Any chance AM Radio will ever be added to the Model 3?

Any chance AM Radio will ever be added to the Model 3?

Waiting for my AWD and wondering is there a technical reason why there is no Am radio or is it just an assumption that its not important for Tesla owners to have. I'm a big sports fan, I'm sure there are plenty FM simulcast, online, apps and streaming options. None of those appeal to me more than just turning the radio on and selecting the station. Obviously this wouldn't prevent me from buying this car and it might seem inconsequential to most but its actually a big deal to me.

Magic 8 Ball | 11 juli 2018

Probably not.
I was upset about it for a while.
I am over it now.

Most games can be live streamed now which, for me, is even better since I will now be able to listen to my favorite sports broadcasters, while driving.

gadget63 | 11 juli 2018

I'm a little disappointed too. When you travel on the interstates, traffic and emergency warnings are broadcast over the AM radio...

Xerogas | 11 juli 2018

@marinergreg: No. Tech reason is likely the electronics in the car produce so much interference that AM sounds terrible.

leo33 | 11 juli 2018

I'm going to add an AM radio to my Model 3 by purchasing a portable one, preset it to wsdot Highway Advisory Radio frequencies, and stashing it in the console. I'm not counting on Tesla adding one. A variation on that approach might work for you.

marinergreg | 11 juli 2018

I can't believe I didn't think of the reception interference from the car. How well does the FM work?

Xerogas | 11 juli 2018

@marinergreg: "I can't believe I didn't think of the reception interference from the car. How well does the FM work?"
FM sounds fine to me. Especially when it pulls in HD stations

EVRider | 12 juli 2018

Model S/X have AM radio. Maybe the 3 will get it too.

centurionusa | 12 juli 2018

If you haven't check TuneIn for the AM stations you listen to. All the local stations I listen to here in the Chicago area are on TuneIn. I don't have my Model 3 yet but I use TuneIn on my phone.

gballant4570 | 12 juli 2018

I am still just a bit bummed by no Android Auto. I am sure that one day I will look back and laugh at myself.....but for now I want it. Probably won't get it.

But sitting in the M3 on Tuesday in the Tesla store, the navigation screen looked so much better than the Google nav screen on my Android Auto head unit 5" screen that it wont be long after taking delivery that the laughing will start....

billlake2000 | 12 juli 2018

snowball, look around ya. see all that fire and brimstone? snowball? snowball? where'd the hell you go, snowball?

rxlawdude | 14 juli 2018

EVRider | July 12, 2018
Model S/X have AM radio. Maybe the 3 will get it too.

Um, X never had AM radio (but did have XM option). Now, the S no longer has AM, either. (But XM option).

After a 3,500 mile road trip passing multiple signs "Tune to AM xxxx for information...", I'm totally lost as to why Tesla omitted AM, but clearly the intent was to eliminate it from all their contemporary vehicles.

TuneIn and Slacker work okay, if 1-5 minute interruptions and not having either of these in cellular deserts don't bother you. But at least an XM option would cover those eventualities and also provide a way to listen to MLB and other sports that are NOT rebroadcast on TuneIn.

So, Tesla, throw us a bone: XM option for the "premium audio" like in the S/X.

accentcreate | 14 juli 2018

AM essential in outback Australia and much of Europe where internet coverage is non-existent and FM limited to local town stations.

George M | 17 december 2018

It's my 3rd day and I'm shocked by this admission which I found out yesterday. I'll look into Streaming. To the decision makers at Tesla, please correct this major blunder.

ModernTriDad | 17 december 2018

I haven’t used AM radio in 35+ years, since I was a kid. I knew some coworkers that used it for talk radio shows, but nobody I know uses it. I guess now I know it is still a thing in some regions.

dmaini | 17 december 2018

Just put it on Tune in.. it should work through that app

douger1la | 17 december 2018

check your local listing to see, most AM radio stations are broadcast on an FM HD2 channel

jvcesare | 17 december 2018

Here is an article about EVs and AM radio. The electromagnetic frequencies generated by the vehicles’ electric-powered motors occupy the same wavelength as AM radio signals.

charles.a.braun | 17 december 2018

AM radio works just fine in our Model S

jacapuano | 17 december 2018

There are some AM stations available on the app. You could install the app on your phone and stream via Bluetooth. Not a perfect solution as cellular reception can be spotty and not all stations are available on the app. Just thought this might help.

M3BlueGeorgia | 17 december 2018


Driving through Kansas around Thanksgiving, the road status stations were all FM. And all useless.

Earl and Nagin ... | 17 december 2018

Unfortunately, clearly the folks at Tesla don't understand what AM radio is. After all, the icon is a quarter note for music. AM radio isn't very good for music. Its for broadcast communications, something that it does very well. The low frequencies propagate very well, making it very useful in rural areas a long way from transmitters. The low frequencies, however, also mean that there isn't much bandwidth to carry high quality audio such as music.
If you see dark clouds and you're in a remote area, tuning to AM can tell you about tornado alerts when there is nothing else around. Again, it isn't beautiful and melodious but, if it is news or broadcast information you need, its available pretty much everywhere, unlike FM radio and cellular coverage.
Additionally, because of the low frequency, a long antenna is needed to receive it. Antenna performance is best when the antenna is about 1/4 of the wavelength. Remember that wavelength = C / F (C = speed of light, F = frequency) so lower frequencies have longer wavelengths. Designers don't like these long antennas because they can dominate the lines of the car.
Urbanites wouldn't understand.
Unfortunately, as many have pointed out, the motor and power electronics switching frequencies are very close to the AM frequencies, and, because it is Amplitude Modulated, switching electronics noise at these frequencies wreaks havoc with AM radio. Even ICE vehicle have this problem. Car manufacturers have to work very hard to combat this. It seems that Tesla has weighed the cost and benefits of supporting AM and decided it isn't worth it though.
to @leo33,
Let us know how that portable AM radio works for you. I'll predict it is very static noisy.

Tronguy | 17 december 2018

Y'know.. I play an EMI/EMC expert on a regular basis, right down to using spectrum analyzers, signal generators, and EMC chambers and, yes, I know and live by Maxwell's equations.
Point #1: I own a Prius. It's got a pair of serious electric motors in it. In fact, for those of you who don't know, a Prius doesn't move unless those motors are generating/sinking serious current, and there's a large amount of switching of heavy currents at frequencies in the 1 MHz range and down to make the car go.
Point #2: If one looks into engine compartment in one of these things, there are Big High-Voltage Wires going in and out of the inverter/motor assembly. And they're covered in a loose metal braid. It ain't coax, that's for sure.
Point #3: The Prius comes with an AM radio. Speaking as a Ham Radio type, it's as hashy as most AM radios tend to be, what with the usual noise from the environment and the ionosphere. (The lower in frequency one goes, the more noise there is. And you wouldn't believe the good stuff one hears down at 9 kHz: Lightning strikes from around the world doing a cool chirp noise as the signals bounce around the earth, multiple times.)
Point #4: Switching noise is fun, but the high-energy stuff tends to be inside large hunks of metal which, as a rule, do a superb job at keeping the EMI inside, rather than outside.
Point #5: The FCC in its (past) wisdom has This Thing about $RANDOM objects causing interference. In effect, Class B equipment (which is durn near everything) is supposed to be designed _not_ to interfere with commercial radio and/or TV interests. And if it does, the FCC's got these cars with more radio equipment than a normal person can count and They Will Come And Get The Idiot Who's Blowing Away WABC And Take All Their RF Equipment Away From Them. If a manufacturer thinks, for example, that they can make equipment that blows away TV channel 6, they'll get disabused of that notion _really_ fast. So.. I rather doubt that Teslas make that much EMI; and, if they do, they may get a visit from the FCC, sooner rather than later.
Point #6: If stuff can leak out, it works both ways: Stuff can leak back in. And what this means is that if one has a car that leaks RF energy and one is driving up Intermod Alley on Rt 95 outside of Boston, and the motor suddenly stops running or throws an error, That Would Be Bad. Back in the 70's when electronically controlled cars first hit the scene there were German cars that would hit their brakes without human involvement up on Intermod Alley. And, yes, that got fixed in a Big hurry. (Not to mention the English Tornado fighter that fell out of the sky over London due to similar issues, resulting in the European Fighter Aircraft standards for electronics immunity.) And, in fact, on the Prius Toyota is Very Proud that their car can withstand 1 kW RF on all the ham radio frequencies at 160 m, 80 m, 40 m, 15 m, 10 m, 2 m, and 3/4 m (if memory serves). 160 m is around 1.8 MHz or so, just above the AM band.
Conclusion: I'll bet a nickel that, while there may be some hash in and around the car, it won't be much, and it wouldn't be enough to stop an AM receiver from working, especially within an urban zone and particularly at night, when the skip signals come in at high levels. I suspect the lack of an AM radio has more to do with Tesla cost-cutting and the ugly faces millennials get when faced with non-high fidelity sound.

JayInJapan | 17 december 2018

AM in my Model S broadcasts the sound of the RWD motor. Kinda cool the first couple of times.

Mediumed | 18 december 2018

AM and FM radio are relics of the past. Any and all information can be had via the internet. While internet coverage may not be all encompassing yet, I believe that full global internet coverage is inevitably going to happen and most likely by the same fellow who makes these cars. We are just in a transition period which is inconvenient to those who have enjoyed these services for their entire life. I'm one of those that are inconvenienced but I also have boxes of 8 track tapes, cassette tapes and CD's that are useless and I am no longer mad at that fact.

SalisburySam | 18 december 2018

Wow, learned far more about AM radio than I ever expected just reading this thread. Thanks to all the engineering types for sharing their knowledge in sort of understandable fashion for us non-engineers.

That said, my Model 3 doesn’t have AM as we all know. But my 2012 LEAF does and it works very, very well, at least as good as any other AM radio I’ve owned. Do I miss it in the Model 3? Yes, but I’ve not found the lack of AM to be a major downside, but just one of those things it would be nice to have, like, oh say, 450-mile range.

rxlawdude | 19 december 2018

"AM and FM radio are relics of the past."

No, but statements like that are indications of limited thought process beyond one's own nose.

rxlawdude | 19 december 2018

And thanks, Tronguy, for the nice dissertation.

I fervently disagree with dumb statements like "relics of the past." I hope that poster finds themselves in a cellular desert in a Model 3 when the lights are flashing on the "TUNE TO AM 1690 FOR EMERGENCY ROAD CONDITIONS WHEN FLASHING." That'll wake him up to why his statement is not only dumb, but potentially dangerous.

Just some MY 2019 auto facts regarding AM radios:
Virtually every ICE car for sale in the US: AM
Chevy Bolt : AM
Nissan Leaf: AM
Toyota Mirai: AM
Toyota Prius: AM
BMW i3: AM, but disabled by software (hack available to make available)
Teslas (ALL): no AM. (Tesla removed AM from the Model S sometime in 2018; Model X never had AM. Both Model S and X have XM Satellite Radio tuners. Model 3 has no AM and no XM.)


I will not purchase another Model 3 (to replace my 2015 MS 70D) unless Tesla at least puts XM into the M3. It would pain me greatly to lose AM in a replacement Model S, too.

(Cue more flamers.)

RedShift | 19 december 2018

In my 2013 Model S, I can tune to a band ‘in between’ AM stations. I hear the sound of the electric motor as a motorbike sound. Pretty cool!

Yeah, so anyway..

Atoms | 19 december 2018

Buy an AM radio and double stick tape it to the dash.

rxlawdude | 19 december 2018

@Atoms, nonsequitur and unoriginal.

Nice try.

I hate to sound like a broken record, but....

Oh wait,
Records are relics of the past. ;-)

torg | 20 december 2018

Ignorant comments about AM or FM being dead imply that the holder of that facile opinion hasn't thought past being out of cell tower range, which is a frequent occurrence even in metropolitan areas, not to mention on cross-country trips. When I complained about lack of iTunes-like capability to play audiobooks and music from an iPod or iPhone, snarky comments about "well, it can't play 8-traks tapes either" came at me - there's no accounting for millennial sense of polite behavior.

Same morons are probably the ones who think it was just wonderful that Tesla spent costly engineering and coding time coming up with fart noises instead of fixing the radio / playlist / USB management bugs/shortcomings. Having a (juvenile) sense of humor is OK, but priority-wise, I'd much rather see them bring the audio system up to the same standards of a $20K Toyota or Subaru than farting around with easter eggs. Pun intended.

annesjn | 2 januar 2019

Tronguy, as an RF PA design engineer, your comments were very entertaining and accurate. Thanks.

Also, FM tuners are often integrated into chipsets these days (almost all smart phone chipsets have an FM tuner, but likely disabled through software, check out NextRadio app). I'm guessing the FM tuner in Tesla's are integrated into one of the other chipsets (LTE radio?) and is essentially free to Tesla. AM radio chipsets are out there but rare and would likely mean an added component. Also as already mentioned, the antenna are quite large, often looking like a coil of wire wrapped around a pencil (ferrous material) and no good place to fit in Tesla's electronics.

mrburke | 2 januar 2019

Short answer.


lbowroom | 2 januar 2019

Relic or not, its not going to be retrofit. Sounds like it's been mentioned that content can be ported through LTE. If that's not good enough for the dozen (Sarcasm) or so people who list it as a must have, vote with your wallet.

lbowroom | 2 januar 2019

When the zombie-pocalypse happens, I'll realize that you guys were right. But seriously, you guys are too cool to carry a $25 transistor radio with a 12 V adapter?

Goldie | 3 januar 2019

Some AM channels are broadcast in the HD2 or HD3 of the FM stations.
In NY - 1010AM Wins is 102.7 HD3, 880AM is 101.1 HD2. 710AM is 104.3 HD2
Check your FM HD2 & HD3 in your area.

r1200gs4ok | 9 juli 2019

in the LA area and Orange county area, KNX 1070am is broadcast on 101.1 HD 2

this is what my wife likes so I don't have a problem.....would like an XM tuner though........i have it in my other cars and love it especially when we travel out of range for AM

hcdavis3 | 10 juli 2019

AM doesn’t work in an electric car. Too much ref interference.

DirkFirkin | 10 juli 2019

Model 3s in continental Europe have neither AM or FM. Both are being closed down for radio use. DAB+ (Digital Audio Broadcasting Plus (‚Plus’ for second generation)) is the format used. It offers local or regional or national coverage, allows far more stations in static, hiss free digital quality.

Join the 21st century!

SalisburySam | 11 juli 2019

For those ready to abandon AM and even FM, please remember that our 3’s are only the receivers of signals. It is the entities who transmit the signals that matter. We’ve seen much of AM broadcasts available in FM versions and on some streaming. But I’ve yet to hear of any AM traffic advisory transmitters doing so. It is only partially what we purchasers buy but what pressures are applied to the transmitters of information we want to get. At some point when the financials make sense, the transmitters will convert away from AM, but given that, for example, traffic advisories are most likely taxpayer-funded entities with many things competing for the money to upgrade, that may be a very long time. And many feel that that specific set of advisories isn’t broken, so why spend money to fix it. For at least that one use case, AM has an important near-term future. I regret my 3 doesn’t have it, but pleased that my LEAF does. Somehow, I manage to go on.

rxlawdude | 11 juli 2019


+1. While Tesla wants to be ahead of the pack, omitting currently viable communications options is, well, dumb.

As to the person asserting that AM "doesn't work in electric cars," please see all Priuses and all Model S Teslas till mid-2017.

charles.a.braun | 11 juli 2019

hcdavis3 | July 10, 2019
AM doesn’t work in an electric car. Too much ref interference.


That is a plainly ignorant statement.

For reference, AM in our 16 Model S works just fine.

Joshan | 11 juli 2019

BMW is also removing AM radio and there is a reason which this recap touches on.

More than two years later, we may have a partial explanation to the question posed in the title. It turns out that several European countries are in the process of ending analog radio broadcasts altogether, replacing them with digital audio. Norway will turn off FM radio this year. In the U.S., fewer than one in five people now listen to AM radio, while use of satellite and Internet radio has risen rapidly. Perhaps BMW simply anticipated its inevitable decline, choosing not to make the effort to protect its audio system against interference with analog reception?

BMW also states there is issues with AM radio and electric cars also which you can see in the last sentence. Sp hcdavis was partially correct. maybe you shouldn't call him ignorant.

lbowroom | 11 juli 2019

1 in 5 is a lot higher than I expected.

charles.a.braun | 11 juli 2019

@Joshan - If I gave a turd about what BMW was doing perhaps I would have bought a BMW. If I gave a turd what European countries were doing perhaps I would consider immigrating. And anyone that makes a blanket statement about AM radio not working in electric cars IS ignorant. Because last I heard, the Tesla Model S was an electric car, and in my personal experience, AM radio works just fine. I use it regularly.

Joshan | 11 juli 2019

they have to do special shielding for AM radio. That adds cost, with entire countries removing analog radio it seems a waste of time and oney to support it. It is fine you disagree with them, but they are following future trends as can be seen in all things they do. They are not looking backwards.

charles.a.braun | 11 juli 2019

Stop trying to read too much into my statement bro and adding words that I did not type.

Joshan | 11 juli 2019

uhhh, what words did I add? I never quuted you. Thin skin much? Am I not allowed to disagree with you?

charles.a.braun | 11 juli 2019

I can almost hear the whine in your voice with that last one.

Joshan | 11 juli 2019

dafuq? are you off your meds?