My first exposure to entrepreneur Elon Musk was after he left PayPal and moved on to SpaceX, Tesla and Solarcity. The interview I watched was broadcast on the Daily Show in April of 2012, and focused largely on SpaceX, which at the time had just moved its launch site to Cape Canaveral and was in the process of hiring ex-NASA, as the administration was getting defunded, and shutting down. SpaceX had made its first orbit of the Earth, and was preparing to launch to the International Space Station, putting Elon Musk in a nation-state playing field, previously home to only China, Russia and the United States.
While his discussion of Tesla Motors was cursorial, he touched on ideas he developed in college: that the advancement of our species and the world lie in developing the internet, pioneering outposts on other planets, and clean energy. Since then, SpaceX has continued its groundbreaking work, as has Tesla, with the launch of the Model S and Model X superceding all expectations, and shooting the company’s stock into the $12 billion dollar range.
He recently announced the expansion of the Tesla supercharger network, which will allow vehicle drivers to travel coast to coast via the network of chargers. While immediate expansion focuses on the coasts, by the end of the year it will be comprehensive, and include parts of southern Canada.
The expansion of the supercharger network comes after the demand rose in response to the Tesla sales. Model X, their SUV-esque car, will be available next year, and a $30,000 subcompact within the next 3-5 years.