Tesla reports profitable week and Model S gains “Sleep Mode”

Tesla Model S White

 Tesla Model S White

Tesla Motors is having a good week with the announcement by CEO Elon Musk that the company had achieved a positive cash flow last week.  In addition to getting their cash flow Back in Black, Tesla has updated the firmware on the Model S to v4.0.

In this firmware update Tesla has added a new energy saving sleep mode, as well as made improvements the door handle capabilities, Voice Commands and enhanced media browsing capabilities, and added functionality for Maps, HomeLink, and Steering Wheel Controls.

The new power saving sleep mode shuts down all electronics when you leave your car, and will power them up again when your key comes in range of the vehicle.  This allows for minimal wait time before you can begin driving.  This feature saves up to 8 miles worth of electricity from being drained from the battery pack while with vehicle is in storage, your at work or run errands. This will let you squeeze even more range out the the battery pack when you don’t have a charger at your disposal.

Press Release

MODEL S SOFTWARE RELEASE NOTES v4.0

A new software update will be available in the coming days. The onboard notification will guide you through the installation. If you would like to review the process, instructions are available at the end of this email.

After installation, Model S will feature new energy-saving “sleep” functionality, improved door handle capabilities, Voice Commands and enhanced media browsing capabilities, and added functionality for Maps, HomeLink, and Steering Wheel Controls.

Beginning with this update, Release Notes will be displayed on the touchscreen right after the update and can always be accessed later by tapping the Tesla T in the status bar and tapping the Release Notes link located above your VIN number, next to the software version number.


NEW FEATURES

  • Vehicle Sleep
  • App Launcher
  • Release Notes
  • Voice Commands

ENHANCEMENTS

  • Synchronized Door Handles
  • USB Media Browsing
  • Alphabetical Index
  • Calling from Maps
  • Steering Wheel Controls – Fan
  • Speed / Sunroof
  • Throttle Response
  • HomeLink – Location Awareness
  • Energy App

NEW CONTROLS / SETTINGS

  • Auto-Presenting Door Handles
  • Alarm
  • Metric Distance Unit
  • Range Driving Mode

NEW FEATURES

Vehicle Sleep

With this release, Model S will power off the display and vehicle electronics each time you exit, transitioning to a “sleep” state. When you return to Model S, you’ll note a modest increase in the time it takes the touchscreen and instrument panel to wake from this energy-saving state.

Model S will initiate the startup process the moment the key is recognized nearby. You can only begin driving once both displays are ready.

If you would prefer to keep the displays powered so they’ll be instantly available each time you return, you can change the setting in Controls > Settings > Vehicle. Note that keeping the displays powered will reduce your car’s range up to 8 miles per day when the car is not plugged in, and will also reduce the life of your 12V battery and vehicle electrical systems. If displays are set to power off, the displays will power off 2 hours after the rest of the car goes to sleep. The displays will also power off when the battery charge is low (or after 60 hours without use), regardless of the setting.

DISPLAYS

  • App Launcher – With this feature, you can easily launch an app in the bottom app window (in addition to the current default behavior, where tapping an icon replaces the app in the top window). To try it, tap and hold an application icon. You’ll notice a small pop-up indicating the top and bottom viewing panes. Drag the icon to your preferred location.

KEEP DISPLAYS POWERED ON

COPYRIGHT 2012 TESLA MOTORS INC

Tesla Model S wins Car of the Year

2013-Tesla-Model-S-front

  Tesla won the 2013 Motor Treat Car of the Year, making it the first electric car to win this prestigious award.  This a a step forward for Electric Vehicles becoming mainstream vs standard combustion vehicles or even hybrids.  What is that made this the first major EV success?

Styling

Lets start with the Model S styling.  The Model S looks like its gas powered counterparts,  and does not suffer from the typical form before style that EV’s, hybrids and even your standard eco-cars do. The Nissan LEAF being the worst most recent offender here.  The Model S style is on par with all of the luxury sedans that it is intended to compete with.  Most people are shocked to hear that this is an all electric car.

Performance

So the Model S looks fast, but what is the real world performance like?  Lets start with the raw numbers first.  The base(signature) Model S has 362hp, 325 ft/lbs of torque and a range of 300 miles, while the performance model model pushes 416hp and 443ft/lbs of torque.  To put those numbers into perspective the 2013 Ford F150 with a 6.2L V8 outputs 411hp and 434ft/lbs of torque, making the Model S more powerful then a V8 Ford F150 pickup.  Yeah, wrap your head around that one!

Watch the Tesla Model S drag race a BMW M5...

Concerns

Now what about the downsides of electric vehicles?  Isn’t long distance travel going to be difficult, if not impossible? The Model S gets 300 miles on a charge with the 85kWh battery pack and Teslas’ free Supercharging stations will give owners of the Model S free long distance charging for the life of the vehicle.  The superchargers are capable of charging your vehicle with 150 miles of range in 30 minutes.  A 30 minutes break after 300 miles of driving seems like a well deserved break.

What about the high cost of the Tesla Model S?  The Model S is intended on competing in the luxury sedan market, so we will use the BMW M5 as the baseline example.  The BMW M5 starts $89,900 for the base model, which provides 560hp and 500 ft/lbs of torque.  The top-tier performance Model S pushes 416hp and 443ft/lbs of torque for $97,900, yet with what seems to be a power disadvantage for the Model S it still smokes the BMW M5 drag race(as seen above).  The secret sauce is the fact that in the Tesla Model S, and all other EV’s, 100% of their torque is available at 0 rpms making this think the 1/4 mile king.

Conclusion

In conclusion the Tesla Model S is the style and functionality benchmark for all future EV’s to be based on.  The Model S is the first mass production EV to show the world that EV’s are efficient, fast and can look just as good as a standard ICE vehicle, while in many cases superior to gas powered vehicles.  Let’s hope the next vehicle after the Model X crossover, the rumored sub $30,000 Telsa BlueStar, has the same polish for a price that most people can afford.  If Tesla can pull this off we may have to start referring to the US automakers as the “big 4.”

         Watch the Motor Trend Car of the Year announcement