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Slide Autopilot, Processors and Hardware

There are over 60 processors in the S/X. Other models have fewer processors, but still quite a few.  To get an idea of all the vehicle processors, see our Processors Count article. 

Here we’ll focus on two processor modules that are often confused as to which do what functions. (Sep-2020 Update)

Media Control Unit (MCU)

This refers to the computer module in the center of the S/X dashboard with the touch display, or the main computer module in the 3/Y.

The module includes processors, RAM, non-volatile memory, the audio subsystem, 5 amplifiers, WiFi, Cellular, Bluetooth, GPS, the Ethernet bridge, multiple CAN bus communications, the LIN bus, USB ports, and more.

The MCU is responsible for the visualizations, all external communications, audio, cellular, navigation, and settings.  It has little to do with Autopilot’s ability to drive other than settings.

There are two versions of the MCU in the S/X:

MCU1 – using an Nvidia quad-core processor was in all S/X cars made from the start of production to February 2018. Tesla now offers a retrofit option to switch from MCU1 to MCU2.  More details are available on the Tesla Infotainment Upgrade page.

Rear of MCU1

There are actually two MCU1 variants, with different connectors. The internals is basically the same in both variants. The red arrow shows the connector change. The older 1004777 is no longer made. For older cars, the newer 1045006 part can be used with an adapter. Some of the earliest 1004777 MCUs only have 3G and do not have LTE. Tesla offers a paid upgrade for those that want LTE, which changes a module within MCU1. All of the 1045006 variants include LTE.

MCU connectors

MCU2 – using an Intel multi-core Atom processor, this MCU began shipping in the S/X in March 2018. MCU2 offers snapper operation, 5 GHz WiFi, a newer Bluetooth version, and additional antennas (external to the MCU2), along with other minor changes.

If you want to confirm which MCU your S/X has, we created an MCU tester. In the browser on the car, enter: TeslaTap.com/mcu

The Model 3 architecture is different, with the display and MCU in separate modules. The Model 3 MCU also uses the same Intel Atom processor and other components used in the S/X MCU2.

Autopilot ECU Processor

There are currently four-vehicle hardware variants related to Autopilot.

HW0 –Early Model S with no autopilot capability.

HW1 – First Autopilot, based on the Mobileye chip. It used a single camera, radar, and 12 medium-range ultrasonic sensors. The electronics are co-located with the camera, behind the rearview mirror.

Autopilot HW1 camera and processor assembly

HW2.0 – Tesla’s 2nd generation design, using 8 cameras, 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors, and one front radar. An entirely new ECU processor module was created by Tesla, based on Nvidia’s Drive PX2 system. This ECU is located below the glove box.

HW2.5 – This provides a small update to HW2.0, primarily for redundancy and slightly improved reliability. This version also made possible two non-autopilot features – dashcam and sentry mode with locally saved video.

HW2.5

The early Model 3/Y Autopilot ECU hardware is similar to HW2.5 but uses liquid cooling from the cars coolant loop instead of fans.

HW3 – A major update to the Autopilot ECU using Tesla’s own chip design.

HW3 Neural Net Processor Board

HW4 – A future update to the Autopilot ECU using Tesla’s 2nd generation chip design is now in development. It is expected to have 3x the performance of HW3. It may appear in the 2022 timeframe.

HW Release Sequence and Timeline

timeline
Hardware Level Release Date Model S/X Release Date Model 3
MCU1 & HW0 22-Jun-2012 n/a
HW1 17-Sep-2014 n/a
HW2.0 1-Oct-2016 n/a
MCU2 1-March-2018 28-Jul-2017*
HW2.5 1-Aug-2017 28-Jul-2017*
HW3 22-Mar-2019 12-Apr-2019**
HW4 Q3-2021 (Estimate) Q3-2021 (Estimate)
* Start of Model 3 production, but different hardware than S/X with the same CPU as S/X.
** There have been a small number of cars in the summer of 2019 that got HW2.5 AP processor instead of HW3.

Hardware Specifications for new cars (no retrofits)

This covers many of the technical components that make up the Autopilot systems over the various hardware versions.

Item HW1 HW2.0 HW2.5 HW3
Front Cameras 1 3 – Narrow 35°, Main 50°, Wide angle 120°
Side Cameras 0 2 - 90°
Side Rearward Cameras 0 2 – 60°
Rear Not used for AP 1 - 150°, RGGB*
Inside (Model 3) n/a n/a 1, RGGB*
Front/Side Camera Filters Monochrome RCCC* RCCB*
Radar Bosch, 525 ft range Continental, 558 ft range
Sonar sensors 12, each with 16 ft range 12 - each with 26 ft range
Core Processors Mobileye EyeQ3 1 – Nvidia Parker SoC** 1 – Nvidia Pascal GPU 1 – Infineon TriCore CPU 2 – Nvidia Parker SoC** 1 – Nvidia Pascal GPU 1 – Infineon TriCore CPU 2 – Tesla chips, each including 12 Exynos 64-bit ARM cores, 2 GPUs, 2 neural network processors and 1 lockstep CPU
RAM 256 MB 6 GB 8 GB 8 GB x 2
Flash Memory 4 GB x 2
Processing Power 1x 40x 40x w/redundancy 420x w/redundancy
Frames per second 36 110 110 2300
Estimated Power 25W 250W (Idle 40W) 300W 220W
Steering Rack Single Power Single Power Redundant Power
* In a camera each pixel is represented by 4 photoreceptors, with a combination of filters: C=Clear, R=Red, G=Green, B=Blue.  Multiple same filters for a pixel increases the light sensitivity. With RCCB, there is no green filter to improve nighttime light sensitivity, and green can be calculated to make a color image for the dashcam.
** Pascal SoC includes 2 Denver and 4 ARM A57 CPU Cores and a Pascal GPU

Retrofits

For older cars that are FSD capable, those owners who purchased Full-Self-Driving (FSD) option get a free upgrade to the HW3 ECU processor.  HW3 upgrades were started for HW2.5 vehicles in the fall of 2019 and HW2.0 vehicles in 2020.

For owners of HW2.0 cars, the addition of HW3 ECU provides the hardware necessary for FSD. It also enables the dashcam and Sentry mode features, although the quality is not great with MCU1.  Owners can also upgrade the MCU1 to MCU2.

Autopilot and Safety Related Features

The Tesla Autopilot terminology has changed over the years. The first Autopilot system, using one camera, is now informally referred to as AP1.  Starting with the new hardware HW2.0, Tesla changed the feature name to Enhanced Autopilot (EAP) with several extra features. In March-2019, Tesla dropped EAP and created a lower cost, less featured Autopilot simply called AP. In April, this became standard on all new cars ordered from the web (It’s not standard on the special order Model 3 SR).  This new AP is a subset of EAP features, with other EAP features being moved into the FSD (Full-Self-Driving) feature set.

Autopilot

Those owners that purchased EAP will continue to get all of the EAP features and get upgrades in the future. Smart summon for example is an FSD feature, but EAP owners also got this feature.

FSD features are optional and can be purchased with a new car, or purchased and activated later.

The following feature chart only applies to vehicles made on 17-Aug-2014 and later. Earlier cars do not have any of these features.

Feature No AP AP1 AP* EAP* FSD*
Front Collision Avoidance Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lane Departure Warning Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Lane Departure Avoidance Yes* No Yes Yes Yes
Emergency Lane Departure Avoidance Yes* No Yes Yes Yes
Side Collision Avoidance Yes* No*** Yes Yes Yes
TACC No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Autosteer, accelerate and brake No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Autopark No Yes No Yes Yes
Auto Lane Change No Yes** No Yes Yes
Read Speed Signs No Yes Yes Yes Yes
Summon No Yes No Yes Yes
Smart Summon No No No Yes Yes
Navigate on Autopilot No No No Yes Yes
Respond to Traffic lights and stop signs No No No No Yes
Full Self Driving No No No No Future
* Requires HW2.0 or later or all Model 3/Y vehicles
** AP1 requires confirmation when traffic safe
*** Was available prior to v8.0 software, but not was not effective and was removed

Autonomous Driving

The following chart shows the levels of autonomous driving as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

SAE Level Description Monitored By
0 No automation Driver
1 Assisted driving, typically with cruise control Driver
2 Advanced assisted driving with steering, braking, and steering in select environments Driver
3 Conditional automated driving, but the driver may be asked to take over System
4 Highly automated driving, driver not required to take over System
5 Fully automated driving can handle anything a human can. System

Currently, Tesla offers a level 2 type of autonomous automation option. Tesla’s goal is to transition to level 3 and eventually to level 5, which is called FSD. Tesla announced in early 2020 that a portion of  FSD should be available by the end of 2020 depending on regulations. Complete FSD will depend on completed software development and regulatory approvals in each jurisdiction. 

Keep in mind there are conditions where FSD will not work, conditions where humans should not drive either, although some humans foolishly try. Some of these conditions include:

  • Heavy fog
  • Heavy snow/whiteout
  • Deep snow on roads
  • Hail
  • Floods
  • Monsoons
  • High Winds (Hurricanes & Tornadoes)
  • Fires sweeping over a road
  • Lava flows
  • Mudslides

For 99.99% of daily driving, FSD should work fine – just like humans. We suspect at some point FSD may even be tied into the weather network to determine if there will be an impediment to reaching the destination and advise of the issue.

Part Numbers

part structure
Item Model Part Number
MCU1 with display, early cars, no longer available S/X 1004777-00-A
MCU1 with updated display and LTE, the latest version S/X 1045006-00-J
MCU2 with display S/X 1451809-S0-B
Autopilot ECU 2.0 S/X 1078321-00-C (MS)
1078321-70-C
1078321-70-D
1078321-70-G
Autopilot ECU 2.5 S/X 1125800-70-C
1125800-70-G
Autopilot ECU 3.0 S/X 1655000-00-F*
1655000-70-F
MCU & Autopilot ECU ** 3/Y 1098058-S0-L
* The 00 variant has HDMI port, perhaps for development
** Model 3/Y MCU and Autopilot ECU are two boards in the same module and are functionally similar to the S/X MCU2's computer and Autopilot ECU
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Our analysis and count of processors cover common modules and components of the Model S and X.  This list is based on our analysis of the vehicles and various public documents in the 2016 era. Chips and locations can change over time and over various models, so this is just more of a snapshot in time. It’s also likely some processors shown may be merged into a single module with a single CPU. This is especially true of the Model 3.

NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU board

NVIDIA Tegra 3 CPU board from S/X MCU1

Name Area Notes Sets CPUs Sub-total
ABS (Anti-lock Braking) ? 1 1 1
AC Motor Inverter/Charger Rear 1 2 2
Active Cruise Control ? Cars built after 14-Sep-2014 1 1 1
Air Suspension ? Continental 1 1 1
AM/FM/HD radio Dash Panasonic 1 1 1
Audio System Dash PIC18f2550 1 1 1
Autopilot 1 Camera CPU* Windshield Mobileye EyeQ3 1 1 1
Autopilot 1 Processor* Windshield Freescale SPC5603 1 1 1
Autopilot 2.0 Processors* Dash Nvidia PX2 & one Freescale CPU 1 2 2
Battery Sub-Module Battery 16 in 85/90 kWh, 14 in 60/70 kWh models 16 1 16
Bluetooth Dash 1 1 1
Charger Module Rear Seat 1-Standard, 2-optional 2 1 2
Connectivity – 3G/LTE Dash Sierra Wireless AR8550 (3G),  later AR755X (LTE) 1 1 1
Door Handle Controller Doors 4 1 4
Folding Mirror Controller ? 1 1 1
FOB Receiver ? 1 1 1
GPS ? 1 1 1
HVAC (Heating/Air Conditioning) Dash UPD70F3628GCA 32-Bit MCU 1 1 1
Homelink Front Johnson Controls 1 1 1
Instrument Display Dash Nvidia Tegra 2 1 1 1
Main Display, 17″ Dash Nvidia Tegra 3 1 1 1
Mobile Charger External 1 1 1
Parking Brake ? TI TMS320F28034PNQ 32-Bit MCU 1 1 1
Parking Sensors ? 1 1 1
Power Steering Front ZF Lenksysteme 1 1 1
Rear Camera Rear OmniVision 1 1 1
Rear Power Liftgate Rear MC9S12XEP100CAG 16-Bit MCU 1 1 1
Rear Taillights Rear 2 1 2
Safety Restraints Controller ? 1 1 1
Seat Controller Seats Fisher Dynamics 2 1 2
Security module ? 1 1 1
Side Window Controllers Sides Inteva Products 4 1 4
Sunroof controller ? Freescale MC33742PEG 1 1 1
Thermal Controller ? Freescale C9S12XEP100MAG 16-Bit MCU 1 1 1
TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring) Rear Baolong (early cars) Continental (later) 1 1 1
Traction Control ? 1 1 1
Body Control Unit Below Dash Freescale MC9S12XEP100CAG 16-Bit MCU 1 2 2
Wiper control w/rain detect Front 1 1 1
XM Satellite Dash 1 1 1
Total CPUs 65

* Total only includes AP1 (not both AP1 and AP2 processors). AP2 also includes a GPU, not shown.

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There have been many changes over the years, and Tesla does not make changes to any kind of regular schedule. There are no model year changes, as new variants are put into production as soon as they are ready. This allows Tesla to stay way ahead of the competition but can make it difficult to know what’s in a specific vintage car. These lists show the dates of most of the major changes to each vehicle type. (Jul-2020)

For more about HW versions and MCU versions and related features, see our article: Autopilot, Processors, and Hardware.


model S
Model S – By Date
Name Rev HW MCU Delivered/
Produced
Discontinued Range (miles) Notes
85 Original 0 1 Jun-2012 Sep-2014 265
P85 Original 0 1 Jun-2012 Sep-2014 265
60 Original 0 1 Jan-2013 Sep-2014 208
40 Original 0 1 Mar-2013 Apr-2013 139 Uses 60 kW battery
85+ Original 0 1 May-2013 Sep-2014 265
P85+ Original 0 1 May-2013 Sep-2014 265
85 Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Feb-2016 265
P85 Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Nov-2014 265
60 Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Apr-2015 208
85+ Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Nov-2014 265
P85+ Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Nov-2014 265
85D Original 1 1 Nov-2014 Feb-2016 270
70 Original 1 1 Apr-2015 May-2016 230 Late versions use a 75 kW battery
70D Original 1 1 Apr-2015 May-2016 240 Late versions use a 75 kW battery
P85DL Original 1 1 Aug-2015 Feb-2016 253
90D Original 1 1 Aug-2015 Jun-2016 294
P90D Original 1 1 Aug-2015 Jun-2016 270
P90DL Original 1 1 Aug-2015 Jun-2016 270
60D Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Apr-2017 294 Uses 75 kW battery
90D Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Jun-2017 294
P90D Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Sep-2016 270
P90DL Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Aug-2016 270
75 Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Sep-2016 249
75D Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Sep-2016 259
90D Refresh 2 1 Oct-2016 Jun-2017 294
P90D Refresh 2 1 Oct-2016 Nov-2016 270
75 Refresh 2 1 Oct-2016 Jul-2017 249
75D Refresh 2 1 Oct-2016 Jul-2017 259
P100D Refresh 2 1 Aug-2016 Jul-2017 315
100D Refresh 2 1 Jan-2017 Jul-2017 335
75 Refresh 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Sep-2017 249
75D Refresh 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 259
P100D Refresh 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 315
100D Refresh 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 335
75D Refresh 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Jan-2019 259
100D Refresh 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Mar-2019 335
P100D Refresh 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Mar-2019 315
Standard Range Refresh 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 259 (75D)
Long Range Refresh 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 335 (100D)
Performance Refresh 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 315 (P100D)
Standard Range Raven 3 2 May-2019 Jul-2019 285
Long Range Raven 3 2 May-2019 Feb-2020 370-273
Performance Raven 3 2 May-2019 Sep-2020 345-348 250 kW Charging Jul-2020
Long Range Plus Raven+ 3 2 Feb-2020 402 250 kW Charging Jul-2020
Performance Raven+ 3 2 Oct-2020 387
Plaid Plaid 3 2 Late 2021 510+

Model S – By Name
Name Rev HW MCU Delivered/
Produced
Discontinued Range (miles) Notes
40 Original 0 1 Mar-2013 Apr-2013 139 Uses 60 kW battery
60 Original 0 1 Jan-2013 Sep-2014 208
60 Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Apr-2015 208
60D Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Apr-2017 294 Uses 75 kW battery
70 Original 1 1 Apr-2015 May-2016 230 Late versions use a 75 kW battery
70D Original 1 1 Apr-2015 May-2016 240 Late versions use a 75 kW battery
75 Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Sep-2016 249
75 Refresh 2 1 Oct-2016 Jul-2017 249
75 Refresh 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Sep-2017 249
75D Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Sep-2016 259
75D Refresh 2 1 Oct-2016 Jul-2017 259
75D Refresh 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 259
75D Refresh 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Jan-2019 259
85 Original 0 1 Jun-2012 Sep-2014 265
85 Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Feb-2016 265
85+ Original 0 1 May-2013 Sep-2014 265
85+ Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Nov-2014 265
85D Original 1 1 Nov-2014 Feb-2016 270
P85 Original 0 1 Jun-2012 Sep-2014 265
P85 Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Nov-2014 265
P85+ Original 0 1 May-2013 Sep-2014 265
P85+ Original 1 1 Sep-2014 Nov-2014 265
P85DL Original 1 1 Aug-2015 Feb-2016 253
90D Original 1 1 Aug-2015 Jun-2016 294
90D Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Jun-2017 294
90D Refresh 2 1 Oct-2016 Jun-2017 294
P90D Original 1 1 Aug-2015 Jun-2016 270
P90D Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Sep-2016 270
P90D Refresh 2 1 Oct-2016 Nov-2016 270
P90DL Original 1 1 Aug-2015 Jun-2016 270
P90DL Refresh 1 1 Jun-2016 Aug-2016 270
100D Refresh 2 1 Jan-2017 Jul-2017 335
100D Refresh 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 335
100D Refresh 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Mar-2019 335
P100D Refresh 2 1 Aug-2016 Jul-2017 315
P100D Refresh 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 315
P100D Refresh 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Mar-2019 315
Standard Range Refresh 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 259 (75D)
Standard Range Raven 3 2 May-2019 Jul-2019 285
Long Range Refresh 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 335 (100D)
Long Range Raven 3 2 May-2019 Feb-2020 370-373
Long Range Plus Raven+ 3 2 Feb-2020 402 250 kW Charging Jul-2020
Performance Refresh 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 315 (P100D)
Performance Raven 3 2 May-2019 345-348 250 kW Charging Jul-2020
Performance Raven+ 3 2 Oct-2020 387
Plaid Plaid 3 2 Late 2021 510+

model x
Model X – By Date
Name Rev HW MCU Delivered/
Produced
Discontinued Range (miles) Notes
90D Original 1 1 Sep-2015 Sep-2016 257
P90D Original 1 1 Jan-2016 Sep-2016 250
75D Original 1 1 Apr-2016 Sep-2016 237
60D Original 1 1 Jul-2016 Oct-2016 200 Uses 75 kW battery
75D Original 2 1 Oct-2016 Feb-2018 237
90D Original 2 1 Oct-2016 Jun-2017 257
P90D Original 2 1 Oct-2016 Jun-2017 250
P100D Original 2 1 Sep-2016 Jul-2017 289
100D Original 2 1 Jan-2017 Jul-2017 295
100D Original 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 295
P100D Original 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 289
75D Original 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Jan-2019 237
100D Original 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Mar-2019 295
P100D Original 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Mar-2019 289
Standard Range Original 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 237 (75D)
Long Range Original 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 295 (100D)
Performance Original 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 289 (P100D)
Standard Range Raven 3 2 May-2019 Jul-2019 255
Long Range Raven 3 2 May-2019 Feb-2020 325
Performance Raven 3 2 May-2019 Sep-2020 305 250 kW Charging Jul-2020
Long Range Plus Raven 3 2 Feb-2020 Sep-2020 351 250 kW Charging Jul-2020
Performance Raven+ 3 2 Oct-2020 341
Long Range Plus Raven+ 3 2 Oct-2020 371

Model X – By Name
Name Rev HW MCU Delivered/
Produced
Discontinued Range (miles) Notes
60D Original 1 1 Jul-2016 Oct-2016 200 Uses 75 kW battery
75D Original 1 1 Apr-2016 Sep-2016 237
75D Original 2 1 Oct-2016 Feb-2018 237
75D Original 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Jan-2019 237
90D Original 1 1 Sep-2015 Sep-2016 257
90D Original 2 1 Oct-2016 Jun-2017 257
P90D Original 1 1 Jan-2016 Sep-2016 250
P90D Original 2 1 Oct-2016 Jun-2017 250
100D Original 2 1 Jan-2017 Jul-2017 295
100D Original 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 295
100D Original 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Mar-2019 295
P100D Original 2 1 Sep-2016 Jul-2017 289
P100D Original 2.5 1 Aug-2017 Feb-2018 289
P100D Original 2.5 2 Mar-2018 Mar-2019 289
Standard Range Original 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 237 (75D)
Standard Range Raven 3 2 May-2019 Jul-2019 255
Long Range Original 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 295 (100D)
Long Range Raven 3 2 May-2019 Feb-2020 325
Long Range Plus Raven 3 2 Feb-2020 Sep-2020 351 250 kW Charging Jul-2020
Long Range Plus Raven+ 3 2 Oct-2020 371
Performance Original 3 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 289 (P100D)
Performance Raven 3 2 May-2019 Sep-2020 305 250 kW Charging Jul-2020
Performance Raven+ 3 2 Oct-2020 341

model 3
Model 3 – By Date
Name Rev HW* MCU* Delivered/
Produced
Discontinued Range (miles) Notes
Long Range RWD Original 2.5 2 Jul-2017 Oct-2018 310
Long Range AWD Original 2.5 2 Jul-2018 Apr-2019 310
Performance AWD Original 2.5 2 Jul-2018 Apr-2019 299****
Mid Range RWD Original 2.5 2 Oct-2018 Mar-2019 264
Long Range RWD Original 2.5 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 310
Standard Range RWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 220 Store/Phone order only
Standard Range Plus RWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 Sep-2020 250***
Long Range RWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 Jun-2019 322**
Long Range AWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 Sep-2020 322**
Performance AWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 Sep-2020 299****
Standard Range Plus RWD V2 3 2 Oct-2019 263
Long Range AWD V2 3 2 Oct-2019 353
Performance AWD V2 3 2 Oct-2019 315

* Equivalent hardware to S/X, but with minor changes for the 3.
** Originally 310 miles, upgraded via software update to 322 miles in April 2019.
*** Originally 240 miles, upgraded via software update to 350 miles in April 2019.
*** Originally 310 miles but downgraded at some point to 299.


Model 3 – By Name
Name Rev HW* MCU* Delivered/
Produced
Discontinued Range (miles) Notes
Standard Range RWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 220 Store/Phone order only
Standard Range Plus RWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 Sep-2020 250***
Standard Range Plus RWD V2 3 2 Oct-2020 263
Mid Range RWD Original 2.5 2 Oct-2018 Mar-2019 264
Long Range RWD Original 2.5 2 Jul-2017 Oct-2018 310
Long Range RWD Original 2.5 2 Mar-2019 Apr-2019 310
Long Range RWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 Jun-2019 322**
Long Range AWD Original 2.5 2 Jul-2018 Apr-2019 310
Long Range AWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 Sep-2020 322**
Long Range AWD V2 3 2 Oct-2020 353
Performance AWD Original 2.5 2 Jul-2018 Apr-2019 299****
Performance AWD Original 3 2 Apr-2019 Sep-2020 299****
Performance AWD V2 3 2 Oct-2020 315

* Equivalent hardware to S/X, but with minor changes for the 3.
** Originally 310 miles, upgraded via software update to 325 miles in April 2019.
*** Originally 240 miles, upgraded via software update to 350 miles in April 2019.
*** Originally 310 miles but downgraded at some point to 299.


MY
Model Y – By Date
Name Rev HW* MCU* Delivered/
Produced
Discontinued Range (miles) Notes
Long Range AWD Original 3 2 Mar-2020 Sep-2020 316
Performance AWD Original 3 2 Mar-2020 Sep-2020 291
Long Range AWD V1.1 3 2 Oct-2020 326
Performance AWD V1.1 3 2 Oct-2020 303

Model Y – By Name
Name Rev HW* MCU* Delivered/
Produced
Discontinued Range (miles) Notes
Long Range AWD Original 3 2 Mar-2020 Sep-2020 316
Long Range AWD V1.1 3 2 Oct-2020 326
Performance AWD Original 3 2 Mar-2020 Sep-2020 291
Performance AWD V1.1 3 2 Oct-2020 303
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12 Volt Battery Compendium

by Moderator

Some owners may be surprised to learn their car includes a 12v lead-acid battery. We’ll explain why and delve into everything about the 12v battery used in Tesla vehicles today.  (Updated Jun-2020)

History and Use

The earliest Tesla roadsters didn’t include a 12v battery but used a portion of the main lithium-ion pack to supply 12v for accessories and lights.  This was not ideal, and in 2010 Tesla switched to a separate 12V battery in the Roadster 2.0. All Tesla vehicles since that time also include a separate 12v battery.

Roadster battery

2010 Roadster 2.0 12v battery position

The reason for a separate 12v battery is to power critical systems in the event of a high-voltage battery disconnect. This keeps key systems operational such as emergency blinkers, airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners, brake booster, and a host of other systems. The high-voltage battery might be disconnected due to several rare events – such as a high-impact crash, internal main battery pack problems such as some types of cell failures, a contactor failure, and a few other unlikely situations.

Many parts of the Tesla vehicles today are powered by the 12v battery, including:

  • All lights, such as headlights, turn lights, fog lights, taillights, backup lights, license plate, and interior lights
  • LCD Display –Instrument Cluster (S/X) and the main display
  • The MCU and many modules with processors (50+ in the Model S/X)
  • Non-traction motors, such as windows, liftgate (S/X), wipers, washer fluid, seat motors, side mirror adjusts, sunroof (if equipped) charge port door, steering assist, fans, valves, and coolant pumps
  • An audio system including tuners, antenna amplifiers, and audio amplifiers
  • Safety systems, such as airbags, brake booster, and seatbelt pre-tensioners
  • Autopilot systems including cameras, sensors, and radar
  • Heated items, if equipped such as seats, steering wheel, washer nozzle, side mirrors, rear defrost and camera heaters.
  • Other items like the alarm, rearview mirror dimmer, USB ports, horn, Homelink, air suspension (if equipped) and various latches (doors, trunk, frunk, glovebox)
  • High-voltage battery pack contactors

Only a few items are directly powered by the high-voltage battery pack. This includes the traction motor(s), the a/c compressor, cabin air heater, battery coolant heater (S/X only) and the DC to DC converter for 12v power and charging the 12v battery.

Tesla ran into a major snag with the introduction of the Model S in 2012.  The 12v battery was sourced from an American firm, who unbeknownst to Tesla, outsourced the battery to China, and the Chinese company outsourced it to Vietnam! The quality was sub-standard and rarely lasted more than a year. Tesla switched vendors in 2013 and replaced all the marginal batteries in early build cars with a far more reliable battery under warranty.

 

Battery Types

The Model S uses a 33 or 35 Ah sealed AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) deep-cycle lead-acid battery. One early supplier for the pre-refresh Model S was the C&D Technologies DCS-33IT, now discontinued.  For these older cars, Tesla now recommends the C&D DCS33-UNCR.  For the refreshed Model S, Tesla now uses the AtlasBX U1 a 35 Ah AGM battery.

C & D Battery

Model S C&D Technologies Battery

The Model X uses a 40 Ah AGM battery. The primary battery used is the AtlasBX with the model 60B19RS.

The Model 3 uses a 45 Ah, AGM Battery. One supplier is AtlasBX with the model 85B24LS.

Model 3 Atlasbx battery

Model 3 AtlasBX battery

AGM batteries provide more power for size and weight than traditional lead-acid batteries. Deep cycle versions, like those used in Tesla vehicles, are designed to be repetitively charged and discharged. If you were to use a typical lead-acid battery in this application, it may only last a few months!  AGM batteries are also sealed, which eliminates acid spilling accidents and the need to periodically add water.

Battery Longevity

In new Tesla cars, the 12V battery lasts about 3-4 years for most owners, although paradoxically, if you put a few miles on the car, it may last as little as 1-2 years. The difference is how many discharge/charge cycles the battery goes through and how deeply the battery is discharged. When driving, the DC-DC converter helps power the 12v system, and fewer charge cycles occur. A car left sitting, will need more charge cycles, and will age the 12v battery faster.  Some Model S owners still have the original battery after 4 years and over 170,000 miles of use!  The Model 3 is too new to evaluate its battery longevity, but Tesla made considerable changes to the electronics, which may increase battery life as well.

AGM life cycle

AGM life cycle – deeper discharges will result in fewer cycles

Your Tesla maintains power for some key computer systems all the time, so you can disarm the alarm, unlock the car with your FOB (or phone for the Model 3), and when you enter the car, everything starts up without any pause. In addition, the cellular connection for remote access needs power. All these systems require power even when the car is not in use. This is often called the car’s vampire drain. Tesla, via software, has significantly reduced the vampire drain of all cars over the years, but it can’t be eliminated.

Newer cars also use modules that take a bit less power when the car is parked, so that helps. Even the oldest cars should easily get 2-3 years of 12v battery life, although there can be rare exceptions. Just like ICE cars, sometimes the battery fails prematurely.

What is Different About How Tesla Uses the Battery?

Often an ICE car goes 3 to 5 years before replacement.  The way the 12v battery is used in ICE cars is quite different than an EV. When the motor is running, normally the alternator powers all the 12v items in the car and charges the battery. The primary use of the 12v ICE battery is to start the car, which takes 2-3 seconds with very high currents.  After starting the car, the battery is not really used. When the car is off, very little power is used, otherwise the battery would die in short order.

A few BMW ICE models, and perhaps other makers, use a far larger battery and intermittently use the alternator. This reduces gas use with less alternator drag on the motor. The downside is the far more charge/discharge cycles means the battery is replaced about once a year, a $700 hit in the BMW!

Improving Longevity

Tesla provides one option that may slightly improve the 12v battery longevity if that is important to you. Turn off Mobile Access. This means you cannot access the car via your phone app.

Mobile access on the Model 3

Mobile access on the Model 3, and is similar on the S/X (v9+)

For most owners, the battery replacement cost is a negligible part of the ownership costs. Having remote access is a great feature, usually worth trading off for a slightly shorter 12v battery life.

Charging the 12v Battery

The 12v battery is always charged via a DC-DC converter from the main battery pack. This takes the packs high voltage and converts it to about 14v to charge the 12v battery. It’s a bit more complex, as the voltage to charge the AGM battery is tightly regulated and is compensated due to temperature.

Supercharging

Even when you are charging the car, only the main pack is connected to external power.  While quite rare, if the DC-DC converter fails, the 12v battery can no longer be charged.

The Gen 2 DC-DC converter in the refreshed Model S accepts 220 to 430 VDC at 15 amps and outputs 9 to 16 VDC. When outputting 12 VDC, it can deliver about 200 amps.

DC-DC inverter (Model S, Gen 2)

DC-DC converter (Model S, Gen 2)

The Model 3 and Y integrates the charger and the DC-DC converter into a single package, the PCS (Power Conversion System).

Battery Failure Warning

Tesla included additional hardware at the battery to help detect when the battery is nearing its end of life. Should the battery get within 3-4 weeks of the end, Tesla warns you with a clear message that the 12v battery needs replacement. This is dramatically better than most ICE cars, where the battery dies without much if any, warning.

Warning message

Warning message for the Model S/X (left) and for the Model 3/Y (right)

Part of the reason ICE car batteries often die unexpectedly is the type of battery used. A standard lead-acid battery will degrade over time, but the lead sheds during use and can short out plates at some point, causing the immediate cell death. An AGM battery, like the ones Tesla uses, should never fail this way.

Battery Location

In all Tesla, the 12v battery is located under the hood. Over the years and models, it has moved around somewhat. The classic Model S RWD had the battery deep on the passenger side in front of the firewall. This location is tricky to get access too, but a trained Tesla tech can often replace this battery in less than 20 minutes. For someone not familiar with the process, it will take quite a bit longer.

Starting with the AWD Model S, the battery was relocated to be easier to access and replace – on par with most ICE cars. The location remains about the same for the S, X, 3, and Y. There are several easy to remove plastic panels to gain access to the battery. No tools are required to gain access.

Battery Location

Refreshed Model S Battery Location (with cabin air inlet panel removed)

What Kills an AGM Battery?
Over time the ability to charge and discharge effectively slows due to sulfation. Lead sulfate accumulates on the negative and positive parts within the battery during discharge. Over many charge/discharge cycles this process reduces the amount of energy that can be stored and extracted.  At some point, the battery is considered bad, even though it continues to work at some level. With proper instrumentation, such as done in the Tesla, a degraded battery can be detected well before the useful end of life.

Fully discharging an AGM battery is bad, but not normally fatal. Fully discharging an AGM battery does reduce the batteries’ longevity. Normally this never occurs in a Tesla, but if a vehicle is not connected to a charger, and the main battery is drained to 0% SOC (which has a hidden remaining charge), the 12v battery will stop being charged to protect the main battery. Within a few days, the 12v battery will be drained.

Dead battery

One rare failure mode is open contact between two cells.  This is usually caused by improper manufacture of the battery or an external short.  The battery voltage goes from normal to zero as soon as the open occurs, usually early in the life of the battery.

Heat is also bad for an AGM battery, but the heat conditions encountered in a Tesla are fine. AGM batteries are not suitable in an ICE engine compartment that exceed the AGM’s maximum charging temperature of 140°F (60°C).

Why Lithium-Ion 12v Battery is a Bad Idea

There are 12v lithium-ion drop-in replacements for ICE car batteries. These are quite a bit more expensive but do weigh less – so you’d think they would be great in an EV. Not so fast. Turns out for Tesla’s application the frequent deep charge/discharge cycles would greatly shorten the life of a lithium-ion battery designed for ICE cars, perhaps only lasting 6 months to a year. Since there is no climate control on the 12v battery, it’s life would also be shortened if you encounter climate extremes. Lithium-ion 12v battery makes little economic sense in a Tesla.

Why Lithium-Iron Phosphate 12v Battery is a Good Idea

Ohmmu makes a 12v battery replacement specifically for Teslas. These batteries use different chemistry that works in a Tesla and should give superior life over the standard AGM battery. This special chemistry is not as energy-dense as conventional Lithium-Ion cells, so they are not effective for the main battery, but can work well in Tesla’s 12v application. These batteries handle a wide temperature range, support deep discharges, and many more charging cycles than the AGM battery. Ohmmu includes a 4-year warranty. The only downside we see is the expense.

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As I stated in the start, this project is a bit crazy for the cost and amount of effort it took. It really started with a phone-based CAN bus analyzer I designed. This got bogged down as the off-the-shelf CAN bus products I tried couldn’t keep up with the massive amount of data Tesla produces on a single CAN bus, let alone the 4 busses I wanted to monitor. It works well when you limit the data (which is done at the hardware level), but I wanted it all.

I shifted gears to designing my own low-level hardware and writing my own code for the microcontroller. This connected to the phone via USB. Bluetooth would never work for this, as it is way too slow. I then found the phone itself was also unable to process the massive amount of data coming in, store it and display the data in different ways in real-time. This was not going the way I wanted!  During this time, a few other owners introduced products with limited CAN bus recording with off-line processing. I may revisit that project as the phones/tablets gain more power. I only need that Intel i9 18 core extreme CPU that lasts longer than a few seconds on a cell phone battery!

I got the idea for Tshow when the refresh Model S came out, as it had the perfect display area behind the front T-badge. I could reuse some of the hardware and software work I’d previously done as Tshow is far less demanding.  Meanwhile, a new microcontroller with dual CAN bus hardware appeared late last year, which was perfect for this project.  I didn’t need all four CAN buses, but I did need two (CAN 2 and CAN 3) for monitoring data.

CAN Bus Data

With some of the prior work I’d done and more analysis of CAN bus traffic, I identified critical ids to track for the various features.  Here are the IDs I track for Tshow:

CAN BUS ID Byte(s) Bit(s) Function
2 0x203 1 6 Emergency Flasher
2 0x209 2 6 Left Blinker On
2 0x20A 2 6 Right Blinker On
2 0x238 2 3 Headlights On
3 0x00E 0 & 1 Steering Position
3 0x116 3 4-6 Vehicle State
3 0x222 0 & 4 Charging State
3 0x302 1 & 2 State of Charge

This CAN data was on a refreshed Model S. It’s likely to be the same on all versions of the Model S and Model X.  It may even be the same on the Model 3.

Real-Time Clock

To include day/night brightness and holiday features, I needed an accurate date and time. Unfortunately, I was only able to find the date/time broadcast on CAN bus 6. Since I didn’t want to add a third CAN bus to the project, so I used the processor’s built-in RTC along with battery backup. I wrote the code so the time and date are automatically set when the app connects to the processor.

Prototype

I built the prototype on a breadboard, which makes it easy to try out different processors and design ideas while creating the companion Android app.

An early breadboard test

An early breadboard test

PCB and Schematics

As the project rolled along, I concluded PCBs would be necessary to ensure reliability and compactness.  That meant learning the latest schematic and PCB software. Of course, I made a few mistakes and had to re-run new boards. This is no different than most engineering projects (although costly for a one-off project).

Processor PCB version 2

Processor PCB version 2

Version 2 still had a couple of minor errors, and the remote control’s NeoPixels data was unreliable on longer cables. I  added a second differential bus transceiver and fixed the errors on the version 2 board. The version 3 schematic covers all these changes.

Processor Schematic

Processor Schematic (version 3, click for full size)

A few sharp engineers may notice I used some modules rather than surface mount ICs. Surface mount parts are difficult to solder for a one-off project and these specific parts are only available in surface mount. Luckily, there are modules available with the surface mount ICs, that is only slightly more expensive than the IC itself. They do take up a little more PCB board space, but not enough to matter.

The NeoPixels use a single serial data line. This becomes unstable for longer runs, typically over 12″. By using differential transceivers, the signal is not affected by wire length. The processor module connects to the receiver and remote via a differential connection, which in turn connects to NeoPixels.

receiver schematic

Tshow receiver schematic

The receiver needs mounting on the T-badge assembly very close to the NeoPixel input. I found the desired mounting on the passenger’s side physically interfered with the radar module, so in a last-minute decision, mounted it on the driver’s side and flipped the NeoPixels so the start (i.e. pixel 1) was on the driver’s side to keep the wire run as short as possible between the receiver and the NeoPixels data input. This required a fairly significant software change to “flip” the visual direction in various display modes.

Tshow remote schematic

Tshow remote schematic

Plastic Housings

Along the way, I couldn’t find a suitable plastic box to house the remote unit. I got the brilliant idea to make a 3D box for it – having never done so before! This required learning a new CAD system – Tinkercad. It took 3 tries to get it right, but the design improved dramatically with each iteration.  With that under my belt, I had planned to use a stock plastic box for the receiver, but a 3D box would be so much better.  I got a good box design after two tries.  For those who have never done 3D design, the tools today are quite impressive. Once the design is complete, I used an online service to choose a fabricator to make it, often in 2-3 days. Printing each box in ABS costs under $20. In the last iteration, I combined both boxes into a single print.

3D view of remote boxes

3D view of receiver box and lid (top), remote control box and lid (bottom)

My one regret is not making a 3D box for the processor unit. This would have been a bit more complex design and costly. It would have saved quite a bit of rework on the stock plastic box. If this is ever made into a production product, a 3D processor box would be great.

Software

I wrote the microcontroller software using the Arduino IDE, in C++ code. While the Teensy 3.6 processor can run at up to 192 MHz, I run it at 120 MHz as more speed is unnecessary and it reduces the power consumption slightly. I wrote the Android software in Java using Android Studio. As such, it may not be easy to port to Apple iOS.  Not something I’ve investigated. Android devices such as a 5″ quad-core phone with Android 6.0 and Bluetooth 4.0 can be had for as little as $50 and will work great with this project if you don’t already have an Android phone or tablet

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Articles

by Moderator

articles background Articles

Check out our in-depth articles!  Categories include:

For New Owners • Solar • Analysis • Technology • Audio • Dashcam • Repair • Other

For New Owners

omc

Owner’s Manual Companion

Everything you wanted to know about your new Tesla vehicle, the Tesla forums, and more! (Aug-2020 update)

range university logo

Range University

Understanding what the Range display means and why it may not be accurate (Sep-2020 update)

Superchargers

Supercharger SuperGuide

Our deep dive into Superchargers – how to speed your charging, how it works and more (Sep-2020 update)

home charging

Home Charging Wiring Guide

Explains safe wiring methods for charging your Tesla S/X/3/Y at home. (Sep-2020 update)

Model 3 charging

Model 3/Y Home Charging Guide

Charging speeds, best solutions, outlet choices, and more! (Sep-2020 update)

battery pack

Selecting the Right Battery Size

Our handy guide getting the S/X/3/Y battery that’s best for you! (Sep-2020 update)

Solar

powerflow

Tesla Solar Roof Installation

Our very own Tesla solar roof project with video, costing, and more! (Sep-2020 update)

Solar-Powerwall System Optimizations

Tricks to getting more useful power and improving Powerwall longevity (Sep-2020 update)

Solar Roof Cleaning

Various methods you can use to clean your solar roof (Oct-2020)

Analysis

Charging Connector

Supercharging, CCS and CHAdeMO DC Fast Charging

Comparing these three systems and the related networks (Sep-2020 update)

Autopilot

Autopilot, Processors, and Hardware

Demystifying MCU and HW variants (Sep-2020 update)

eMMC

MCU1 Flash Memory Analysis and Failures

An examination of MCU1’s eMMC memory, failure rates, causes & solutions (Oct-2020 update)

MCU retrofit

MCU2 Upgrade and AM/FM/XM Radio Issues

Options when radios are removed for the MCU2 upgrade (Oct-2020 update)

model varients

Timelines for Vehicles and Variants

Dates of vehicle versions and major changes, EPA range and more (Jul-2020 update)

Paint and Coatings

All about factory and body shop painting, coatings and common myths (Jun-2019 update)

Solar cell

Solar Vehicle Roof Analysis

How much range would a solar roof provide and at what cost? (Oct-2019 update)

Technology

battery

12 Volt Battery Compendium

Everything you need to know about your Tesla 12v battery! (Jun-2020 update)

battery

Understanding New Battery Breakthroughs

Battery breakthroughs may not always work as hoped for in vehicles (Oct-2019 update)

Contactors

Understanding this critical high-power component (Feb-2019 update)

Processors Analysis and Count

Check out the 50+ processors used in Tesla vehicles (May-2013)

Audio

speaker

Audio Systems for the Model 3

Our deep dive into speakers, amplifiers and more on the Model 3. (Jun-2019 update)

Speakers and Amps

Audio Systems for the Tesla Model S and Model X

Examination of features, speakers and amplifiers (Aug-2018 update)

XM logo

XM Radio for Tesla

XM availability, options, alternatives and tips (Oct-2019 update)

USB Flash Drives for Music

How to pick the right USB drive for great music and getting the most out of your vehicle’s music system (Oct-2019 update)

streaming

Streaming Audio

Streaming services and getting better streaming sound (Oct-2019 update)

Android Auto

Android Auto on Tesla?

An examination of Google’s Android Auto and what issues may slow or prevent implementation (Oct-2019 update)

carplay logo

CarPlay on Tesla?

An examination of Apple’s CarPlay and what issues may slow or prevent implementation (Oct-2019 update)

Dashcam

dashcam

USB Flash Drives for Tesla Dashcam

How to pick a reliable drive, setting it up and troubleshooting (Oct-2019 update)

Dashcams

Ultimate 2020 Tesla Dashcam Guide

Exploration of the why what and how of dashcams with comparisons and installation videos (Oct-2020 update)

Repair

Repair Cone

Tesla Accident Repair Guide

How to navigate the accident repairs process and timing (Sep-2020 update)

broken window

To Catch A Thief – Tesla Breakins

Breakin, investigation, and tips to avoid a break-in (Jul-2019)

Sounds of Tesla

Sounds of Tesla Vehicles

Normal and abnormal noises and sounds with solutions (Sep-2020 update)

Homelink

HomeLink Analysis and Troubleshooting

Understanding HomeLink and fixing common issues (Oct-2019)

WiFi

WiFi Guide and Troubleshooter for Tesla Vehicles

The Why and How of WiFi and how to get the best connection (Oct-2019 update)

paint chip fix

Fixing a Paint Chip

Quick ways to fix small rock strikes and road rash (Oct-2019 update)

Other

VIN Decoder

Learn what your Vehicle Identification Number says about your car (Sep-2020 update)

tesla stores

Maps – EV Benefits, Tesla Stores & Superchargers

View maps of the USA with benefits by state, Tesla stores and service centers and counts of Superchargers (Apr-2019 update)

changes-red-tesla

Model S Changes from 2012 to 2019

We’ve compiled an extensive list of changes over the last 6+ years (Apr-2019)

Luxury

Old and New Luxury

How luxury is being redefined in vehicles (Aug-2017)

charging

Charging

Easy to understand charging options for the Model S/X (Oct-2019 update)

Main Screen V7 User Interface Analysis

Changes from the 6.0 to new 7.0 (Oct-2015)

Instrument Panel

Instrument Panel V7 User Interface Analysis

Changes from the V6.0 to 7.0 (Oct-2015)

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Undocumented

by Moderator

Undocumented

Here are some of the mostly undocumented technical aspects to the Model S/X/3/Y that may appeal to the engineer in us!  Since little of this is from Tesla, assume some data may be inaccurate. If you know more, we’d love to add to this list – just comment below and if possible, add a source. Tesla makes many ongoing improvements that can change vendors or specifications between older and newer cars, but we’ll try and keep this accurate. (Sep-2020 update)

Acronyms – Use our Acronyms and Abbreviations to help in decoding terminology.

Active Aerodynamics –  Left and right front flaps boost aerodynamic efficiency and range by only providing additional airflow when needed through the radiators. Parts for the S/X are made by Rochling. These flaps are only open about 10% of the driving time according to Rochling.  (from the article in Auto Industries magazine Q1-2014, page 82). The Model 3/Y also includes its own shutter system, different from the S/X.

Aluminum – The Model S skin and structure is 98% aluminum. The aluminum body only weighs 410 lbs (Dream Cars video Dec-2014). The Model X is similar. The Model 3/Y uses aluminum in the doors, hood, and trunk. The Model 3/Y fenders are steel, as is much of the structure.

Antennas (14 + 7 fob) S/X

  • AM Radio – Rear hatch glass
  • Bluetooth – Near the top of 17″ display (based on our signal strength measurements) in MCU1; With MCU2 (March 2018 and later cars), antennas in each side mirror housing.
  • Cellular – 800 MHz GSM (USA) antenna resides in both side mirrors (Nearfield Systems)
  • Charge port release – Uses FOB antennas (see below at Key Fob)
  • FM/DAB Radio – Rear hatch glass
  • FOB – See below at Key Fob (7 antennas)
  • GPS – Under the top of back hatch glass, left-side
  • Homelink – Front of car, 3-5″ from the frunk latch, passenger side
  • TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitor Service) – near the bottom front of AC propulsion motor in 2012-2014 cars using 355 MHz. Late 2014 cars switched to 433 MHz and have displayable tire pressures.
  • WiFi -Passenger side mirror (Nearfield Systems)
  • XM Satellite – Under back hatch glass, top right-side in cars built before December 23, 2014, under the pano roof center-rear in later editions

AutoPilot HW1.0 – The system is based in part with the Mobileye EyeQ3 hardware/software, a front-facing camera, radar, and 12 long-range ultrasonic sensors. (Computer Vision Video by Mobileye). Auto-pilot hardware was made available in all Tesla cars produced in September 2014 to mid-October 2016.

AutoPilot HW2.x – The hardware includes Nvidia’s DRIVE PX 2 AI computing platform, estimated to be 40 times more powerful than AP1. In addition, the system includes 8 cameras, 12 longer range ultrasonic sensors (about 30 feet range), and front radar. The hardware is included in all Tesla vehicles produced after October 19, 2016.  Two levels of optional software are offered – Enhanced AutoPilot, as a set of features that includes AP1 and more. A second Full Self-Driving (FSD) option provides Level 4 or 5 autonomous driving, once it completed and is approved by regulators (perhaps in 2019-2020). FSD requires a new processor called HW3.0.

The Tesla AP2 processor board includes an Nvidia PG418 MXM module. This board contains a GP106 GPU and 4 GB of GDDR5 memory.  The GPU has 1280 CUDA cores and in this configuration uses 128-bit wide memory. Interestingly, the PG418 board has pads for an additional 4 GB of memory for use with a 256-bit wide version of the GPU.

The mainboard includes many additional parts, including an Infineon TriCore 32-bit microprocessor; a Blox NEO-M8L GPS/GLONASS/Galileo/Beidou module with sensors and dead-reckoning abilities; and an Nvidia TA795 Tegra SoC with Dual-Core CPU, Quad-Core Arm Cortex-A57, and integrated Pascal architecture.

On the Model S and X, the unit is air-cooled with fans. In the Model 3, it is liquid-cooled using the car’s cooling system.

AutoPilot HW3.x – Tesla announced in late 2018 that a new HW3 AP processor module would be required for FSD. This module includes a Tesla created processor that offers far greater performance than the HW2 platform. Most S/X/3 vehicles made after March-2019 include the new processor. Those owners that have HW2 and paid for FSD are being upgraded for free.

AutoPilot Software (in 2020)

AP – This is a new variant introduced 28-Feb-19 that includes Traffic-Aware Cruise Control (TACC), Autosteer, and Auto lane change with a confirmation.

EAP – Now, discontinued, it offered on HW2.x vehicles, AP features above, Navigate on Autopilot on the highway, Autopark, and Summon. It also includes advanced Summon.

FSD (Full Self Driving) – For HW3.x vehicles, it adds to AP and EAP features: Navigate on Autopilot in the city, traffic light and stop sign detection, auto-lane change without confirmation. Additional features are not released yet.  Customers with a prior FSD purchase will get the HW3.x upgrade for no cost. Customers who ordered EAP prior to 28-Feb-19, but where the vehicle had not been delivered at that date, will get FSD instead of EAP at no additional cost.  Prior EAP owners can purchase FSD at a discount, which includes the HW3.0 upgrade.

AutoPilot 2.0 Cameras

Common color cameras use four filters – RGGB (red, green, green, blue) over cells to create a single color pixel (two green are used to increase the resolution/luminance. Most Tesla cameras use clear on 3 cells for monochrome and a red filter on the fourth cell (RCCC). This increases the monochrome light sensitivity, as color is not important, except for the ability to detect red traffic lights and taillights.

All but the rear camera is the same Aptina AR0132 camera (Aptina is now On Semiconductor). It is a 1/3 inch CMOS 1.2M device, capable of 720p at 60 fps. Tesla appears to be using a visual field of 1280 x 960 at 36 fps. An additional 4 vertical rows of camera (not visual) data make each frame 1280 x 964.

The rear camera uses the OmniVision OV10635 720p CMOS sensor  Tesla is using 1160 x 720 at 30 fps. SMK from Japan appears to be the company assembling the module. At the introduction of AP2, the rear camera module changed and has a built-in heating element. The module is connected via four wires – power and LVDS data lines.

AutoPilot 2.5+ Cameras

The cameras used by the DashCam feature and Sentry mode are in full color. This includes the narrow front camera and the left and right side pilar cameras.

Camera Locations

  • Front narrow (1.5″ from center); max distance 820 ft., 35-degree field of view
  • Front main (1.5″ from center); max distance 260 ft, 50-degree field of view
  • Front fisheye (center); max distance 195 ft., 150-degree field of view
  • Left Pilar, 195 ft., 80-degree field of view
  • Right Pilar, 195 ft., 80-degree field of view
  • Left Repeater, 325 ft., 60-degree field of view
  • Right Repeater, 325 ft., 60-degree field of view
  • Rear max distance 160 ft., 140-degree field of view
  • Cabin (model 3 only)  details unknown *

* does not appear to be used yet
Left and right repeaters are the rearward-facing cameras in the side “T” markers

Thanks go to verygreen, lunitks and others for some of this information.

Batteries – High voltage pack, for Cybertruck, Semi, Plaid, etc. (for late 2021)

  • Tesla has created a new larger 4680 form factor cell
  • Tesla will do the cell and pack manufacturing
  • The new cell offers six times the power of Tesla’s previous cells and five times the energy capacity
  • The design should allow for faster charging and discharging, and lower internal heat
  • New methods require significantly less manufacturing space
  • Pack becomes a stressed member in some vehicles for improved rigidity

Batteries – High voltage pack, for Model S and Model X

  • Long Range/100 – 101 kWh – 400V, 8256 total cells in 16 modules, each with 6 groups of 86 cells = 516 total cells in each of 16 modules, producing 25v per module (from wk056’s rip down)
  • 90 – 85.8 kWh – 400V, 7104 total cells in 16 modules, each with 6 groups of 74 cells = 444 cells, producing 25 volts (our analysis from battery photos); nominal voltage 346 VDC. The 90 uses higher-capacity cells than the 85.  The 90 pack weighs about 1330 lbs.
  • 85 – 81.5 kWh – 400V, 7104 total cells in 16 modules, each with 6 groups of 74 cells = 444 cells, producing 25 volts (our analysis from battery photos); nominal voltage 346 VDC. The 85 pack weighs about 1330 lbs.
  • 75/70/60 – 350V 5880 total cells in 14 modules, each with 70 cells = 420 cells, producing 25 volts (our analysis and conjecture); nominal voltage 302 VDC. 75 uses higher-capacity cells and has 75 kWh capacity. 70 kW cars starting around May-2016 are using the 75 kWh pack, but are software limited to 70 kWh. These packs can be upgraded over-the-air to 75 kWh for a fee.  Similarly, the 60 version 2 (June 2016 and after) use a 75 kWh pack and is software limited to 60 kWh and can be upgraded to 75 kWh for a fee.
  • Classic 60 – 61 kWh (2015 and older) – 350V, 5040 cells in 14 modules, each with 6 groups of 60 cells = 360 cells, producing 25 volts; nominal voltage 302 VDC. The 60 pack weighs 1150 lbs.
  • 40 – 61kWh – 350V, is a 61 kWh pack software limited to 40 kWh
  • Each cell has about 12Wh of energy
  • Individual cells are 4.167 volts at 100% SOC or nominal 3.6 V (based on our reverse calculations of pack cells and capacity)*  The classic cell current is 3100 mA, and newer cells used in the 90/75 pack current are about 3280 mA.
  • Cells are in a 18650 form-factor casing sourced primarily from Panasonic (the exact battery is only sold to Tesla and is not otherwise available).

Batteries – High voltage pack, for Model 3 and Model Y

  • LR – 74 kWh – 4416 total 2170 type cells in 4 modules; 2 modules with 23 groups of 46 cells each, and 2 modules with 25 groups of 46 cells each (from electreck).  Based on the Tesla EPA report, the long-range battery pack is a nominal 350 volts. The max is 400 volts, and a minimum of about 242 volts with a peak discharge rate of up to 1200 amps. The pack weight is 1054 lbs.
  • MR – 62 kWh (discontinued)
  • SR+ – 50 kWh – 2976 total 2170 type cells in 4 modules; 2 modules with 23 groups of 31 cells each, and 2 modules with 25 groups of 31 cells each (from electreck).
  • SR – Same 50 kWh battery as the SR+, but software limited to have 220 miles of range.
  • Battery active conditioning – Cooling when at 48°C or above, and heating when -7.5°C or below (from Ingineerix).

Batteries – Other, Model S and X

  • 12 V,  33 Ah sealed absorbed glass mat deep cycle lead-acid. It is used for most everything other than propulsion and HVAC. Tesla used the C&D Technologies DCS-33IT battery for years. Currently, the DCS33-UNCR battery is specified for pre refresh in models. The refresh S now uses the AtlasBX U1 battery. The 12v battery condition is monitored with a Hella Intelligent Battery Sensor.  See more at our 12 Volt Battery Compendium.
  • Model S – 3V coin cell for FOB – CR2032
  • Model X – 3V coin cell for FOB – CR2354

Batteries – Other, Model 3

  • 12 V,  45 Ah, Atlasbx, 85B24LS – An advanced lead-acid battery. See more at our 12 Volt Battery Compendium.
  • 3V coin cell for optional FOB – CR2032

Bluetooth – MCU1 – 3.0 + HS; Audio streaming with A2DP sink, A2DP source, AVRCP 1.4; Audio Profile A2DP includes support for standard SBC codec (highly compressed low-bit rate audio); Uses the Parrot FC6050 W chip.  We believe MCU2 uses Bluetooth 4.0, but have not yet been able to confirm it.

Browser User Agent Strings

Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; x86_64 GNU/Linux) AppleWebKit/601.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Tesla QtCarBrowser Safari/601.1 [MCU2]

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; GNU/Linux) AppleWebKit/601.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Tesla QtCarBrowser Safari/601.1 [MCU1, New browser around May-2018]

Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux) AppleWebKit /534.34 (KHTML, like Gheko) QtCarBrowser Safari /534.34  [MCU1, negligible changes from v5.0 through v8.1 until around Apr-2018]

Bus Systems – CAN (Controller Area Network), LIN (Local Interconnect Network) and 100 Mbps Ethernet via a 6 port switch (Model S/X)

CAN 2, 3, 4, and 6 are accessible from the diagnostics connector. The OBD2 port has access to CAN 1 and 6. Ethernet is accessible from the ethernet diagnostics port, but only by service. With current software, it is normally disabled.

  • CAN1 – MCU/ODB-II
    • A single connection between ODB-II  and MCU.
    • Presumed not implemented in software
    • In our tests, we were unable to see any data at 250 and 500 kbps, similar to other owner reports
  • CAN2 – Body, 125 kbps
    • AM/FM Radio Unit (with optional XM radio)
    • Door controllers
    • Lights (signals, dome, etc.)
    • Mirror controllers
    • Sunroof controller
  • CAN3 – Powertrain, 500 kbps
    • Charger 1 and 2 (if equipped)
    • Charge port
    • Drive Inverter -Rear
    • Drive Inverter – Front (AWD only)
    • DC-DC converter for 12V charging
    • HV Battery Management System
    • Thermal controller
  • CAN4 – Body Fault Tolerant, 125 kbps
    • Climate Control Cabin Air Heater
    • Climate Control module
    • Memory Seat Controller
  • CAN6 – Chassis, 500 kbps
    • Air Suspension (if equipped)
    • Blind Spot and Parking System (if equipped)
    • Camera, forward (AP1, if equipped)
    • Electronic Parking Brake Controller
    • Instrument Cluster
    • LIN bus
    • Power Steering Controller
    • Radar (if equipped)
    • Stability Control and Braking Controller
    • Tire Pressure Monitoring System
  • CAN Stability Control
  • CAN FastCharge – Supercharger/CHAdeMo to Internal Charger, 33.3 kbps
  • LIN – For simple low-speed devices, 20 kbps
    • LIN1 – Steering wheel controls
    • LIN2 – Homelink, 12v Batter and monitor
    • LIN3 – Seat Heaters and Rearview Mirror
    • LIN4 – Future
    • LIN5 – Body Control Module – Rain/ light sensor
  • Ethernet A – Instrument Cluster
  • Ethernet B – Main Display/MCU
  • Ethernet C – Diagnostic port
  • Ethernet D – Gateway

Connectivity – GSM 3G/4G LTE with HSPA+ depending on vehicle production date.

In the USA, Tesla uses AT&T’s cellular network.

Every Model S supports 3G.  The hardware does not support LTE in early cars. New LTE capable hardware/software is included in all cars manufactured after May 2015.

Early cars use the Sierra Wireless AR8550 (TMC Forum). We suspect new cars have switched to the Sierra Wireless AR755X module (unconfirmed).

Contactors – These connect the high voltage battery pack to the car. See our detailed Contactors explanation and analysis.

Display – Instrument Cluster (IC) S/X

  • 12.3″ LCD, Current: 1920 x 720;  Earlier vehicles: 1280 x 480 resolution
  • Before 1-March-2018: Nvidia Tegra 2 dual-core CPU (Mercury News, 15-May-2013′ MCU1), Reset by pressing top left and top right buttons at the same time on the steering wheel (safe to do anytime)
  • After 1-March-2018: display is run from MCU2 (no unique reset)
  • Software – Linux, QT and custom Tesla code (PC Word interview)

Display – Main Computer Unit (MCU1) S/X

  • 17″ LCD, 1200 x 1920 resolution
  • Nvidia’s Visual Computing Module VCM
  • Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core +1 power-saving core
  • Cypress MultiTouch controller (press release)
  • Reset by pressing center-left and center-right scroll buttons at the same time on the steering wheel (safe to do anytime)
  • Software – Linux, QT and custom Tesla code (PC Word interview)
  • Our analysis of 7.0 UI
  • Run our MCU1/MCU2 Tester – Run within your Tesla browser by typing: teslatap.com/mcu

Display – Main Computer Unit (MCU2) S/X, Cars made March-2018+

Display – Main Computer Unit (MCU) Model 3/Y

  • 15″ LCD
  • Intel Gordon Peak Board using the Atom E3800 series CPU and Intel Apollo Lake system-on-chip (Electrek & TeslaTap)
  • Reset by pressing center-left and center-right scroll buttons at the same time on the steering wheel (safe to do anytime)
  • Software – Linux, QT, and custom Tesla code

GPSU-Blox (from a Model S diagnostic screen, installed equipment); AP2 cars also include a high precision Blox GPS module. See AutoPilot above for more details.

Key FOB – Model S

  • 1 ring antenna behind the back bumper, bottom-center (visible with the bumper removed)
  • 1 ring antenna behind the front bumper, bottom-center, slightly to driver’s side
  • 1 ring antenna near the top center of the rear seat
  • 2 bar antennas inside at dash, at the left and right side panels
  • 1 dead-fob ring antenna below right side parking light (early production cars) or below the dash near the bottom of the windshield centered on the passenger seat  (new cars)
  • 1 bar antenna inside the center pedestal
  • Fob antennas each have a range of about 3 feet.
  • 315 MHz for North America, 433.93 MHz for Europe and Asia (industry FOB standards)
  • FOB uses TI TMS37F128 Controller
  • If the battery is dead, it can be powered via RF energy from antennas – best placement is in the cup holders, or on the center windshield if outside).
  • New FOB design with improved cryptography with new cars starting in June 2018.

Key FOB – Model X

  • 2.4 GHz Bluetooth LTE in the USA. Other countries add 315 MHz (Canada) or 433.94 MHz (Europe/Asia) to meet local transmission regulations
  • Antenna placement within vehicle not yet known, but likely similar to Model S above
  • FCC documents and photos

Key FOB – Model 3/Y

Lights – Our lighting count has over 430 LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) in the Model S.  All current Tesla vehicles sold use LED lighting exclusively.

Memory – Vehicles have various types of memory in different modules. The MCU1 (17″ Media Control Unit) includes:

  • 16 GB SD flash memory card, primarily for Garmin mapping data storage
  • 4 GB SD flash memory card, for firmware, keys, etc. (unconfirmed)
  • 2 MB flash memory (for 32-bit 116 MHz CPU, firmware)
  • 2 GB DDR3 SDRAM (on the Nvidia VCM board)
  • 8 GB eMMC NAND Flash (on the Nvidia VCM board). Replacement units after May 2020 include 64 GB of eMMC NAND

Motors – Our motor and solenoid count for the S/X comes up with over 60 when all options are included.

Motor – Propulsion (non-AWD) S/X

  • Three-phase, four-pole, AC Induction, 320 Volts
  • 18,700 RPM at 155 MPH
  • Classic S60 – 302  hp (In Oct-2014 website changed to 380 hp, but we believe  it may be a website error; discontinued)
  • S60 version 2 – 382 motor power, 315 hp battery limited (new, June 2016; discontinued in April 2017)
  • S70 – 382 motor power, 315 hp battery limited (discontinued in June 2016)
  • S75 – unstated, assumed similar to S70/S60 v2 (discontinued Jan 2019)
  • S85 – 373 hp (before April-2015, listed as 380 hp, then 362 hp to July-2015, now discontinued)
  • P85/P85+ – Originally 416 hp, upgraded in 2015 via software to  470 hp (now discontinued)
  • A reduction gear ratio of 9.73 to 1
  • Liquid-cooled, with temperature, monitored stator
  • Motor weight about 150 lbs.
  • The motor assembly (with reduction gear and inverter) weighs 300+ lbs.

Motors – Propulsion (AWD) S/X

  • Three-phase, four-pole, AC Induction, 320 Volts
  • Small motor 18,200 RPM (pre-Raven)
  • Larger motor 18,700 RPM (available on the rear of Performance versions only)
  • S60D – 259 hp motor power front and rear, 328 hp total battery limited (now discontinued)
  • S70D – 259 hp motor power front and rear, 328 hp total battery limited (discontinued in June 2016)
  • S75D/X75D – unstated, assumed similar to S70D/S60D (discontinued Jan 2019)
  • S85D – 417 hp (S85D discontinued)
  • P85D – 259 hp front, 503 hp rear motor power (until July-2015 – 221 hp front, 470 hp rear motor power and  originally 691 hp total, but now total unstated, P85D discontinued)
  • 90D/X90D – 259 hp motor power front and rear, 417 hp total battery limited* (discontinued)
  • 100D/X100D – Unknown, but more than 90D/X90D.
  • P90D/PX90D – 259 hp motor power front, 503 hp motor power rear, 463 hp total battery limited* (discontinued)
  • P90DL/PX90DL – 259 hp motor power front, 503 hp motor power rear, 532 hp total battery limited* (discontinued)
  • P100DL/PX100DL – Unknown, but more than P90DL/PX90DL.
  • Reduction gear ratio- Large motor 9.73 to 1, Small motor 9.34:1
  • Liquid-cooled, with temperature, monitored stator* Model X horsepower values are no longer stated on the Tesla website after 2015 and assumed to be unchanged from prior values.  Battery limited values are maximum motor shaft power.

Motor – Front Propulsion (AWD) Model 3/Y and Raven S/X in 2019+

  • Three-phase, four-pole, AC Induction
  • Liquid-cooled
  • Variable frequency drive

Motor – Rear Propulsion (AWD and RWD) Model 3/Y

  • Switched-Reluctance partial permanent magnet motor
  • Liquid-cooled
  • Variable frequency drive
  • 17900 RPM maximum
  • Small motor 18,200 RPM
  • Nominal voltage: 370 V
  • Maximum current: 800 amps
  • Maximum motor power: 165 kW
  • Maximum wheel torque: 165 kW
  • Oil filter and electric brushless hydraulic oil pump
  • About 200 lbs including inverter

Motor Inverter – This converts the DC battery voltage to AC, powering the motor.  It is mounted to the side of the motor.

On the S/X, it delivers up to 1000 amps (from Tesla 2010 10K annual report). On the P85D/P90D it delivers 1300 amps. With the Ludicrous option, it is boosted to 1500 amps (from Tesla blog).

Music Formats – While only MP3, MP4 and AAC (without DRM) are documented, it also supports AIFF, OGG, WAV, and FLAC (16 and 24 bits up to 192 kHz) files.  Version 7 and older had undocumented support for WMA and lossless WMA via USB, but a bug causes dropouts in WMA files. WMA has since been dropped in Version 8. AIFF format supports 16-bit, but not the less common 24-bit format. See ‘USB’ below for flash drive formats.

The best audio quality occurs when using a lossless format such as AIFF and FLAC via the USB connection. See more at USB Flash Drives for Music.

Navigation System – Originally it was a Tesla designed combination of Google on the main display and Navigon (a Garmin company) for the Instrument display and guidance. In about 2018, Tesla dropped Navigon and switched to using OpenStreetMap via MapBox.

OEM Suppliers – There are over 300 OEM suppliers providing over 2,000 parts for the Model S (from 2013 Annual report). This Model S Suppliers Business Chart shows many of the major OEM parts supplied to Tesla in 2012.

While many of the suppliers are the same as the Model S, this 2016 Suppliers for the Model X chart shows the latest OEMs (although the image is the prototype X).

Operating System – Tesla created code running on Linux, written in C (PC World interview); Modified Ubuntu using the ext3 file system (Dragtimes).  Early in the development Tesla considered both Android and iOS, but the key people at Android recommended against it, and Apple was unwilling to even talk to Tesla (Elon, video @36:10).

Vehicles- before version 8.1 (17.24.30) used the Linux kernel 2.6.36 for the center display. With the Tesla version 17.24.30, the kernel was updated to Linux 4.4.35. (Electrek). Functionally, there doesn’t appear to be any difference and no new features were added related to the OS upgrade.

Paint Color Codes – Tesla uses standard paint color codes. Some colors have multiple names or have changed names. You can also confirm the color on the label when you open the driver’s door. Look for the white label is near the bottom door jam.  The paint code appears on the bottom line of the label after PNT. Check our in-depth article on Paint and coatings

Patents – Tesla Motors has hundreds of patents issued and hundreds more pending (from 2013 Annual report). Lots of interesting reading!

Power Connector – Below the center arm-rest, the 12 v “cigarette lighter” power connector is fused for 15 amps. It is a switched circuit and power is removed when the car turns off.  When the car is on, and the car is charging the 12v battery from the main battery, this connector’s voltage measures at 14.4 volts (from our measurements and analysis).  The Model X and Model Y includes a second 12v power connector in the trunk area.

Power Consumption – Using the Mobile Connector, after the car is fully charged the vampire AC power load is less than 2 watts!  (from our measurements)

Processors – Our CPU report has over 60 processors on a fully loaded Model S.

Radar Transponder – Tesla uses a 77 GHz radar transceiver (from an article by Ron Freund in Jan-2015 Current EVents). The first radars likely used the  NXP’s MR2001 chipset or similar and the chip consumes a negligible 2.5W when operating. The Radar system is present in all cars built after late-September 2014 and until Fall-2017 were sourced from Bosch.

Vehicles with AP2.5/3.0 hardware, including all Model 3 and Model Y cars, now use a radar assembly from Continental, the ARS410 CV, similar to the ARS404-21 or ARS408-21.  It consumes under 7W typical, with a peak of 12W.

Rear Camera – 720P HD 30 fps  (from the 2012 OmniVision Press Release, no longer linkable)

Sounds and Noises – Our analysis of Normal and abnormal sounds from your vehicle along with solutions.

Speakers – Standard Audio –  a total of 200 W (details from a Sinn press release, s1nn acquired by Harmon), and TeslaTap’s rip-down).  For the Model S and X:

  • Door mid-woofers (4) – 160 mm, 40 W each, 2 ohm
  • Front pillar tweeters (2) – 30 mm (passive)
  • Front middle dash mid-range – 80 mm, 40 W

Speakers – Ultimate Audio – a total of 560 W; For Model S and X:

  • Front door woofers (2) – 200 mm, 80 W each, 1 ohm
  • Rear door mid-woofers (2) – 160 mm, 40 W each, 2 ohm
  • Front pillar Tweeters (2) – 30 mm, 20 W
  • Dash mid-range (3) – 80 mm, 40 W
  • Hatch mounted mid-range (2) – 80 mm, 40 W
  • Passenger side, rear  sub-woofer -200 mm, 80 W, 1 ohm (in a 25-liter bass box)

Special Access – For Tesla Personnel

  • Diagnostic Access – Press the Tesla logo at top of the main display for 2 seconds, then requires a password. The password is created daily inside the car and sent to Tesla’s servers. 
  • Screen Snapshot – Press the lower-right steering button labeled “Back” for 2 seconds. Used to save both screens to a file. Only Tesla has access to the file.
  • Ethernet connector – For the S/X via custom 4-pin connector behind driver side dash panel (only enabled via Tesla service through WiFi or 3G/LTE). A fleetwide software update in August 2015 added additional security to prevent non-Tesla access through this connection.  With the Model S refresh, the connector was moved to behind the cubby.
  • Bug reports – If you have what appears to be a software bug, press the Voice button and say “Bug Report” along with a short description of the issue. Both screens will automatically be captured with the log, along with the message. 
  • Honk to manually save 10 minutes of video when the dashcam feature available and active.

Superchargers – see our Supercharger SuperGuide.

Suspension – While components such as the Bilstein monotube shocks and Brembo brakes are well known, check out this excellent analysis by Edmunds of the entire suspension system with extensive photos and explanations.

USB Connections – Two front ports on all vehicles provide USB 2.0 (compatible with USB 3.0 running as 2.0) for connecting to USB drives and charging devices. The refreshed Model S and Model X has two additional rear ports for the 2nd row and the Model X in the 6 and 7 seat configurations as one more port in the last row. These additional ports only supply power for charging devices.  USB 2.0 ports can source up to 500 mA, although our tests showed we could get about 600 mA from the charge-only ports.  Devices that can be connected in the front ports include flash drives, hard disks (with USB connection), phones, mice and USB diskette drives, and some music players. USB keyboards were disabled in software version 4.5 and later.

All model Y include USB-C connectors, and Model 3 vehicles made around Jun-2020 switched to USB-C style connectors.

To access music via USB, the drive must be formatted for FAT32 or Linux Ext4 format. In 2020, exFAT support was added. NTFS is not supported. See more on how to select and use a USB Flash Drive for Music.

Some USB connected Android phones and tablets may provide drive-like memory access that the vehicles can see. This seems to be a bit hit and miss depending on the device’s design. Apple’s iPhone and iPod’s proprietary data format is not seen by the vehicle.

VIN Decoding – Try out our VIN (Vehicle Identification Number) decoder, supporting all Roadsters, Model S/X/3/Y vehicles at Vin Decoder.

WiFi – b/g/i/j/n 2.4 GHz hardware support, but we believe only b/g is currently enabled in software; Uses the Parrot FC6050 W chip. Use WPA or WPA2 for the best security. Low-security WEP was supported in early software versions, but now smartly, it is no longer supported.  With the Model 3/Y and S/X MCU2 in March-2018, 5 GHz is supported.

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