If you haven’t already heard the news, notoriously enigmatic Tesla founder, Elon Musk, tweeted yesterday that Tesla will end range anxiety for the entire Model S fleet via software update. There will be a press conference held this Thursday, March 19th, at 9AM in which Musk will discuss the details of this mysterious software update. As of now, there is no news as to what kind of update this will be or what it will change, only that it will be an OTA (Over The Air, basically meaning wirelessly downloadable) update that will end range anxiety.
That’s a mighty bold claim, even for a man like Elon Musk. I’m a fan of Musk and his lofty goals, as it shows a certain pioneer spirit lost in many automakers today. However, claiming to end range anxiety through something as simple as a software update seems to be a bit of a stretch. Knowing Musk’s penchant for hyperbole, I’m assuming that’s what this is, but there’s always a part of me that doesn’t want to doubt any man who owns his own space program.
As of right now, there is only speculation as to what this could mean. Many assume that it will have something to do with Tesla’s Supercharging stations and will allow the Model S to charge at an even more rapid rate. Some say it will be optimizing software to allow further range. I happen to think that Musk is being clever with his wording.
By saying he’s “about to end range anxiety”, I think he is talking about the anxiety itself. He could very well mean that this software update will help locate and identify all charge points, Supercharger or otherwise, even better than before, or something along those lines. Elon Musk loves his theatrics, so it wouldn’t be a surprise if all of this supposed ending of range anxiety ends up being something as simple as making it easier for customers to find charge points or something of the like.
However, Musk is also known to break new ground often, so maybe he and Tesla have a special trick up their sleeves. Regardless, I’m sure BMW has its eye closely on this press conference date. Range is one of the strongest arrow in Tesla’s quiver and if it becomes even stronger, than the hill to climb for BMW and other competitors becomes even greater. On the flipside, it’s entirely possible that Mr. Musk’s announcement could help BMW and the rest of the industry. If something as simple as a software update could aid range anxiety, then why can’t the rest of the industry do something similar?
Obviously, this is all just speculation. I know nothing about what Musk is going to be announcing and neither does anyone else. As usual, we’re all left wondering what the enigmatic billionaire is going to do next. Until Thursday, that is.