On Friday, Hughes, who is known for hacking the Model S, took to the social media site to post a cryptic note to Tesla, saying, "I know your secret." The tweet included a code, which was decrypted by members of the Tesla Motors Club to reveal "P100D".
Hughes applauded the quick decoding by the Tesla community, revealing in another tweet a "P100D" badge imaged he found encoded in a Tesla Firmware update, essentially confirming that Tesla will be releasing vehicles equipped with a 100-kWh battery pack. Tesla recently discontinued its 85-kWh, and the upcoming "plood" (as the P100D has been affectionately nicknamed) is no huge surprise. It is, however, a welcome boost in range over Tesla's current highest offering, and a bigger increase than Musk's previously stated five percent per year. It's definitely a big step toward the 300-mile driving range benchmark.
Then things took a strange turn for Hughes. He claims that Tesla retaliated by attempting to downgrade his Model S Firmware. He caught the move, blocked the process and took to Twitter again to talk about it.
Elon Musk responded, saying the firmware downgrade wasn't his call. Notably absent is any denial of the P100D. Also, Musk even seemed to praise Hughes, saying, "Good hacking is a gift."
For the moment, Hughes is placated. He tells Teslarati, "Yeah, seems I've gotten Musk's attention on the matter. That's enough of a truce for me for the time being on it to give them a chance to sort things out. Long story short, Tesla really should watch what they put into production firmware if they don't want details about it posted. I'm not the only person with access to their car's internals, and under no real obligation to keep anything I find secret on Tesla's behalf." Still, the question of ownership over one's own vehicle still hangs heavy in what Musk didn't say.
Hughes also tells Teslarati that he spotted more new upcoming features in the recent updates, so there could be more to the story soon. Beyond seeing what Tesla has in store for its customers, it'll be interesting to see how the company's relationship with hackers continues to develop.