Elon Musk, your PayPaling, SpaceXing, Teslafying, ultra-entrepreneurial CEO, is done waiting for everyone else. He made that very clear yesterday with the release of his new Master Plan for Tesla that will change the world in four easy steps:
- Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
- Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
- Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning
- Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it
With Tesla and SolarCity now merged into one dynamically-empowered, paradigm-changing organization, they will develop a solar roof for your home that integrates seamlessly with the Powerwall battery. In theory, this will allow you to generate power for your car and home. Depending on how much you drive or how chill you want your crib to be, you might actually make money selling excess electricity back to your local utility company.
Now that you have the technology to power your electric car, what are you going to drive? Tesla will give you more options. Model S and X are already on the road and the more affordable Model 3 is promised sometime next year. If you’re not one of the first 100,000 or so people who’ve plunked down $1000 deposit, however, you probably won’t be getting your Model 3 in 2017. But don’t worry. Tesla is working on other options. The plan calls for,quelle surprise, a small SUV and, genuine surprise, a pickup truck.
Not content to change the world of personal transportation, this new plan calls for Tesla to take on Mack Truck and Kenworth by producing a Tesla semi that will be cheaper, safer and “really fun to operate.” They’re also planning on reinventing urban transportation by creating driverless buses that you’ll be able to hail with an app on your mobile phone.
Speaking of driverless, Musk is doubling down on autonomous technology despite the recent mishaps. They will not be turning off Autopilot in their current cars and will continue testing and refining the technology until it is 10 times safer than human driven cars.
Finally, the plan calls for a Tesla car sharing service that will allow you to enroll your car so other people in the program can summon your car (it doesn’t need a driver, remember) and use it while you aren’t. In doing so you’ll be able to significantly offset “and at times potentially exceed the monthly loan or lease cost.” That’s right your Tesla will make you money while you work or sleep.
Actually, I have no problem with the vision. It all sounds well and good. I applaud his spirit and appreciate that this guy has both giant cash reserves and cojones. I’m just not going to hold my breath waiting for any of it. What Musk has accomplished has been amazing. The Roadster and Model S were technological breakthroughs but they’ve had their issues. And now, in trying to scale up to produce the Model X and the Model 3 the cracks have been more noticeable. I’m not saying Musk and his team can’t get it done. I’ll just be very surprised if it happens before I’m collecting social security.
Click on this link to read the “Master Plan, Part Deux” in its entirety.