Tesla Motors Club TMC Connect 2015
Some things I learned at TMC Connect 2015:
You can not set the Tesla Model S cruise control any higher than 90 MPH. Really? I never tried setting it that high. Evidently some people have. Especially in Germany where there is no speed limit on many segments of the Autobahn. Some complained that the cruis control on the Tesla Model S is useless on the Autobahn as they never travel on it as slow as 90 MPH! Evidently there is some talk within Tesla of allowing the cruise control to be set to higher speeds, at least in Germany.
When I took the TMC Connect tour of the Tesla factory in Fremont, California, they pointed out some segments of the new assembly line that are under construction which will initially be used to build the Tesla Model X. The Tesla Factory tour guide said that initially this line will be devoted to just building the Model X. But soon thereafter, building of the Tesla Model S will also be moved over to this new assembly line. Thus, both the Tesla Model S and the Tesla Model X will be built on this new line.
Once this new assembly line is fully up to speed, it will be producing Model X and Model S vehicles in the sequence in which orders are received. Tesla does not expect to produce big batches of just Model X and then switch over to big batches of Model S, and then back to Model X again, etc. This new assembly line will be capable of building Model S and Modex X vehicles intersperced with each other on the line.
Also, once this new assembly line if fully up to speed producing both Model S and Model X vehicles, the existing assembly line that is now building the Tesla Model S will be reconfigured and upgraded to build the Tesla Model 3. Thus, it seems that rumors that the Tesla Model 3 will be built anywhere other than at the Fremont Tesla Factory are probably untrue, at least for now.
For those of you that might not already be aware, giant rolls of aluminum sheet metal arrive at one end of the factory and completed Tesla vehicles roll out the other end of the factory. This complete vertical integration has rarely been seen in an auto manufacturing plant since the days of the original auto plants built by Henry Ford. Most automobile plants have the various components built at many different facilities, often at independent vendors from all over the world, and then just assemble all the parts together at the plant. In order to keep cost down while achieving maximum quality and flexibility, Tesla does most of the manufacturing right in the Fremont Tesla Factory.
On the factory tour we also saw some of the Tesla energy storage units which are also currently being manufactured at the Fremont location. In the future, the assembly of these systems is likely to be moved to one of the other many other buildings that Tesla has acquired recently.
It appears that there is little sign yet of any significant long term battery degradation in the Tesla Model S and Roadster even in cars older than 4 years and more than 90,000 miles.
TMC Speaker: Might as well drive as fast as you can between SuperChargers. You aren't going to save any time charging by going slower since SC charges much faster than you can drive.
TMC Speaker: info about Destination Chargers wrong most of the time. Most are 80amps and will let you charge even if not staying at the hotel. Call ahead just to make sure.
Tesla is not providing any estimates yet of when the first autopilot features will be released.
The Tesla Factory is the largest factory in the US west of the Mississippi but will be superceded by the Tesla battery gigafactory in Reno.
Tesla is lookind at getting the batteries from the Reno Gigafactory to Fremont by railroad.
It is suggested that the Tesla be set to charge at 11pm even if you don't have Time Of Day pricing. It will move demand off the peak demand time of the grid and benefit grid capacity.
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Chelsea Saxton interviewing Tesla CEO Elon Musk biographer Ashlee Vance