These are direct quotes. Each of them is a potential news story in itself.
Overall intent: Most people, when they have a Model S, don’t actually have range anxiety. That’s the biggest comment I got when I announced these features. But it’s helpful for people that don’t drive Model S. It may put their mind at ease.
Australia: Our sales of Model S in Australia have been surprisingly good. I’ve been pretty happy with our progress there. Its seems Australians really do like the Model S quite a bit. And as a result, we’re putting a significant investment in Superchargers in Australia.
China thawing: We’ve proportionately added more Superchargers in China than anywhere else in the world . . . And we’ve taken a number of other steps to provide Model S owners with adapters for using virtually any charging location in China — and those have only just gone out. I’m fairly optimistic about China long-term. We’re early seeing some steady improvements in China, so it think it’s on the upswing.
Range boost superfluous: A little more range would be better, sure, but it’s not what makes the difference . . . If we wanted to, we could create a 500 mile battery pack right now. But on balance, the driver is carrying around a lot of unused capacity in the pack. So the marginal utility of, let’s say, going from the 400 mile range to the 500 mile range is pretty low, and then you’ve got all the costs and the weight of that battery pack. So there’s sort of a sweet spot, I think, in the 250 to maybe 350 mile range that’s really ideal.
Range assurance: You’ve got intelligent charging stations and an intelligent car communicating dynamically in a big network. That’s never existed before.
Auto-steering: Some of the manufacturers have it kind of backward. If you take your hands off the wheel for a certain period of time, then auto steering stops working. But what if somebody is distracted or fell asleep or something? You don’t want to have car stop steering. So it’s kind of backward . . . We haven’t made a final assessment on this, but one possible way is to detect torque on the steering wheel, so that if we see the steering wheel is — if there’s no hand force on the steering wheel for some period if time — we might just issue a visual and auditory alert just to make sure you’re okay. If there’s driver fatigue, just to wake the driver up.
User Interface change later this year: The UI change is in keeping with the newly enabled software. The car is becoming more sensor-aware. We’re kind of waking up the car, if you will, and increasing its capabilities over time. As we turn on these sensors, and the car is more awake and aware, you want to have an interface that reflects the way the car sees the world. It is a big change in the UI paradigm that will take place.
Model X surprises: Model X is going to be coming out this summer. It’s got some elements that people haven’t seen so far in the show car.
Wall-mounted “destination” chargers: Any hotel or restaurant that has Model S customers can actually request a wall-connector charger from tesla, and we’ll provide it at no cost — provided they put that charger a prominent and convenient location. There’s a huge network of Tesla destination chargers, that’s growing, that people don’t even quite realize is there. We’ll probably see, long-term, a factor of 10 more destination chargers than Superchargers. They’ll be virtually everywhere.
Legality: We’re in constant contact with the NHTSA and other regulatory agencies around the word.
Audiophilia: We’ve re-written the audio codec for both the standard and ultra high-fi version of the car. I think it’s going to have a really noticeable improvement in sound. It’s already pretty good, but it’s going to be better. Also improvements in radio reception. We’ve taken direct control of about 100 parameters that are used for the radio reception system and re-tuned the radio.