Tesla: Elon Musk Advises Consumers to Expect Annual Hardware Revisions, Innovation 'Won't Stop"

Feb 02, 2017 05:12 AM EST

Electric vehicle enthusiasts be warned, Tesla is not joking about innovation. Tesla CEO and founder Elon Musk told prospective buyers that the future is always here, and their cars are no exception.

According to Tech Crunch, Musk made this comment after a Twitter question about the possibility of a paid upgrade path for existing vehicle owners who also want new sensors, computers and other components now shipped in the 'HW2'-equipped Teslas.

Tesla clarified in a Tweet that Tesla will be significantly revising their tech on existing models, and that big changes to vehicles will arrive annually or after every year and a half.

This is quite the aggressive upgrade pace than other models like GM, Toyota and Ford. Cars remain relatively static in their base design for almost five years, acquiring new and smaller features along the way. However, most of them do not see "major revisions" that may opt consumers to buy entirely new cars.This appears to be not the case with self-driving Tesla cars such as the HW1 and HW2 models S and X.

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Some owners may see this in the wrong way. Tesla, after all, is already a huge investment. If there are significant model revisions every few or so years like how smartphones are upgraded, then it can really be frustrating. However, Tesla is willing to do this trade-off to "push the pace in innovation."

Musk also noted that retrofitting older cars with the HW2 kit will be complicated as this requires the cars to be stripped off and have 300 parts replaced. Focusing on upgrades also hinders Tesla's ability to make new technology for their cars.

Meaning, Tesla is overall an entirely different kind of car company from the expectations of consumers. "Future-proofing" more or less always involves handcuffing to the past, but Tesla does not want to stand still.

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