Tesla bigwigs Elon Musk and JB Straubel are on tour in Europe, having question and answer sessions with Tesla owners and fans. At the Amsterdam and Oslo meetings, they covered a number of interesting topics.
Version 6.0 of the software, which is now in beta testing, and should be rolled out in a few weeks, will include real-time traffic information, and the ability to raise and lower the suspension manually or automatically as desired. Also on the way is a Software Development Kit, which will allow people to create 3rd-party applications, hopefully by 2015.
Tesla has no current plans to implement vehicle-to-home or vehicle-to-grid technology, but is working on a system that uses separate batteries for stationary storage, which should be available around the end of 2014.
Superchargers are being installed at a rate of around five per week. Europe will be totally covered by the end of 2014. The charging speed of the Superchargers has been gradually increased, and even speedier charging is on the way. Eventually, most of the stations in Europe will run at 135 kW, which is about the limit of what the battery pack, cooling system and other components can handle.
Mr Musk sees no major increase in battery capacity in the next five years, although there might be incremental improvements. 10 years from now “it should be a different story.”
Battery swapping between Los Angeles and San Francisco should be up and running on a trial basis in a few months. If people use it a lot, it will be expanded. Elon notes that, as charging gets better, the demand for swapping will wane.
The company is now testing a CHAdeMO adapter for Europe, which should be available around April (according to Tesla’s web site, the US adapter is “coming soon”). As for an adapter for the new European Combo standard, they’re going to wait and see.