By on August 2, 2018

Complain about Tesla Motors’ hype machine all you like; it’s still an innovative company. Unfortunately, it has painted itself into a bit of a corner as a result. Still lacking the production might of its much larger competitors, it continues to brand itself as an upstart as it works on improving volume. That means its CEO, Elon Musk, has to continue coming up with new ideas and gimmicks to keep the public impressed.

This week, he came up with a special vehicle mode that would improve the vehicle’s usability while parked. But we can’t exactly tell if it’s a good idea or a bunch of meaningless fluff. Dubbed by Musk as “party & camper mode,” the setting would allow drivers to maintain in-car airflow, regulate the temperature, play music, charge devices, and have access to lighting for up to 48 hours.

There’s no timeline for the feature, but it would likely be done through via over-the-air updates, meaning it could be applied to every Tesla vehicle currently on the road. 

While the heater can be a major power hog on electric vehicles, especially in cold weather, running the rest of the accessories shouldn’t make a huge difference. Assuming it’s a temperate day, the hypothetical camper mode shouldn’t cost you more than a handful of miles in lost range.

You can already run the A/C, heater, and all of the accessories you want in a silent and stationary Tesla and it’ll keep track of your range for roughly 30 minutes before shutting off. It’s unclear as to how the camping mode would be any different beyond extending the time limit. Presumably, it would disable drive mode and optimize power usage.

Tesla was supposed to release an update to keep climate control running for extended periods while the vehicle’s parked late last year. Customers can also jury-rig a faux camper mode by placing the vehicle into neutral and applying the parking brake. While it’s definitely a better car hack than the orange that overrode the safety features associated with Autopilot, it’s far from perfect.

It’s probably best to wait for company to issue a complete update. But 48 hours seems like a bit much, as sleeping in a Tesla for more than six hours at a rest stop seems like the outer limits of what would be needed. Then again, maybe there’s a big outdoor contingent within the EV community we aren’t aware of. Musk noted that feature could be used for camping AND parties — which we all know is code for swinging.

[Image: Tesla]

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40 Comments on “Elon Musk Pitches ‘Party & Camper Mode’ for Tesla Vehicles as Possible Dog Whistle to Swingers...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Yeah, I want to take my Tesla out in the wild where there are plenty of plug-ins available, geez

  • avatar
    Car Guy

    Any and every gimmick in the news to distract from the balance sheet….

  • avatar
    pwrwrench

    If they made a mini van or wagon I might consider getting one, except for the CEO megalomaniac.

  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Good thinking Musky. Just what people want to do when they go out in the wild is sit in your garbage car.

    Let’s face facts, this “feature” is to make the wait on the side of the road a tad better while the owner waits for the tow truck to pick up their POS car.

  • avatar
    Sub-600

    Swingers? Randy, baby, very randy.

  • avatar
    Malforus

    Yeah I thought it was a kind of “Not that impressive” feature that was just made to bury bad news but I don’t see the “Swinger” narrative thing.

    Unless Matt P. is referring to the UK “Carpark swinger scene” which he could have clarified. US swingers tend to do their work at home or with beds.

    I presume the UK parking lot hook up culture is what is being targeted but it feels a bit greasy to jump to that conclusion.

    But on that note the Honda Element should be the best swinger’s car. It can be hosed out and the doors open double-wide.

  • avatar
    Adam Tonge

    It’s a joke. It’ll be okay.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    I get it, this is a new TTAC feature – DJOD – Dumb Joke of the Day.

  • avatar
    jpolicke

    Perhaps Musk could put curtains around the Supercharger stalls. 90 minutes for a fast charge, in more ways than one.

  • avatar
    brandloyalty

    Power drain while heating or air conditioning can be reduced by recirculating the air once cooled or heated. And heating or cooling the seats has the same outcome using even less power. This concept might result in other improvements, such as glass that automatically variably blocks or admits sunlight, or better thermal insulation. And such changes would also improve energy efficiency of ICE cars.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The heat pump my car has doesn’t use a lot of power. If you’re camping, lots of campgrounds have NEMA 14-50 outlets and you can just plug in and run the heat or a/c all you want.

  • avatar
    christophervalle

    TTAC should be re-designated as Trucks, Tesla And Crossovers. There’s precious little about (not Tesla) cars anymore.

    • 0 avatar
      ernest

      While we’re at it, could someone point out what a niche market electric/hybrid anything is inside the confines of the United States? The Europeans might love electrification, urban hipsters are swooning, but the rest of us (97% of the market) could care less.

      • 0 avatar
        ernest

        This year, they sold 34,742 Tesla Model 3’s.

        In the same timeframe, 202,000 Civics found homes, 205,000 Camry’s found homes, 188,000 Corolla, and 161,000 Accords.

        We haven’t even talked about those 522,000 F-Series pickups, or 273,000 Ram’s. So yes, it’s VERY MUCH a niche market. And a money loser too- but we all knew that after the earnings report.

      • 0 avatar
        I_like_stuff

        More like the other 98.4% of us. Total market share of electric cars was a whopping 1.6% last quarter. Yet for some reason 50% or so of articles in the auto media are about electric cars. It would be the equivalent of ESPN devoting 50% of its programming to cricket.

    • 0 avatar

      https://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/author/coreydl/

      Here you go, cars.

  • avatar
    ernest

    According to a UBS analyst, Tesla is LOSING an estimated $16,500 per Model 3 sold. That’s the problem with counting gross revenues. In business, the only thing that counts is profit. I’m questioning whether I’ll live long enough to see Tesla turn one.

    https://www.quora.com/Is-Tesla-losing-money-on-each-Model-3-they-sell

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      They are making money on it now and it’s been backed up by two different teardowns. The link you cited is 2 months old and even it says the 3 might be profitable in a couple of months – which is now.

  • avatar
    ilkhan

    “Possible dog-whistle”? Thats retarded even by TTAC standards.

  • avatar
    la834

    I take it Elon Musk has never gone camping

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    “While the heater can be a major power hog on electric vehicles, especially in cold weather”

    ESPECIALLY in cold weather? As opposed to heater use when it’s 95 outside?

  • avatar
    I_like_stuff

    LOL…Tesla loses money on every car, but they make it up on volume, therefore Tesla is the most profitable car company in the world!!! Say, Big3, you weren’t an accountant for Enron circa 2000/2001 were you?

    • 0 avatar
      I_like_stuff

      Gee I wonder if they taught that stuff during my econ degree undergrad, or my MBA. I’ll have to go back through my notes and check. Thanks for the advice.

      Now ‘splain to me again how Tesla is profitable while losing money again? And not just losing money, losing money after the feds gave Elon $5B. It takes a special kind of scammer to pull that one off. Your rationalization is why Wall St gets a bad name. With a straight face, you tell people Tesla’s doing great, and I guess enough rubes believe that nonsense for a while. But eventually even the rubes catch on, but it’s too late by then.

      See also Housing Bubble 1.0 and 2.0 (which we are in now). All the experts like you are saying everything is fine. What bubble? That’s crazy talk. Housing never goes down. You don’t want to waste your money on rent do you? Buying that $1.5M shack in San Jose is terrific investment. Your Tesla 3 will look great in the driveway.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        to further back up the profitability claims, https://electrek.co/2018/07/16/tesla-model-3-teardown-profitability/

      • 0 avatar
        I_like_stuff

        You’re right. $5B is incorrect. That number was from 2015. It’s most likely well over $6B by now.

        http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-hy-musk-subsidies-20150531-story.html

        As for the GM money, you do know it was paid back and the govt actually made a profit on that loan, right? Well Obama said so, and he never lies so it must be true.

      • 0 avatar
        mcs

        @i_like_stuff: …and how much is that money saving us in launch fees? If musk causes SLS to get cancelled, you’ll see much more than 6 billion saved. I think SLS is $18 billion.

  • avatar
    GrayOne

    It’s not that crazy of an idea. People are already doing this with third party apps.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/features/2016-tesla-camper-mode/


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