a demonstration of features that could be implemented in a HUD system for the Model 3:
During the call, Musk also reiterated that Model 3 will not have some of the “bells and whistles” in Tesla’s previous vehicles:
“A lot of the bells and whistles that are present on an S and X are not present on a Model 3. We don’t have self-presenting door handles for example or Falcon Wing doors. These reduce the risk substantially in the ramp and make it just easier to scale. So I think it is going to be a very compelling car, but it’s a simpler design and we also understand manufacturing a lot better than we did in the past.”
When Tesla first unveiled the Model 3, one prototype was equipped with Tesla’s usual self-presenting door handles, but another one had a new type of handles. It’s apparently the type that will be featured on the production version:
Musk also briefly hinted at the size of the Model 3’s battery packs – though we have to read into it.
Tesla currently produces battery packs between 75 and 100 kWh for the Model S and X. The Model 3 will account for the vast majority of the battery packs produced by Tesla at the Gigafactory and Musk said yesterday that he expects it will end up with an average between 60 and 70 kWh per pack.
The base battery pack for the Model 3 is expected to be less than 60 kWh, but bigger battery options will be available which will bring the average higher.
We recently reported that Tesla was testing a Model 3 test mule with a 70 kWh battery pack. It’s not clear if that will be a mid-range or the top range option, but if Musk expects the average pack size to be between 60 and 70 kWh, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being the biggest battery option for the Model 3.
Let us know what you think in the comment section below.