UPDATED 3/17: Below are more thoughts from SeekingAlpha (SA) on what could be announced at Thursday’s Tesla Motors press conference.
Discussion and thoughts surrounding Thursday’s Tesla press conference is in full go mode as enthusiasts, investors, and discussion board members analyze what last Sunday’s tweet could mean, see below:
Tesla press conf at 9am on Thurs. About to end range anxiety … via OTA software update. Affects entire Model S fleet.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 15, 2015
Based on past tweets from Elon Musk, this can be categorized as a big announcement due its cryptic statement and possible leap in charging range from the automotive leader in electric car technology. Via a twitter conversation with Daniel Sparks, Dennis Pascual, an electric enthusiast, seems to be hoping for a big announcement: @danielsparks: Tesla doesn’t talk about its “Destination Charging” network very often, but it is exploding at a rate of at least one new location a day. @dennis_p: @danielsparks Will including that information on the maps/gps of the Model S reduce “range anxiety” though? That would be a let-down. This was my initial thought, too. A press conference from Tesla Motors doesn’t happen too often and, when it does, it’s a big deal. However, a range increase of at least 10 percent would be needed for a Tesla press conference in my opinion.
A discussion board on Google+ is leaning towards updated navigation software for all Model S owners: Stephan Nilsson comments via google+: I believe it’s a new navigation software with supercharging outing and weather and topology data (elevation changes). Elevation and temperature factors would explicitly relieve all guesswork from your rated charge and this functionality is currently on a stand-alone web site, called EVtripplanner.com. This trip planning site, talked about in the podcast, allows you to compute elevation changes and wind for trips, especially important out West. Related Content >> Podcast | How to plan for Model S road trips via David Zygmont According to the G+ discussion board, the navigation package is now standard on all new Tesla Model S cars and Musk could announce that all owners would now receive it via an upcoming software update. Literally speaking, these new features via the navigation package would eliminate any gray area in your estimated range, saying goodbye to “range anxiety.” Providing the navigation package to all Model S would also dovetail nicely with self-driving Tesla cars in the near future, where they could then option the self-driving component. Other thoughts include integrating into ChargePoint’s charging network or CHAdeMO stations into the car’s software system, and highlight all charging options for drivers. But back to the increase in range, it’s hoped that Tesla found some new power efficiencies that allows for a jump in range. That seems like a tall order, but a 10 percent jump in existing range would be big news for some time.
(Updated | 3/17) According to SeekingAlpha, “several financial analysts have suggested the software upgrade will include an improved frequency modulation technique (DC to AC conversion) which could boost the range of Tesla Model S vehicles.” And SA reports that Global Equities are hinting at some new patent applications that may provide Tesla with an inverter advantage on other EV OEMs. This also would really help Model S demand in 2015, something I’m dubious about for 2015. Tesla has promised 55,000 deliveries globally in 2015 and they may only deliver 10,000 Model X vehicles by year’s end. I believe they need to create some demand to deliver 45,000+ Model S vehicles in 2015, so a leap in charge capability would definitely create some major buzz. Update: As I finished this post, Elon Musk responds (or stokes) to criticism that’s this is about pumping up the stock price.
Neither I nor the company are selling shares. Even if we were, I wouldn’t do this. It would be wrong. Our long term results are what matter. — Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 16, 2015