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Elon Musk updates the Tesla Master Plan

Posted on Thursday, July 21 2016 @ 15:04:36 CEST by

Ten years ago Elon Musk published the original Tesla Motors Masters Plan, which could be easily summarized in a couple of sentences:
So, in short, the master plan is:

Build sports car
Use that money to build an affordable car
Use that money to build an even more affordable car
While doing above, also provide zero emission electric power generation options

Don't tell anyone.
Original master plan is almost executed
Over the last ten years, Tesla came pretty close to executing the original master plan as the car startup practically resurrected the electric car market all by itself. The expensive Tesla Roadster illustrated an electric car could be awesome, the delivery of this car faced a lot of problems but Tesla ploughed through the mud.

A couple of years ago, Tesla started selling its Model S and late last year the company delivered the first Model X cars. Hundreds of thousands of people are now waiting for Model 3, the first Tesla car with a $35,000 starting price.

Master Plan, Part Two
With much of his original vision realized, Musk decided it was time to roll out a second, more ambitious Master Plan. In the new master plan, Musk explains how his goal is to accelerate the arrival of sustainable energy and transport, which is one of the reasons why Tesla recently acquired SolarCity (which is operated by his cousins).

The SolarCity deal drew a lot of bad press from critics and analysts but Musk explains the goal is to deliver "a smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works." He points out that delivering clean power generation options was in the original 2006 master plan, and claims that the separate nature of Tesla and SolarCity was "largely an accident of history".

Looking at the transport market, Musk has set the goal to move beyond the premium sedan and SUV markets. The Model 3 will be the first step but Tesla has much bigger plans, including a future compact SUV and a new kind of pickup truck. But that's just the beginning, Musk reveals Tesla is working on heavy-duty trucks as well as high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in early stages of development and should be ready for a first unveiling in 2017.

Another major element of the new master plan is autonomous driving, a technology that promises to not only make driving easier and safer, but could also change the whole idea of car ownership. Musk estimates regulatory approval of self-driving will require on the order of 6 billion miles of data and he mentions the current Tesla fleet is learning at a rate of just over 3 million miles per day.

When full self-driving becomes approved by regulators, Musk expects car sharing could become a killer application. Most cars are only in use by their owner for 5 to 10 percent of the day, the Tesla co-founder envisions an app-based system that could be used to let your car generate income for you when you're at work or on vacation, thereby significantly reducing the true cost of ownership of your car.
So, in short, Master Plan, Part Deux is:
  • 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
  • Model 3



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