10 years after introducing his first master plan, founder of Tesla, Elon Musk, revealed his ambitious plans for his automotive company – which is is looking more and more like an energy company given its recent URL change from teslamotors.com to tesla.com. The new plan includes creating “a solar-roof-with battery product”, “a future compact SUV”, “a new kind of pickup truck” and Musk implied that a deal between Tesla and California-based energy provider SolarCity is on the way.
“Now that Tesla is ready to scale Powerwall and SolarCity is ready to provide highly differentiated solar, the time has come to bring them together,” Musk says. Powerwall is a rechargeable lithium-ion battery placed inside homes to stores electricity for domestic consumption and backup power.
“In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport,” Musk goes on about the motoring department of Tesla. “Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year.”
According to the company executive, the Tesla Semi truck will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it novel to operate.
For his first plan, Musk stated that Tesla would create a necessarily expensive low volume car that will help finance his second and third developmental steps: a medium volume car at a lower price and an affordable high volume car. Another step included providing solar power.
“Part of the reason I wrote the first master plan was to defend against the inevitable attacks Tesla would face accusing us of just caring about making cars for rich people, implying that we felt there was a shortage of sports car companies or some other bizarre rationale,” Musk says.
The new plan, however, includes a car sharing option, which allows Tesla power to list their cars in the Tesla fleet and and generating income while the car in not in use. This might increase the company’s profitability, allowing it to compete with car-hailing services such as Uber.
“This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla,” Musk states. “Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.”