The Tesla Model 3 Doesn't Have FM Radio Right Now But It Will

Photo credit Tesla
Photo credit Tesla

There are certain standard features on cars that we’re so accustomed to that we don’t even think about them much. Seat belts, for one. The steering wheel. Pedals. Or FM radio, a staple on cars for decades now. But as some videos surmised, the earliest examples of the Tesla Model 3 do not have FM radio—but they reportedly will by the time the public gets them.


On Monday video surfaced examining the sparse and minimalist touch screen controls on Tesla’s upcoming entry level electric sedan, and the people in the front seats couldn’t figure out how to use the FM radio—even though Tesla’s own site lists FM radio (but not AM radio) as an included option. They could find only internet streaming radio. I initially suspected this was user error.

But it’s not. Tesla confirmed to Jalopnik that the current crop of Model 3s do not have FM radio enabled. However, the company also confirmed that feature, and Bluetooth audio streaming, will be made available soon via an over-the-air software update. No timetable was given.

Maybe it doesn’t matter, since Tesla hasn’t started Model 3 sales to public customers yet, just employee customers in its early program. So by the time you, an actual human being, goes to drive the Model 3 you purchased, you should be able to listen to this country’s innumerable radio stations called “The Beat.” And stream audio off your device.

Editor-in-Chief at Jalopnik. 2002 Toyota 4Runner.


I’ve never heard a proper explanation of exactly why some electric cars don’t have AM radio, but the i3 doesn’t have it either.

Is it something to do with electrical interference (like when trolley/bus electric lines interfere with AM radio signals) or is it just that manufacturers can’t be bothered to add in a properly insulated antenna on these cars?

(Also a grievance I have is that my new Mercedes, which has AM radio, doesn’t have a setting to pick up the weather band like older Mercs. I know it’s usually not useful but it was still a cool feature.)