Tesla is making a significant shift in how it provides access to its systems with the release of official Application Programming Interfaces (APIs). These APIs have long been unofficially accessed by developers, enabling them to create a range of services that enhance the Tesla experience, but now Tesla is making it official, hinting at the imminent launch of an official app store.
With the new official API documents, Tesla is preparing to transition from the wild west of third-party development to a more regulated and potentially monetized ecosystem. These APIs, which act as intermediaries for data communication between different software platforms, are essential for third-party apps and services to interact seamlessly with Tesla’s vehicles and energy services.
However, Tesla’s API transition comes with some uncertainty. While details remain sparse, the company has introduced a “Free Trial” period during which the APIs will be “temporarily free.” (via NotATeslaApp). The initial tier, known as the “Discovery” tier, allows for one data request per car every 5 minutes, which could pose challenges for many third-party services accustomed to more frequent data access.
Tesla has hinted that the Discovery tier is just the first step and that it will evolve in 2024. Still, specific limits and pricing for other tiers are yet to be disclosed. This shift does not come without concerns however, especially for smaller projects initiated by Tesla owners who use open-source software to develop services. The official API versions may be more restrictive than the existing unofficial ones and could potentially introduce substantial charges, which might hamper the operation of these smaller services.
With the release of the official APIs, this could mean Tesla’s long-awaited app store is just around the corner. The company has been working on this project since 2021, and was rumoured to have a targeted launch date before Cybertruck deliveries. The release of the APIs is the first step in that process, and it comes with Tesla expected to deliver the Cybertruck before the end of the year.
What kind of apps would you like to see on your Tesla? Let us know in the comments below.