Tesla Investor Day 2023: Musk's Master Plan is to accelerate car production to reshape the fate of the planet.

Author: Chang Yan

It is said that many people got up at 5 am today to wait for Tesla’s longest-ever conference.

All of this is related to Musk’s previous announcement that he will release the Master Plan 3 at this year’s investor conference. For Tesla and the new energy automobile industry, the two versions of Master Plan previously released by Musk have been proved to be absolutely correct and forward-looking by history. Therefore, when the whole industry is permeated with the breath of a stalemate Melee about to begin, everyone is also waiting for Musk to open his answer to the future topic.

Electric Planet

Musk’s Master Plan 3 is summed up very simply: he wants to electrify the whole earth.

Musk said that in our lifetime, he wants to turn the earth into a completely electrified planet using sustainable energy. This plan is not only limited to cars and energy products produced by Tesla, but also involves all aspects of the earth.

He emphasized that 80% of the world’s energy now comes from fossil fuels, and these energies will bring pollution. More importantly, people have entered the misunderstanding of fossil fuels. “Using fossil fuels actually wastes a lot of energy, and people always calculate future energy based on the current consumption of fossil fuels”. In fact, due to the extremely high efficiency of sustainable energy, “the electrification economy will use fewer resources than (fossil fuel) economy”.

At the conference, Tesla proposed that about $100 trillion of investment is needed to build a sustainable earth. Musk reiterated that this number may seem large, but it is actually quite reasonable compared to the size of the global economy.We are trying to convey a message filled with hope and optimism.

It is based on realistic physics and calculations, not wishful thinking.

The Earth can and will move towards a sustainable energy economy, and it will happen in your lifetime!

The following interesting charts vividly demonstrate Elon Musk’s efficiency demonstration for electric energy, taking the example of ore trucks, which can be achieved with very little sustainable energy compared to the large amount of fossil energy required in the past.

Tesla also outlined several specific technological paths for driving Earth changes:

  1. Popularize heat pumps in areas such as houses, which can save a lot of energy and improve efficiency for many industries.

  1. By using hydrogen and optimizing high-temperature heat transfer efficiency in the industrial sector, energy consumption can be greatly reduced.

  1. Airplanes, ships, and trains need to be replaced with electric drives. At least Musk believes that all vehicles except rockets can be driven by electricity.

  2. Deploy as many electric vehicles as possible. Musk believes that Tesla may eventually have a fleet of about 1.4 billion vehicles worldwide.

  3. Incorporate more sustainable energy into the power grid system.

# Another Evolution of the Automotive Production Structure

Returning to the specifics of Tesla’s business, apart from chemical issues such as lithium refining, what’s more important is how to produce vehicles more efficiently and what types of vehicles to produce, which determines the size of their fleet.

When Tesla introduced its future fleet, two new vehicles appeared underneath the veil.

One of them was the long-awaited, next-generation platform for an even more affordable vehicle, and the other was the highly-anticipated van, which will serve as a ride tool in the age of RoboTaxis.

Tesla says that this van, along with the Semi, will form the commercial vehicle sector of Tesla’s business, with profits potentially reaching as high as 83%.

It’s clear that both of these vehicles will require larger production volumes, hence the need for updated designs.

Design for efficiency, efficiency for cost — this is the essence of Tesla’s approach when building their vehicle architecture.

Tesla claims that during its early years when it had few employees, it was the smaller scale that allowed them to focus more on refining details in their vehicles, such as with the original Model S.

As time went on, Tesla began looking at vehicle production from a new perspective. The Model 3 was a major turning point, and the company experienced a production hell. The conflict lay in the fact that Tesla was trying to make a product designed for automated production, but still required manual labor, leading to many difficulties.

And this year’s Cybertruck is considered a completely new product by Tesla, because it took the manufacturing process into consideration from the design phase.

Firstly, it is easy to manufacture, and secondly it is very environmentally friendly, because its stainless steel body requires no paint or stamping, which not only reduces the carbon emissions in these processes, but also completely changes the production process of traditional car manufacturing by skipping many inefficient processes like stamping, welding, painting, and assembly.

Cybertruck also brings many innovations in electronic and electrical structures. Tesla said that the low-voltage platform of the entire vehicle will be upgraded from 12V to 48V, and the redesigned electronic and electrical architecture will also help achieve better wiring paths and reduce the overall weight of wiring harness. Although Tesla did not explicitly state how much wiring harness weight Cybertruck would reduce, they provided the final assessment score of the last design optimization: Model 3’s wiring harness weight is 17kg lighter than that of Model S.

Here, the importance of electronic and software can be seen. These software can also help Tesla in production line and automation design, making the final product both high-performance and easy to assemble.

For Cybertruck, Tesla is designing 85% of the controllers inside the car. On the next-generation platform, Tesla is designing 100% of the controllers.And the two cars mentioned at the beginning of this paragraph will push Tesla into a new production architecture. Tesla stated that vehicles on the next-generation platform will reduce the use of silicon carbide by 75%, can use any chemical formula battery without using any rare earth materials, and can reduce factory space by 50%.

This is because a large number of processes will be optimized, and more workers can participate in the production of a car at the same time. The operation space density is increased by 44%, the space-time efficiency is increased by 30%, and the factory’s economic efficiency is improved by 50%.

Tesla mentioned that large-scale production has a considerable effect on cost reduction. From 2018 to 2022, the cost of the Model 3 decreased by 30%.

When AI Steps into the Factory

Coincidentally, on Investor Day, Tesla announced that Giga Texas had completed the production of the four millionth vehicle.

Compared with the first one million cars that took 12 years, it only took less than seven months to produce the fourth million.

Helping production speed up, in addition to humans, there are humanoid robots.

# Tesla Robots

Compared to robots, human limitations are too many. For example, humans cannot give birth in a factory and the newborn cannot immediately contribute to the factory, but robots can.

At this investor conference, Tesla showcased a new robot video. Compared to AI Day a year ago, the robot’s appearance is more pleasing to the eye, with more coverings, and more importantly, it has more manual skills. In the video of the press conference, Tesla’s robot picks up another robot’s arm, assembles it into a whole, and then both robots work together.

Musk believes that humanoid robots can be used to produce humanoid robots to quickly expand the factory’s manufacturing scale. Robots may only be the carrier of AI, and the value of AI is everywhere in Tesla’s production and operation.

Tesla cited an example. Previously, the capacity of heat pumps seriously affected their supply chain capacity. Through AI analysis, Tesla solved the problem of heat pump assembly by optimizing the automation logic.

Similarly, the new production tool process exhibited by the company in the Kato Road battery test line during the battery day improved the production rate of 4680 batteries by more than 20 times.

This has also brought Tesla a comprehensive growth in the production field, providing possibilities for producing more new products. In the product roadmap of the energy storage sector, we also see the figures of two new products.

Mexico’s long-awaited Tesla factory has finally been announced after endorsements from the news agency, the secretary, the foreign minister and the president.

Musk said that Giga Mexico will be used to produce the next generation of platform products. From an external perspective, Giga Mexico inherits the construction philosophy of Giga Texas, and it remains unknown what kind of internal structural processes will evolve.

But we know that Tesla’s production goal is to ultimately produce a new car every 45 seconds.

It’s hard to imagine the excitement of the people of Mexico when the governor of Leon state, where the factory is located, even made a poster with Tesla’s logo shining alongside the entire state’s logo.

Seeing is believing

As Musk stated directly in the Q&A session at the end, all questions about new products were not part of the content of this release, but obviously, not speaking doesn’t mean you can’t see.

At the entrance of the press conference, there were two brand new color-matched Model Ys on display, which came all the way from Giga Berlin with multi-layer cherry red and mercury silver finishes. Tesla had previously indicated that these two colors would also be produced in the United States, but it is unknown when they will be available in China.

Cybertruck, without doubt, is currently the hottest topic, and Tesla generously showcased the latest production version of the car here. Except for the triangular rearview mirror we saw last time, this time we have the opportunity to see more details.

The most noticeable is the brand new steering wheel style, after trying the Yoke and circular steering wheel coexistence scheme on Plaid, Tesla has brought out a combination that looks more like the offspring of the two: a horizontal, enclosed square-shaped steering wheel on both top and bottom.

I think the biggest challenge for Tesla’s sales after the release of this steering wheel is to figure out which of the three steering wheels is the best, a topic that is worth their careful research.

Similarly, there are many mysteries inside the car.

Looking closely at the front opening line, this time the opening and closing method of the front trunk has changed from the original front cover that was more similar to the current model to one that can be turned up from the bumper. We have seen this large opening design in many electric pickup trucks, offering more convenient access to objects, as well as providing a very large workspace.

The biggest change this time is the tail box. The button area on both sides has been redesigned. The adjustment button of the rear air suspension can be seen, which can easily control the height of the tail box.

In addition, the slide rail in the tail box has also been redesigned, which may facilitate the connection of more devices.

As early as 2019, when the Cybertruck first appeared, the advertisement showed the top-of-the-windshield spotlight. The two horizontal grooves that appeared this time may be used to accommodate it.

In addition, someone discovered a screen in the rear of the Cybertruck in the PPT introducing the low-voltage section. Compared with the current models we have seen, the Cybertruck may have more interior decoration levels available.

The two easter eggs also appear in Tesla’s official introduction.

The two innovations will both fall into the category of energy supplements.

This is the charging complex in Tesla’s conception. People can enjoy various entertainment activities around Tesla’s supercharging facilities, such as eating and watching movies.

This is actually Musk’s “childhood dream” a long time ago. Three years ago, it was reported that Tesla wanted to build a theater-restaurant similar to this one in Santa Monica Beach. Even the design was made public, but there was no follow-up.

As you can see, there was no Cybertruck in this design, so it should be a work before 2019.

The other one is even more amazing. In displaying the charging equipment, not only did we see charging devices on the wall that had never been seen before, but also charging pads on the ground. It is obvious that this is a set of wireless charging equipment. For Tesla in the FSD era, such equipment is undoubtedly a significant demand to achieve the energy supplement for autonomous vehicle fleet.

Although there is no official announcement, we believe that Tesla will give an official answer to them soon.

From five o’clock until now, some are happy and some are worried about this press conference. The most worried ones must be the consumers who want to see new cars but could not. But as we all know, Investor Day has always been a stage for Tesla to preach the company’s value to shareholders and investors. Compared with a simple interpretation of the financial report in previous years, the value of this press conference is undoubtedly huge.

From 1 to 2 to 3, Tesla’s focus has shifted from cars to energy to the fate of the planet in its Master Plan.

We may have just witnessed the great beginning of a dream in these few moments.

This article is a translation by ChatGPT of a Chinese report from 42HOW. If you have any questions about it, please email bd@42how.com.