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Tesla Semi truck is now available to order — here's when it should hit the road

tesla semi
(Image credit: Tesla)

Tesla is the biggest name in the electric vehicles world at the moment, having somewhat blazed a trail with all-electric cars despite being a rather new company compared to tradition car brands. And it's been a year of ups and downs for Tesla.

And as such, the Tesla has a lot going on around it from new cars to EV thoughts spouted by Elon Musk. So we now have a rolling collection of news and updates from Tesla, giving you a one-stop-shop to track what's going on at the company. 

So read on for the latest news from Tesla and why you might want to get a bit excited about what's coming from Tesla this year an beyond. 

Latest Tesla news (updated May 17)

May 17: You're one step closer to seeing electric Tesla Semi trucks on the road

The Tesla Semi truck has been delayed more times than we can count, but now it's actually possible to order one. It only took five years.

While most drivers won't have any interest in driving a semi truck, let alone one with a $150,000 starting price and a $20k non-refundable deposit. But the fact orders are now open to the general public means we're one step closer to seeing electric trucks on highways instead of gas guzzlers.

Last month Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that he expects the Semi to hit the roads in 2023 — alongside the Cybertruck and Roadster. Like the other two, we don't have a precise window for when deliveries will begin, but it is happening.

Tesla isn't the only company working on electric semi trucks, nor will it be the first company to put them on the roads. Startup Nikola delivered two all-electric Semis last December, as part of a pilot program. Amazon also added five all-electric trucks to its U.K. fleet back in March.

May 4: New Tesla Model S and X infotainment screens swivel to improve your view

Part of the Tesla experience is having a fully-featured infotainment screen in your center console. Previously that screen was fixed in place, which could make it harder to see in certain conditions. Fortunately the latest Model S and Model X cars have a motorized swivel feature to make the viewing experience much better.

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As you can see in the Larry Li's tweet above, the screen can tilt from one side to the other. Controlled from the settings menu, it seems as though you can tilt the screen to face the driver, passenger, or stay centered.

Considering there's so much packed into the infotainment display, a better viewing angle is likely to be a big help. Especially while you're driving, or if the sun is shining at the absolute worst angle to see what's on screen.

It's not clear when the change was made, but Li claims this car was produced in the last week of April. It may be that only the most recent models are equipped with the new tech, so expect to see more of these screens as time goes on.

April 19: Your new Tesla won't come with a free mobile charger

Tesla's Gen 2 Mobile Connector Bundle lets you plug your car into a standard household outlet, meaning you can recharge just about anywhere. Previously the bundle was included with your Tesla at the point of sale, but that's no longer the case.

Elon Musk confirmed this news on Twitter, citing statistics that claimed Mobile Connector usage was "super low". Which is not surprising given the fact the Mobile Connector's 1.3 kW charging speed can only recharge 2-3 miles of range every hour. That means recharge time is measured in days, rather than hours, which is 

However Musk confirmed that some changes were being made. If you want to buy a Mobile Connector, the price will be dropping from $275 to $200. Tesla will also be including some additional adapters, likely so you can plug the car into 240v outlets or Type 1 EV chargers if they're available. 

Thankfully Superchargers and Tesla home chargers, which can recharge significantly faster, will plug straight into any Tesla without an adapter.

April 13: The standard range Model Y is making a comeback

After many rumors, Elektrek is reporting that the standard range Tesla Model Y is making a comeback. Tesla canceled the original Standard Range Model Y in February 2021, due to it having a (relatively) low range of 244 miles. That left the Long Range Model Y, currently priced at $62,990, as the cheapest model.

But thanks to the new 4860 battery packs, which offer significantly better power capacity than previous batteries, Tesla is bringing back the cheapest Model Y. This new model offers a dual motor all-wheel drive system, rather than rear wheel drive of its predecessor, 279 miles of range and a $59,990 starting price. 

Unfortunately Elektrek reports that the car is only available to Tesla employees right now, with the first ones being delivered at the Giga Rodeo event last week. However sources say that the car will be made available to ordinary buyers "in the weeks ahead".

Mar 15: Tesla raised all its prices again

"Tesla price increase" is a phrase we've been hearing all too much of in recent months, but here it is again. Earlier this week Tesla chances the prices on its online configurator once more, and means the cheapest Tesla car, the Model 3, now starts at $46,990. That's a $2,000 price increase.

The long range Model 3 is now $2,500 more, despite already getting a $1,000 price hike last week, and costs $54,490. The Performance model went up by $3,000, and will now cost you $61,990.

Other models haven't been spared either. The long range Model Y now costs $62,990, having suffered a $1,000 price increase last week and an additional $2,000 this time. The Performance Model Y went up by $3,000 to $67,990.

The already-expensive Model S and Model X models weren't spared either. The standard Model S now starts at $99,990, while the Plaid is now $135,990, both of which are $5,000 increases. The Model X, the most expensive range in Tesla's line-up, now starts at $114,990 for the standard model and $138,990 for the Plaid. Respective increases of $10,000 and $12,500.

As to why, the increase is presumably down to the supply chain and the increasing cost of materials. The price of Nickel, a key component in EV batteries, has seen its price surging in recent weeks.

The good news is the changing price only affects new orders. So if you reserved a Tesla back when prices were lower, that should be the price you pay.

Mar 11: Tesla is prioritizing orders with $12,000 Full Self-Driving add-on

It's no secret that Tesla can have trouble meeting demand, and there are some pretty hefty wait times for some of its cars — especially the Model X. But if you have the money to pay for Full Self Driving, you may be able to get your car earlier than if you didn't.

InsideEVs notes that the wait time for a Model Y is around six months, however adding the $12,000 FSD add-on shortens your wait time to just two. Meanwhile the standard Model 3 would arrive in May, while a FSD-equipped model would arrive a month earlier.

So if you want a Tesla, and you want it pronto, you might have to shell out an additional $12,000 for the privilege.

tesla model 3 at a supercharger station

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Feb 28: 'Track Mode' is coming to non-performance Teslas.

Tesla is going to give drivers considerably more control over their car's setting, even if they don't own one of the company's Performance or Plaid model cars. 

Elon Musk has g it will be coming to Model 3 and Model Y — even if you own a standard or Long Range version of either car. Or, at least, it will if you have the Acceleration Boost upgrade.

Track Mode lets you adjust handling, traction control and regenerative braking, and modify the balance of the car. On top of this Tesla will visualize various specs on your car's screen, including g-force, temperature of various parts, and so on.

On top of this, your car's dash cam will automatically save each lap as a separate video, provided you set up star and finish markers.

There's no timeline on this, or whether cars without Acceleration Boost will get the upgrade. So sit tight, and just be patient.

Feb 28: Full Self-Driving Beta is rolling out to Canada

Tesla's Full Self-Driving Autopilot may be available in various parts of the world, but the beta program is only available in the U.S. Or it was, because it's also started rolling out in Canada.

The beta is an opt-in program, provided your driving can pass Tesla's "safety test score", and gives FSD drivers access to new software and features before they roll out to the public. And now it's going to start being available if you live in Canada. But tough luck if you live outside of North America.

Canadian FSD drivers can request access to the beta on their car's infotainment screen. Head to Controls > Autopilot > Request Full-Self Driving Beta and follow the on-screen instructions.

Tesla Model S

(Image credit: Tesla)

Feb 23: Tesla wants you to be able to play Steam games in its cars

There may be a day in the near future where you can access your Steam library inside your car. Or, at least, that's what Tesla CEO Elon Musk is gunning for, by tweeting the company's intention to let Tesla play Steam games — rather than simply porting titles one by one.

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The ability to game in a Tesla is nothing new. More recent Model S and Model X cars can play AAA titles like The Witcher 3 and, at some point in the future, Cyberpunk 2077. Other cars can also play various less resource-hungry mini games.

Obviously adding Steam games would be a huge boost. While it's pretty unnecessary to be able to play video games in your car right now, Musk has previously claimed that “entertainment will be critical when cars drive themselves.” He isn't wrong, but we're still a way off cars being able to do all the heavy lifting with no driver input — no matter how many times Musk tries to claim otherwise.

Which gives Tesla plenty of time to work on expanding its cars' limited gaming libraries. Just so long as it doesn't let people play them when they're driving.

Feb 18: Tesla's letting older Model 3 owners upgrade their trunk — but only in China (for now)

Tesla has announced a new upgrade program that will allow people to pay $650 to retrofit their old Model 3 with a power tailgate — or, in other words, a motorized trunk hatch that can open and close itself. But there's a catch in that the upgrade is only available in China right now.

Older Model 3 EVs were sold without a power tailgate, a feature that many would expect at its price point. Some have resorted to aftermarket installations from third parties, but Tesla is now offering Chinese customers the chance to get the work done by authorized Tesla engineers . That $650 asking price included parts and labor.

Tesla seems to be making a habit of announcing things in China before the rest of the world of late — it recently began offering a first-party wrapping service in the country, too. Expect that, and the tailgate upgrade, to expand internationally eventually.

Photograph of a white Tesla model 3 charging through the supercharger.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
Tom Pritchard
Tom Pritchard

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online. 

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