Here are some of the mostly undocumented technical aspects of 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. (Aug-2022 update)
Active Aerodynamics – Left and right front flaps boost aerodynamic efficiency and range by only providing additional airflow when needed through the radiators. Original parts for the first Model S and X were 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 as does the 2021+ Model S/X LR and Plaid, different from the original 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 on the orignal Model 3. With successive generations, Tesla has been switching the steel structure to cast alumium, reducing weight and assembly complexity.
See our extensive antenna expose for the S/X/3/Y with photos and details for each antenna in each vehicle. The 2022 Model S is the king, now with 46 antennas!
AutoPilot HW1.0 – The system is based in part on the Mobileye EyeQ3 hardware/software, a front-facing camera, radar, and 12 ultrasonic sensors. (Computer Vision Video by Mobileye). Auto-pilot hardware was made available in all Tesla cars produced from 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 until 2019 or so. 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 is expected to provide Level 4 or 5 autonomous driving, once it completed and is approved by regulators (perhaps in 2022). 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 the HW3 AP processor module is required for FSD. This module includes a Tesla-created processor that offers far greater performance than the HW2 platform. Most S/X/3/Y vehicles made after March-2019 include the new processor. Those owners that have HW2 and paid for FSD are being upgraded for free.
HW3.x uses two Tesla-designed processors, which improves the performance over HW2 by about 2.5 times. The new processors each have twelve ARM Cortex-A72 64-bit cores, running at 2.2 GHz. Each chip also contains 2 Neural Network Accelerators with 32 MB SRAM for each accelerator and an ARM Mali GPU.
The chip input can process up to 2.5 billion pixels per second, or the equivalent of 750 720p images at 36 frames per second. The image processor can handle 1 billion pixels per second.
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 Smart 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. With 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.
For those owners that purchased FSD, Tesla is providing a free upgrade to newer cameras for cars manufactured from 1-Oct-2016 through 1-Aug-2017. Upgrades started to occur in late 2021 and are ordered by VIN number.
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 (2.0 and later)
- 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) wide angle
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, Roadster 2, etc. (for 2023) and select Model Y in mid-2022
- 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
- LR/Plaid (mid-2021+) uses a 100 kWh 450 V pack, with 7920 total cells in 5 modules (from Munro associates teardown).
- Long Range/100 – uses a 103 kWh 400V pack, with 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 16850 cell has about 12Wh of energy in earlier cars and has increased over the years
- Individual 16850 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 are used in the 90/75 pack current are about 3280 mA.
- Cells for the S/X 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, 2170
- LR – 82 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 for a total of 96 groups (from electreck). Based on the Tesla EPA report, the long-range battery pack is a nominal 360 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). In 2020 China manufactured SR+ changed to use a Lithium-Iron battery. It offers slightly reduced cost, and is not as energy-dense, but also allows for regular 100% SOC charging, which should be avoided with Lithium-Ion batteries.
- 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 – High voltage pack, for Model Y AWD, 4680
- SR (Model Y AWD) – 76 kWh -828 total 4680 type cells in 4 modules; Each group of 9 cells is wired in parallel for a total of 92 groups. The nominal Pack voltage is 360v (EPA certifications 2022)
Batteries – Other, Model S and X
- Mid-2021 and later – 15.5 V, 6.9 Ah Tesla designed battery. This replaces the 12v AGM battery used on earlier cars.
- Prior to mid-2021 – 12 V, 33 Ah sealed absorbed glass mat deep cycle lead-acid. It is used for almost 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 Hankook 30 Ah AtlasBX U1LS 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 up to 2018, then changed to CR2330
- Model X – 3V coin cell for FOB – CR2354
Batteries – Other, Model 3/Y
- A 16v Lithium-Ion module for vehicles that started manufacturing in Spring 2022. Prior vehicles used a 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. MCU3 (S/X) is likely using Bluetooth 4.2 or 5.0.
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 manufactured prior to 2021)
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 prior to May 2015, but Tesla offers a low cost upgrade.
- The cellular hardware used in the Model S/X is the Sierra Wireless AR8550 (3G), until May 2015; then switched to the Cinterion ALS-5 US (LTE) until MCU2 in March 2018, where it switched to the Telit LE940B6-NA (LTE); and in mid-2021 with MCU-Z switched to the Quectel AG525R-GL.
- The cellular hardware for the 3/Y uses the Telit LE940B6-NA (LTE) and in some areas in late 2021, the 3/Y gets the MCU-Z which includes the Quectel AG525R-GL.
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/MCU3 (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, portriat orientation
- 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 to December 2020
- 17″ LCD, 1200 x 1920 resolution, portriat orientation
- Intel Gordon Peak Board using the Atom E3800 series CPU and Intel Apollo Lake system-on-chip (Electrek & TeslaTap)
Display – Main Computer Unit (MCU3) S/X, Cars made 2021+ and Model 3/Y Spring-2022+.
- Display and the MCU are now separate modules
- 17″ LCD, 2200×1300 resolution, landscape orientation
- GPU – AMD’s Navi 23, runs all three displays
Display – Main Computer Unit (MCU) Model 3/Y made prior to Spring 2022
- 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
GPS – U-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
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 – Check out our Motor count analysis for the S/X/3/Y. For example, the 2022 Model S Plaid now has 100 motors!
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 older S/X, now uses AC Permanent Magnet motors
- 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.
- Plaid – Trimotor design, with one in front and two motors in the rear, for a total of 1020 hp
- Reduction gear ratio- Large motor 9.73 to 1, Small motor 9.34:1
- Liquid-cooled, with temperature monitored stator
Battery limited values are maximum motor shaft power.
Motor – Front Propulsion (AWD) Model 3/Y and Raven S/X in 2019-2020
- Three-phase, four-pole, AC Induction
- Variable frequency drive
Motor – Rear Propulsion (AWD and RWD) Model 3/Y
- Switched-Reluctance partial permanent magnet motor
- 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 hundreds of OEM suppliers providing over 2,000 parts for Tesla (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).
CSIMarket provides an up-to-date list of likely suppliers.
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 thousands of patents issued and many more pending. 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 for cars with AGM battery and about 16 volts for the S/X with the Lithium-Ion “12v” battery (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)
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.
In mid-2021 Tesla discontinued the radar in the 3/Y as unnecessary, as the visual processing system works better without using radar, due to the frequent false radar information.
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 (through 2020)
- 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)
Speakers – 2021 LR/Plaid – a total of 960 W; For Model S and X:
- 22 Speakers
- Diagnostic Access – On Controls -> Software, press the model name text (like Model S) for 5 seconds and release. A dialog appears that requires a password. The password is created daily inside the car and sent to Tesla’s servers. There may be some non-password options that work like DYNOTEST. Note that DYNOTEST makes your car undrivable, so don’t use it other than for dynamometer testing.
- 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. The newer model Y has Ethernet access via an RJ45 connector under the dash near the driver’s door.
- 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 is available and active.
Suspension – While components such as the Bilstein monotube shocks and Brembo brakes are well known in the early Model S, check out this excellent analysis by Edmunds of the entire suspension system with extensive photos and explanations. Many improvements have been made over the years. The current S/X now has an adaptive suspension system.
USB Connections – Depending on the car and year, there are from 2 to 6 USB ports available. Newer cars include a USB port in the glove box, which can be used for the storage of dashcam video or music. The S/X and earlier 3/Y allow the two ports in the center console to handle dashcam video or music as well. All other USB ports are only for charging. Some center console USB ports do not support dashcam video/music, likely due to the supply shortages (as of June-2022).
Check out our Accessory Power Guide for our detailed tests of USB ports for voltages and currents in the S/X/3/Y.
Devices that can be connected in the glove box and most 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 as did the mid-2021 S/X.
To access music via USB, the drive must be formatted for exFAT, FAT32 or Linux Ext4 format. 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 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.
I have a California HOV sticker. I was told I no longer needed to display the HOV stickers on my Model 3 . Is this true?
That would be nice, but no I’m about 99.9% sure the decals must be attached, no matter the car. I can see no changes at the CA DMV either about a rule change. Now some owners skip putting the stickers on and/or only put one sticker on, but they run a tiny risk of getting a fine if caught.
Do you have any info on the power available from the Model 3/Y USB-C ports? The manual says the wireless charger plugged into the front USB-C is 15 watts total, but nothing about the rear ports. In particular should I be able to charge my laptop at 60 watts (20v x 3a)?
I’d expect the rear to be about the same – 15W. Clearly not enough power for your laptop. In addition, USB ports are all 5V, not 20V that your laptop needs.
Check your USB-C spec. USB-C can provide 5, 9, 12, 15, or 20 volts depending on negotiation between the source and sink at at least 3 amps. With the optional Power Delivery protocol up to 5 amps or 100 watts max is possible. Some of the options depend on chips in the cable connectors confirming their capabilities. In some sense it’s similar to the charging options in the Tesla/J1772 protocols. If the sink only wants 5 volts then 15 watts is the max. If both source and sink agree to 20 volts then 60 watts is the max without the Power Delivery option. Since the Tesla ports are fed by the 12 volt battery I suspect they only provide up to 12 volts if, indeed, they provide multiple voltages.
I just went out and plugged the laptop into a rear port on my Model Y and there was no response, so I believe that confirms no 20 volt output. I’ve been learning a lot about this since my new laptop has both traditional proprietary and USB-C charging. By the way the laptop’s USB-C port is two-way meaning it can accept power input from a charger and also provide power output to an accessory, and data can flow in both cases.
Thanks for the extra details, I wasn’t aware that USB-C offered those options. Since Tesla only provided USB-A before, my assumption is the USB-C is simply wired to the old USB-A connections and has the USB-A limitations. It seems you confirmed that. There is no direct 12v connection to these ports as 5V power comes from the MCU. I also suspect 99+% of USB-C only supply 5 volts, but I can’t say I’ve tested them. I have tested the USB-A ports in the past.
I think that the definition of UDS is actually “Unified Diagnostic Services”. UDS is a diagnostic standard published under ISO 14229.
Many acronyms have different meanings in different industries. In this specific case, Tesla describes UDS as “Universal Diagnostics System” and is internally used by Tesla. My guess is the ISO document refers to some other usage.
Does anyone know where I can find information about the raw material usage in a Model S? I’m conducting a life cycle assessment and am having trouble finding the info.
Add? “The emmc chips differ by the way, MCU1 is 8GB Hynix H26M42001FMR or similar, MCU2 is 64GB Micron MTFC64GAJAECE-AIT.”
Public official Tesla Parts Catalog: https://epc.tesla.com/#/login
And nice inside views on parts by Gruber Motors, Arizona who fix Tesla salvage cars for a living:
All sorts of parts open and on benches. Quite some information, which could be transferred to here.
You say: 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).
==> This is the hardware for Model 3 Standard range PLUS => turned out to be 240 miles with Model 3. The actual standard range battery is a software locked version of the same hardware with a little less usable energy for 220 miles – just to fulfill what was promised before that. It would be interesting, what cell configuration the mid range battery is composed of.
Battery info updated. Thanks.
Charging curves for V3 supercharger:
It’s unclear how reliable these charts are, but I suspect there are a good estimation. We’ll need to see the results from a production public V3 supercharger, hopefully soon.
Please add information on:
* additional CCS Interface on European superchargers V2
* Chinese charging interface
* Chademo adapter not working with Model 3
* the Supercharger V3 hardware up to 250 kW (test site at Hawthorne) for Model 3.
And regarding more hardware: here is some nice footage on an older AP1 model:
* Bosch iBooster braking system, communicating with the AP1 Mobileye frontcamera
* with CAN Bus to the yaw sensor
Additional interesting hardware list, that you could merge:
* and in the MCU 17 inch:
** 7channel audio amplifier (Premium)
** physical SIM card holder (mini SIM 25×15 mm) – no eSIM
** a fan cooling the Nvidia chip, that is prone to fail due to the cable being
** the 4 GB SD card on the back of the MCU board and some of its content like greylevel images from the front camera
The fellow promised another video about the contents if the SD card.
Good info. Sorry we don’t have any details of CCS or Chinese charging or the timing for CHAdeMO for the Model 3. We cover Superchargers and v3 in our Supercharger Superguide.
Can you give more insight on battery used in Roadster 2020 and compare to what was there in roaster 2010 , how much volt battery was used earlier compare to what they are planning to use in future.
Great questions, but Tesla has not released any battery details on the Roadster 2020 other than the range will be over 600 miles. The original Roadster battery is a nominal 375 volts. Everything else is just a guess right now! With two years until production, Tesla may not even have locked in the battery size. To work on existing Superchargers, a 400V battery is likely, but we expect a version 3 Supercharger announcement in 4-5 months which may be created in part for the new Roadster and other future vehicles.
Hi Moderator ,
Very excellent benchmark and anlysis, May I ask who supplies the ultrasonic system for AP1 and AP2? Somebody said that the detect range can achieve up to 15m.Thanks.
The ParkAid ECU ni 2013-2015 cars is made by Bosch, and presumably the newer ECU too. Not sure about the ultrasonic sensors. Keep in mind that the sensors have reduced range at higher speeds due to wind and buffeting on the sensors. They work best at stopped or slow speeds. So far Tesla has stated the sensors on an HW2 cars work to 9m or 30 ft.
Great resource! One small nit: in the section about cameras it says “Common color cameras use four filters – RGBB (red, green blue, blue) over cells to create a single color pixel (two blue are used to increase the blue sensitivity.” but this is incorrect. The common Bayer pattern is RGGB — two greens, not two blues. This increases effective resolution (not sensitivity).
Thanks! Not sure how I got that wrong, and I’ve now corrected it.
Just got the FCC alert about a new Bluetooth and 13.56mhz RFID antenna in the Model 3 B pillar. I can’t tell if they added any security to the passive RFID tag. Out of the box 13.56mhz tags can be cloned with an Arduino/Rasp Pi and some trivial decryption programs found on Google. Although the possibility of using a BLE secure two way handshake with an Apple Watch, iPhone or Android device seems a lot more secure. I’ve always wondered why the Model X bluetooth software hasn’t been updated to support local direct phone app auth. Relying on cell service of both vehicle and phone or watch is completely worthless. I could see a token process where the first request registers with the internet server, for X number of days of offline use.
Here I found some interesting Pictures an pinouts for the European charge port which is defined for 1-3phases AC (16,5/22kW) or 135kW DC:
[ed. page no longer available]
see on page 3 (German ony version) DC low charging (1*38kW):
[ed. page no longer available]
Or here on bottom of page 2 DC mid charging (defined for up to 70kW):
[ed. page no longer available]
I think that the contact material and contact springs are in a much higher quality compared to the Standard industry connector so that the European SuC is defined for 135kW.
Can someone confim that this is the pinout for the European SuC?
Where is the gps antenna on the rear glass left side? Does anyone have a pic of what it looks like? Thanks
Yes, it’s under the glass near the top on the left side on (driver’s side on LHD) cars. I’d estimate it’s about 1.5″ down from the top and maybe 0.75″ from the left side. The antenna is about 0.75″ square.
2016 (Late Dec) Model X w/ AP2.0 Hardware – FOB Battery: CR2354
Thanks – We had it updated elsewhere, but missed it here!
If all 75/70/60(v2) kWh model use the same battery pack, does the software limit the “top” 20% of 75kW battery to make it 60? If this real, will below case happen?
1) If you set the charge limit on your 75kW to 80% to keep your battery healthy, you will get a 60kW but in high price.
2) Or you can order a 60kW version, and disable the charge limit, you still keep the battery well. Because the top 20% is software limit. Can someone confirm this? This should be able to confirm by record the near full charging current, it should close to a 75kW@80%
3) Or even better, even the battery degradation due to ageing, you still get “full” 60kW as the software limiter will try to limit those lost capacity
Good questions, but Tesla has never commented on how the 60 limited by software is implemented. There is lots of conjecture, but no confirmations on how exactly how it was done.
[…] are a lot of components in a Model S. According to TeslaTap, there are 432 lights, 50 motors/solenoids, 52 processors and a host of other complex machinery in […]
How can the battery cell count be the same in an 85 and 90? Wouldn’t the 90, producing the same voltage, have to have more cells for additional amperage?
“90 kWh – 400V, 7104 total cells in 16 modules, each with 6 groups of 74 cells = 444 cells, producing 25 volts (our conjecture, using newer batteries); nominal voltage 346 VDC
85 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”
Tesla changed the cell formulation for the cells used in the 90. Each cell now holds about 6% more power, but the voltage remains the same per cell. Over the coming years I expect cells will continue to improve so that we’ll see even higher capacities without increasing the size of the pack.
For Autopilot please add that the hardware (front facing camera, radar) was only built into Model S since a certain production date (Aug 2014). For Model S’s before that production date, the cars cannot be easily retrofitted as more of the onboard control architecture for steering and braking has beed changed in parallel.
I would also like to add, that on the Model S radar is *front* facing only, while competitors have two additional (rear left, rear right) additional long-range radars in the rear to detect fast rear traffic, which is important for lane changes. Using the ultrasonic sensors for rear vehicle detection may be fine in the US (with speed limits), but shows its limits in Germany, where there are cars overtaking a Model S much quicker, if the Model S driver actually wants to achieve the promoted range.
Thanks. I’ll expand this a bit. Note that most vehicles don’t have any auto-pilot features at all and you are right that a few have many more radars and cameras, usually at a very hefty additional cost. Surprisingly, in a competitive analysis these alternative systems were rated poorly in comparison with Tesla for auto-pilot features by Car and Driver. Extra hardware doesn’t always mean better design. http://www.caranddriver.com/features/semi-autonomous-cars-compared-tesla-vs-bmw-mercedes-and-infiniti-feature
Under Autopilot is says 10 ultrasonic sensors however the Model S has 12 of them, 6 in the front and 6 in the back. Does it not use all of them?
Yep, stupid error on my part. It does use all 12 sensors. I’ve corrected the details. Thanks for letting me know.
Couldn’t see anyone mentioning but sorry if I’ve missed, the audio also supports OGG files which made me very happy.
Thanks! I’ve added it to the list of supported Music formats.
Does anyone know if the SD card storage is accessible and can be replaced?
How large a card is supported? 64Gb, 128Gb? Is there anything Tesla-specific on the card or just music?
This seems an easy way to store a larger part of my music library in the car.
The SD card(s) are inside the MCU (the large 17″ display module). There may be more than one. For music, originally 16 GB was the default and 32 GB was installed for those that bought Sounds Studio (Now called Ultra High Fidelity Sound). It would require hours of disassembly to get to the cards as the entire dash must come out. It’s not clear if Tesla now uses a larger card or exactly what is stored on the card, so a larger card is unlikely to provide any benefit. Songs are not stored on the card, but that was the original plan. We think the space was consumed with map caching and added software features.
There isn’t any “greater” input power for the Superchargers in Europe at 380-400 VAC (220-230 volt per phase) compared to the North American market at 480 VAC (277 volts per phase). Only the cars in Europe are using a three phase charger not used in North America. The Superchargers use the same “single” phase chargers used in cars in North America.
It looks like assumptions were made with the 70D that aren’t correct. First, the car does indeed charge at 120kW (370 amps max at low 300-ish battery voltage.
3100mah Panasonic 18650 cells. These cells are spec’s at 4.2v max, and that’s exactly what Tesla does with them in regen and charging.
85kWh pack – 7104 total cells = 74 cells in parallel * 96 cells in series
16 battery modules are connected in series. There are 6 sections in one module also in series, and each section of 74 cells is connected in parallel.
74 cells in parallel at 4.2 volts each in parallel * 6 * 16 = 403.2 volts pack voltage (max charge / regen)
74 cells in parallel at 4.15 volts each in parallel * 6 * 16 = 398 volts pack voltage (Open Circuit Voltage)
70kWh pack – 6216 total cells = 74 * (6 * 14), or 84 cells in series
14 battery modules (same as a 60kWh battery) are connected in series. There are 6 sections in one module also in series, and each section of 74 cells is connected in parallel (same as 85kWh battery).
74 cells in parallel at 4.2 volts each in parallel * 6 * 14 = 352.8 volts pack voltage (max charge / regen)
74 cells in parallel at 4.15 volts each in parallel * 6 * 14 = 348.6 volts pack voltage (OCV)
60kWh is 14 modules, each with 6 sets of 60 cells in parallel (14 * 6 * 60 = 5040 cells)
84 cells in series (6 * 14)
60 cells in parallel at 4.2 volts each in parallel * 6 * 14 = 352.8 volts pack voltage (max charge / regen)
60 cells in parallel at 4.15 volts each in parallel * 6 * 16 = 348.6 volts pack voltage (OCV)
Thanks for the info. I don’t have access to the European Superchargers, but Tesla has stated on multiple occasions that European Superchargers provide 135 kW vs the North American 120 kW. This must mean the European Superchargers draw more input power from the grid. If you have the exact European input specs (from the label on the Supercharger), we’d love to know.
I’m assuming your numbers on the batteries is conjecture, but if you have an official Tesla source let me know! I should point out we don’t know for sure the exact battery cell details. Panasonic does not provide a spec public sheet on the cells Tesla uses (it’s custom for Tesla). I and everyone else have been going off the closest Panasonic spec sheet to what we think Tesla is using.
Your information on the 70 is in conflict and I have yet to get any confirmation on the actual battery structure for the 70. If the 70 pack voltage is 350V, then the Supercharger can only provide a maximum of 105 kW (like the 60). If it handles 120 kW, then the pack voltage is likely 400V. If you own a 70, and get 120 kW at chargers, then it’s likely the battery configuration is a 400V pack. The label on the battery should indicate the voltage. I’ve looked at two different 70s and the voltage part of the sticker is obscured by the passenger wheel well.
For music formats, the Model S plays 24-bit FLAC with at least 176KHz sampling rate. It also handles USB devices formatted with the EXT4 filesystem without any problems.
Antenna’s do not seem to be in mirrors:
Correction: Antenna – AM/FM/HD Radio General Diagnosis
Diagnose vehicle AM/FM/HD radio. Check for pinch on antenna wires. The wires are ok. Lowered the headliner and re routed antenna wires and cleaned off ground for the Radio Antenna. Checked the reception ok at this time.
There are multiple antennas – in the mirrors and the rear-hatch. The radios use a system that switches to the antenna with the strongest signal. This is a common design in cars today, especially for FM radio. I’ve personally seen the antenna wires that feed into the mirrors.
It’s possible with the addition of electric folding mirrors that they had to remove an antenna, but I’ve not heard that yet (nor seen an electric folding mirror pulled apart yet).
I looked at a trace of network traffic sent over Wi-Fi from my model S. It looks like all traffic is encrypted and sent over OpenVPN. A portscan reveals that all ports are blocked on my car.
The Homelink Antenna is approx 3-5in to the Left of the frunk connector
Hi. The instrument cluster resolution is not correct. BMW’s is 1280×600, but the Tesla is 1280×480 which is more standard for automotive instrument clusters.
Yikes, I can’t find the source of the HD resolution now. I suspect you’re right, especially if they use square pixels as the ratio works out to be a 1280×480 display. What is your source?
MAC= 90:03:B7:XX:XX:XX PARROT
this is very interesting as they make car infotainment systems based on android
Apps + Navigation + Music
Under ‘special access’, you can add that there’s an ethernet port for diagnostics/programming behind the side panel at the left hand end of the dash.
Also found out yesterday there are six sensors to detect the key. Two in the front, two in the back, and one either side attached to the back of the same panel as the ethernet port.
[you can delete this comment after noting the info. Thx.]
do you know if the REST Api is accessible via this ethernet port? Thanx.
From the useragent string it looks like Tesla is using the Qt framework on X11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qt_(framework)
It’s one of the best framework out there.
Why do we think it’s an Android variant, as opposed to a non-Android Linux variant? I thought I read the latter.
I thought I heard it from one of the engineers at the Amped-up event last June, but I could be wrong. The fact it integrates with Google maps, and they have said they will have apps and possibly third-party apps makes Android a good bet. It gets them so much further faster by using Android. Of course they could have home-grown all of it, but seems like a huge amount of duplicate work for what’s available for free with Android.
It was originally supposed to be Android, but they went to a different Linux-variant instead. I assumed it was because of the realtime functionality required.
may be they went to custom due to security, malware threats from apps which may cause potential or dangerous problems to thier cars and owners and eventually Company.
And no rare earth permanent magnets!
Typo: “more double of any other production” in Features. Suggest “more than double that of any …”