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Tesla plans: precious metal-free motors, new Supercharger and ‘next-generation model’

The 2023 Tesla Investor Day saw the brand discuss new manufacturing processes and battery technology, but was light on new cars

Tesla Investor Day teaser

Tesla has outlined some key aspects of  how it plans to accelerate its push towards sustainable, clean transport – but the firm has stopped short of giving more than a few details about its much-vaunted more affordable model.

The American brand made an extensive presentation to investors at its Texas facility. Executives promised again that the controversial Cybertruck would enter production this year – and said that techniques learned about its manufacturing and construction would be used in the ‘next-generation model’. These methods, which eschew the tried-and-tested car production line process in favour of a more modular but parallel system, allow cost savings of up to 50 per cent, Tesla claims, along with a 40 per cent reduction in factory footprint.

Tesla’s chief designer, Franz von Holzhausen, told investors at the event that while he wanted to show them the next-generation vehicle, it will come “at a later date”. Later in the same presentation, however, the company’s powertrain boss Colin Campbell said that Tesla is working towards having no precious metals at all in the next-gen car’s motors. 

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He also said that all Teslas from Cybertruck onwards would be based on a 48-volt electronics architecture, and predicted that the next spec of drive unit, with 75 per cent less silicon carbide, would have an “all-in cost of around $1,000 [£831]”. “We don’t think there’s anyone else in the auto industry who’s anywhere near that level,” he said. Tesla is still aiming to be able to produce the car for half the cost of the current Model 3.

Rebecca Tinucci, Tesla’s boss of charging infrastructure, revealed that more than half of all of the firm’s Superchargers across Europe are now open to non-Tesla models. She also said that a new generation of charger is being rolled out, complete with a longer cable designed to make it easier to hook up non-Teslas to the system, and teased a Supercharger charging ‘location’ based around a diner restaurant.

Two shrouded vehicles appeared in slides shown at the event; one looked like a type of boxy MPV, while the other appeared to have a saloon silhouette that could even be an evolution of the existing Model S.

Click here for our list of the best electric cars on sale right now...

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Editor-at-large

John started journalism reporting on motorsport – specifically rallying, which he had followed avidly since he was a boy. After a stint as editor of weekly motorsport bible Autosport, he moved across to testing road cars. He’s now been reviewing cars and writing news stories about them for almost 20 years.

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