Innovation

Tesla: Dazzling drone video captures electric cars in bold new colors

Impressive drone footage shows Tesla's electric car efforts in Shanghai are stepping up, with impressive new colors for the Model 3.

Tesla may be set to give its electric car lineup a bold series of color options.

Drone footage shared on YouTube Saturday showed an array of brightly-colored cars parked at of the electric car company’s Shanghai factory. The vehicles display exotic new pallet choices like mint green, baby blue, pink, and teal.

It could be a sign of Tesla expanding its offerings to offer more color options. Electrek notes that Tesla announced in August 2020 plans to offer a car wrap service, covering the paintwork with an additional layer of film. The announcement detailed a wrap service away from the factory, but the new drone footage may point to the Shanghai factory also offering the service.

Tesla did not respond to an Inverse request for comment ahead of publication.

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On November 6, YouTube user Jason Yang shared a video, captured by drone, of Tesla’s Shanghai facility from the air. The footage was captured two days prior.

Fans noted that, around the 6:13 mark and 8:46 mark, a series of brightly-colored Tesla vehicles are visible parked outside the factory.

If Tesla follows through on the plan, it could follow Apple into offering more colorful products. Laurie Pressman, vice president of the Pantone Color Institute, told Fast Company in 2019 that brighter color helps brands stand out in a social media-focused world.

“If you’re just using grays and beiges, you’re just going to meld into the background and get lost,” Pressman said.

Tesla’s dash of color: How it compares to before

It would make a dramatic shift from Tesla’s existing colors. At the time of writing, the entry-level Model 3 is available in just five colors: pearl white multi-coat, midnight silver metallic, deep blue metallic, solid black, and red multi-coat.

The company used to offer more colors. In September 2018, Tesla emailed customers to explain it will remove the metallic silver and obsidian black options to increase production and service efficiency.

Despite this pared-down selection, the quality of Tesla’s paint has received criticism before. In June 2020, legendary car teardown expert Sandy Munro told Inverse that the paintwork was one of the Tesla’s worst features.

"I don't like the paint job at all," Munro said at the time. "That's a bad paint department. I would be sacking the guy in charge and, during the shutdown, I would have had a whole new paint shop put in."

He’s not the first to notice these issues. InsideEVs reported that same month that Ben Trudgill took his Model 3 in for closer inspection. He found that the paint varied in thickness from 175 micrometers to 46 micrometers.

Tesla’s dash of color: Responding to criticism

In April 2020, Musk claimed that Tesla’s Berlin factory would feature the “world’s most advanced paint shop,” with “more layers of stunning colors that subtly change with curvature.”

At the company’s opening party in October 2021, fans caught a glimpse of Tesla Model Y vehicles in advanced multi-coat blue and red shades. The factory has yet to start production, as it’s awaiting final approval.

That same month, Musk also expressed interest in bringing back the silver paint color as an option, or changing the default color away from white to add variation.

The Inverse analysis — It seems to be a good way to potentially reach a broader market. Wrapping the car in more vibrant colors could push Tesla toward offering further variety without having to paint the cars in varying colors.

As the paint-free Tesla Cybertruck almost seems designed for wrapping, this may not be the last time we see such an offering from Tesla.

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