Tesla fans who plan on buying a Tesla in the future might want to hurry up as the EVs could become a lot more expensive once the company’s output becomes fully autonomous. That’s according to a string of tweets by CEO Elon Musk in response to another tweet, citing Tesla delivery numbers.
“All HW2+ cars are upgradable to full self-driving capability with Tesla FSD computer & all production in past few months has FSD computer,” Musk said, “HW2” referring to the Tesla system that enables full self-driving functionality in the cars.
“Production fully switched over ~3 months ago. Functionality won’t diverge until Q4, as it’s limited by software validation. Will be later for Europe compared to rest of world due to regulatory constraints that were put in place years ago by big ICE companies.”
Musk was then asked whether the prices for Tesla models would go up as self-driving cars would be in high demand, Musk answered in the affirmative. Electrek’s Fred Lambert noted this was not the first time Musk talked about Teslas going fully autonomous: turning Teslas into revenue-generating robotaxis was part of Musk’s so-called Master Plan, Part Deux. Related: Shale Boom Reshuffles Global Top 50 Oil & Gas List
Indeed, if Teslas become fully autonomous and transport regulations are changed to accommodate self-driving cars, the price for a Tesla would soar: as Lambert notes in his report, Tesla itself calculated that a robotaxi could generate more than US$300,000 in profits over its lifetime. This means that if someone wants to buy such a vehicle, they would likely have to pay a six-figure sum for it based on these profit expectations.
And yet when Musk confirmed Tesla fans have ‘a limited time” to buy a relatively affordable Tesla, he certainly didn’t mean they have a year or two. Transport regulations are still behind. Last year, the House of Representatives passed a bill setting uniform standards for autonomous vehicles, but that’s about as far as legislative efforts in this respect have gone. The technology is simply too new and untrustworthy for many, and legislators are not into the habit of rushing regulatory changes that could end up blowing up in their face.
By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com
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