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Tesla Model 3 - Over-the-Air Updates, Acoustic Tires, and Aptera - The Most Efficient Electric Vehicle.
Report 13 by Carl Morrison, February, 1, 2021
Comments welcomed at:

Driving Visualization Improvements in Over-the-air Software update 2020.48.26

In this software update (at night), the left side of the screen is larger with your car at an angle, showing if a door is open, even shows the headlights and turn signals. However, the right (map) side is smaller.  There is a rumor that eventually the driver can select the size of the sections.  The larger left side is said to be for eventual full self-driving, which I do not have, so I'd like the screen division like it was.

This is my Thirteenth report on our 8-month-old 2020 Tesla Model 3, Standard Range Plus, Rear-Wheel Drive, 19" wheels, Multicoat Red posted at  In this report I cover: 

1. Over the air (OTA) Tesla Software Update 2020.48.26

2.  Whoa! Another (OTA) Tesla Software Update 2020.48.30, ten days after the last one.

3.  Over-the-air update 2020.48.35.5 only sixteen days since the last one.

Driving Experience notes on "car keys" and Tesla Tires.

Why Tesla's vehicles are successful: Jay Leno • Dec 18, 2020

6.  Every New Electric Vehicle Model for Sale in the U.S.

7.  Aptera - The world’s most efficient solar electric vehicle (sEV)

8.  The Most Innovative Form of Motor sports.

9.  The Complete Tesla Guide for Model 3/Y by Andy Slye of Louisville, Kentucky

10.  Should your next car be combustion or electric? - 5 Reasons You Should (or should not) Buy An Electric Car

11.  My Referral Number

Over the air (OTA) Tesla Software Update 2020.48.26 (12/25/2020)

The software release notes are usually posted at

    The current Tesla Software update is 2020.48.26, the Holiday Update!
    The update includes three new games, visualization improvements, menu redesigns, and more!

One of this automaker’s many benefits is their ability to continuously improve and add to their vehicles through over-the-air update. The company is constantly looking to improve the safety of their vehicles, adding owner requested features, or simply making owning a Tesla more fun. With each Tesla software update your car feels new again. Here’s everything you need to know about the latest Tesla software update today along with release notes.

Latest Tesla Update:

    Release Notes Improvements
    The Battle of Polytopia
    Cat Quest
    Driving Visualization Improvements
    Scheduled Departure Improvements
    Supercharger Display Improvements
    Vehicle Information Improvements
    Previous – 2020.44

The Tesla software update today can be a little confusing. Not every vehicle is on the same version, updates are done in batches spontaneously, and not all features are available to all cars. With this guide, you can check out both the previous Tesla software update history and the newest Tesla software update release notes showcasing compatibilities and breakdowns.

Boombox is only usable by cars with the front outside speaker which is on Teslas produced in late 2019 or after.  Ours was made in June, 2020.  Those earlier Teslas got version
2020.48.25, without Boombox.



After I learned how to turn it on, I turned on "Merry Go Round" as I backed out of the garage.  I was in the middle of two other cars in our driveway, and could not see if anyone was coming down the sidewalk in front of our house. As I backed out where I could see down the sidewalk, a couple was standing, waiting for me to back out into the street.  As I talked with them, they had stopped because of the music and asked if all Teslas came with it. 

Another situation where the outside music was helpful was a day or so later, I had decided to have the music play as I backed out of the driveway from between two cars as above, but there was a lady walker ahead of me, in the street, with her dog on a leash.  Way before I got near her she looked back at me then jumped up on the sidewalk where she should have been anyway, and I did not have to honk or silently pass her with the chance she would turn left right in my path.

I'm getting in the habit of driving through areas where pedestrians are likely to be with the outside speaker in action.   Leaving  the parking garage of Physical Therapy , I turned on "Merry Go Round" and when I got to the exit, there were some nurses having outside lunch (following  COVID instructions.)  One said, "I thought it was the ice cream man."    Seems much better than blowing the horn  to warn those up ahead on the  road.

The instructions say you can play your own music, just put it on a thumb drive with  folder named "Boombox".  Perhaps this is to get beyond paying royalty on music already installed, so Tesla just lets the owner put on their own music, past the public domain tunes in this upgrade.

Another feature is, "Play current media."  I start a piece I like then select "Driving Sound" before I back up and it playing what is onmy radio.

Whoa! Another (OTA) Tesla Software Update 2020.48.30, ten days after the last one.  (Release date: 1/4/2021; received 1/12/2021)

2020.48.30.jpg    IMG_0063-2.jpg
(Both images above are enlargeable by clicking them.)
Above left, from, right, screen shot of Tesla 3 Screen by me.

You need to know three pieces of information to know which Tesla features you get: your Tesla model, what version Media Control Unit (MCU) you have (I have MCU 2), and what Autopilot  computer (HW) you have
( I have HW 3).

The only improvement I am interested in, in this update, is: 

Range Display (Model 3)  First Noticed 2020.48.12 (December 2020)  MCU 2+    AP 3+

    Your car will now display a slightly higher range to more accurately reflect the capacity of the battery.

This update seems to only apply to owners with a 2021 Model 3. The newest iteration of the Model 3 received a small refresh which included a slightly increased battery size to 82 kWh and as such a higher range than the previous year. Keep in mind that this update is not actually a range increase, it’s just here to better hone in on your true range. Although, there have been reports of owners without the increased battery also reporting higher ranges, but nothing solid has been found at this time.

To see all the games and other features in this update, go to EVBrite

Over-the-air update 2020.48.35.5 only sixteen days since the last one. (Received 1/20/21)

Tesla does not give you much information on OTA software updates, so I've started to turn to  Many of the updates in the software version I receive are for several Tesla Models such as Models S, X, 3, and Y, yet others might be for 3 and Y which I would be most interested in.  If you have a different model, such as an S or X, go to the site to see the parts of the update that refer to your Tesla.

ALL these numbers above match my software update.

(Click any of the following images for a larger copy.)

Sounds like I might have to look into "the latest version of Navigation."

Does this mean "Autosteer" is the same as my "Autopilot."
I always wondered when the brake lights come on when I let off the accelerator for regenerative braking.
I haven't used this yet, so need to learn about it.



Driving Experience notes on "car keys" and Tesla Tires.

I also have an I.C.E.  (Internal Combustion Engine) automobile and when I drove it recently, I had forgotten that our Tesla had gotten me used to not using a traditional key (or remote button) to enter the car or using a key in the ignition to start the car, or using a key to turn off the car, or finally using a key or remote button to lock the car when I leave it.  These aforementioned times are all automatically taken care of  by the Tesla app on your iPhone if it is with you.

I recently had Firestone check my I.C.E. car's tire pressures and he added about 3 pounds to each tire.  I asked if Firestone had a comparable tire to the 19-inch Continentals that came with our 2020 Model 3.  He said that Firestone recommends buying tires  from (or recommended by) Tesla because of the "white foam inside" which dampens road noise, "since Tesla is about quiet driving.".

Our 2020 Tesla 3 19" RWD has this logo:

Conti-Silent on our Tesla 3 2020 19".

ContiSilent Information.

ContiSilent Illustrations

Car and Driver October, 2020,  cross cut of an Acoustic Tire.

From What's Inside? Youtube channel.
The inside of a Tesla X tire.

Why Tesla's vehicles are successful: Jay Leno • Dec 18, 2020 


The host of Jay Leno's Garage says he's seen Europe's electric vehicles, but they fall short against Tesla. He says Tesla CEO Elon Musk knew what he was doing and pursued EVs aggressively, making him one of the most successful CEOs in the space. He joins Shepard Smith to discuss. Subscribe to CNBC PRO for access to investor and analyst insights on Tesla and more:

Jay Leno said he thinks the genius of Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk is that “he was building the infrastructure as he was building the vehicle.”

“Even today, a lot of the major manufacturers build an electric car, but, oh, where do you charge it?” Leno told the “The News with Shepard Smith” during a Friday evening interview. “Elon was smart, when he started, he knew this idea would work so he built charging stations.”

Electric car maker Tesla will be the newest member of the S&P 500 on Monday at its full float-adjusted market capitalization weight.

2020 has been a monster year for Tesla, the sixth largest company in the world — its stock is up about 700% this year. The host of CNBC’s “Jay Leno’s Garage” said he was confident that Tesla would be able to sustain its dominance in electric vehicles and added that he’s seen electric cars from Europe fall short.

“They don’t have the range of the Tesla,” Leno said. “They don’t, because Tesla leads the field. We seem to have this inferiority complex that somehow things in Europe are better than things built here.”

Leno gave host Shepard Smith examples of superior American innovation, including General Motors’ Corvette, which he said rivals the Lamborghini and Ferrari and is only $60,000.

Highlighting America’s dominance in private industry, he pointed to Musk’s success when it came to the space industry.

“The fact that Elon can send a rocket into space and land it back on Earth for, what, a tenth of the price of the U.S. government?” Leno said. “Well, that’s what private industry is supposed to do — cheaper, faster, more efficient.”

Leno suggested that those who want to feel the “rumble of a car underneath them” should “buy another car.” He acknowledged that he loves Ferraris, Ford Cobra, and Lamborghinis on the weekend, but that they’re just not practical to sit in traffic and drive locally.

“If you’re in a quiet, electric vehicle, you’re not polluting and you’re saving,” said Leno. “When I want to have fun, I’ll take out my 1960 Triumph TR3 and bomb around, but in terms of everyday vehicles, you can’t beat it [the Tesla].”


Every New Electric Vehicle Model for Sale in the U.S. - Range, efficiency, and base price: This guide will help you decide on the EV that works best for you.
By Scott Oldham    May 22, 2020     Source.


Aptera - The world’s most efficient solar electric vehicle (sEV)

Interview with the Aptera Inventors:  Click here.  Many scenes seem to have been filmed in San Diego.  The company may be located in Carlsbad, California.

Unlike Tesla who makes electric cars that look like gas cars, Aptera works from the ground up and designs an aerodynamic vehicle then powers this lightweight vehicle with electric motors with solar panels on the vehicle.  It is licensed as a motorcycle, or Auto-cycle, but you do not need to pass a motorcycle drivers test to drive it.



From Aptera's Webpage:   

I first learned about the Aptera on Zak and Jesse's "In Depth" program on the Aptera:  Click Here or go to

Aptera's webpage:

Aptera Specs: or Click Here.

Be careful when searching the Internet for Aptera because they had an earlier model back in 2009 and Jay Lena did a test drive.  However, this 2021 Aptera has several upgrades to newer technology and design.

From Aptera's Webpage:   
From Aptera's Webpage:   
From Aptera's Webpage:   
An option is to get solar panels on the hood, top, and trunk to charge up to 40 miles a day when parked (In sunny states.).

From Aptera's Webpage:   

From Aptera's Webpage:   
"Sold Out" only the earliest off the line.

From Aptera's Webpage: 

From Aptera's Webpage:   

All-Electric E-Prix body style for 2021.

The Most Innovative Form of Motor sports.

If you have read my earlier reports here at, you know I like to follow all-electric racing.  The Formula E, or E-Prix, is made up of 12 teams with two drivers and cars per team.  They have 12 international races a year.  Their races are on race courses laid out on urban streets.  The first two races of 2021 are in Dirijah, Saudi Arabia on February 26 and 27, 2021.

The calendar listing for the E-Prix and information about their first race under the lights. (The time is PDT)

Overview of Dirijah, Saudi Arabia

An innovative part of each race is "Attack Mode" where drivers veer off the course and pick up an instant 35 Kw power boost that lasts 4 minutes, and they can do this two times per race.

AttachMode2.jpg    AttachMode3.jpg
Screen shots by me of attack mode area on the track in different races.  The red and blue are added graphics, not visible by drivers.
(Click the above 2 images for a double-sized image.)

I wonder if that instant increase in power will ever be available for domestic EVs.

During the race, the scoring column is always on the left with live camera shots on the course.

Still photos are nothing compared to the videos on the Formula E websites:

•  Formula E explained on first race 2019 video:  Click Here, or
    The video above includes Dario Franchitti, former Indy Car Champion from Scotland as the commentator.

•  Formula E For Beginners: Everything You Need To Know | ABB FIA Formula E Championship: Click Here, or

•  Last season (2020) highlights Formula E (Scroll down the page to the video):  Click Here, or

•  You know how quiet EVs are, how about Electric race cars...Sounds of Formula E cars taking off:   Click Here or

•  All the sponsoring teams make, or plan to make, domestic electric vehicles.  INCREDIBLE EVs made by Formula E teams! | ABB FIA Formula E Championship here’s a look at the incredible EV offerings from the Formula E manufacturer teams, from  BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche, Nissan, Jaguar, DS Automobiles, NIO, and Automobili Pininfarina! (Tesla does not have a team, but is mentioned since there are more Teslas on the roads around the world than what any of these racing teams have.)  Click Here or,

Michael Andretti, son of Indycar driver in the past, Mario, and his 2020 driver Alexander Sims.  Michael also owns an Indycar team which includes his son,  Marco Andretti as a driver. Sims is joining Mahindra Racing for 2021.

BMW i ANDRETTI MOTORSPORT's drivers in 2021 are Maximilian Gunther and Jake Dennis


2021 Drivers and Teams Click Here or

2021 Season 7 Formula E Calendar

Graph from Now You Know Youtube.   
92%  of Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) owners are Satisfied and 91% would stick with their BEV or PHEV over an Internal Combustion Engine car.
Less than 1% would return to a pe
trol or diesel vehicle.

The Complete Tesla Guide for Model 3/Y by Andy Slye of Louisville, Kentucky

I have subscribed to Andy Slye's You Tube about Tesla 3s for some time.  He has owned a Tesla 3 since about 2018, but rather than posting bits and pieces of info. about Tesla 3 and Y, he has produced a Complete Guide to Tesla 3 and Y in one episode.  This would be excellent for you readers considering the purchase of a Tesla 3 or Y, or owners, like me, who might not have used some of the features that are available.  Below I will list some of the things I did not know from use of our Tesla 3 since its June 9, 2020, delivery.  At the end of my comments, I will list the link to this article so you can watch the whole thing.

1.  Many Youtubers about Teslas recommend paint protective film, but I find it too expensive.
1. Push in on the left stalk's button firmly to start the wipers
2. Forward on the left stalk for bright lights.
3.  Left scroll wheel - press in to pause the music, left for previous song, right for next song.
4.  To reboot the screen, press and hold both scroll wheels for a few seconds.
5.  Seat Controls all settings save except the lumbar support.
6.  Tap on predicted mileage to get to the charging menu*.
  Tap on the same icon you just used to close it.
8.  Tap on the time to get the calendar.
9.  The lightning bolt on the dash:  1. Shows low level chargers, 2. Higher powered chargers, 3. Superchargers, or you can select all 3 at once.
10.  On map t
he gear icon controls the volume of the navigation voice.
11.  Under lights>Headlights>Ambient lights select to turn on or off:  1. High Beam, 2. Headlights after exit, 3. Steering wheel lights.
12.  Music has search feature in Notify.
13.  Hold down the fan icon to turn on or off the A/C.

*In reference to 6. above, if you tap on the miles left in the battery, you get this graphic. Note that you can get more miles on the last 5, 15, or 30 miles than was predicted.

(Click any image below for a double-sized copy.)

IMG_0041.jpg    IMG_0042.jpg   IMG_0043.jpg

In the mobile app, in the upper left corner is "Settings".  The first item in Settings is "Inbox".  As shown in the 3rd image, the "Inbox" idea was started, last September.

IMG_0045.jpg    IMG_0044.jpg   

The "Loot Box" lists the miles remaining from those who used your referral number.  My referral number for you to use when buying a Tesla is listed at the end of all my reports. 
You will receive 1,000 miles of Supercharging if you use my referral number!

IMG_0056.jpg    IMG_0057.jpg
Under "Account" are "Video Guides" which I originally watched before our Tesla 3 was manufactured and delivered. 
Prospective owners can also watch these videos: Click Here

IMG_0046.jpg    IMG_0047.jpg
The videos for the Model 3 viewable under Settings > Account > Video Guides.

IMG_0048.jpg    IMG_0049.jpg

"Get Support" had 5 screen shots of links of things to learn about the Tesla 3.

IMG_0050.jpg     IMG_0051.jpg    IMG_0052.jpg    IMG_0053.jpg

IMG_0055.jpg    IMG_0054.jpg
Notifications had 8 sub headings.

Andy Slye's Full show Click Here or

Should your next car be combustion or electric? - 5 Reasons You Should (or should not) Buy An Electric Car

By Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained

I still get a lot of negative comments about EVs not being green.  I moved my personalized license plate to the Tesla and the AAA clerk! volunteered to me how there were many warehouses full of used Tesla batteriesOthers mention how Teslas use electricity which is made from coal, but they need to look at a map of the US to see that only West Virginia gets most of its electricity from coal and some actually get most of their electricity from hydroelectric dams. Others mention that the manufacturing of Teslas causes much pollution, but I covered that in earlier reports.

I found a YouTuber who covers many of these issues.  Source or 

I will let the author give you the full analysis -


My Referral Number is  Just click the URL to the left to go to the site, start a free account, and it will explain the benefits of using a referral number:


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