While Tesla’s decision to eliminate ultrasonic sensors (USS) from its cars is controversial, the move has financial implications. According to a breakdown of the costs involved by Mile Lane of Munro & Associates, the EV maker will save about $114 on each car it ships without the hardware.
Lane’s figures remain estimates and have not been confirmed by Tesla. However, they offer a financial angle to the decision.
According to Lane’s estimations, each Tesla car was equipped with a dozen USS costing $8 each, making a total of $96 for the sensors alone.
The company spends another $0.15 each on 8 eight heat-staked brackets, with installation labor taking another $1.80.
Each car requires two wire sensor harnesses for the fascia, costing $2.20 each.
Two wiring connectors cost Tesla $0.4 each, which are replicated on the dash for $1.0.
Lastly, Tesla spends $5 each on two integrated circuits.
Add it all up and the total comes to $114 in savings.
With Tesla planning to make upwards of two million cars next year year (with substantial growth in subsequent years), from a financial point of view the decision makes sense as it could save the automaker over $200 million in 2023, the first full year of production without USS.
The loss of ultrasonic sensors is not slowing Tesla down, as it is working on updated Autopark and Smart Summon that is “actually smart,” all with only using the vehicle’s onboard cameras.
You can watch the full video from Munro & Associates below.