Tesla is just getting started. With a sports car, sedan, and falcon-wing SUV under its belt, as well as the mass-market Model 3 and gigafactory in the works, the electric car company has its sights set on more models (semis and pickups), covering a greater percentage of the total automotive market, and upheaval of the traditional electric grid system.
Elon Musk unveiled the second part of his “Master Plan” on July 20, building on the completed first part from approximately 10 years ago.
“1. Create a low volume car, which would necessarily be expensive
2. Use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price
3. Use that money to create an affordable, high volume car
4. Provide solar power. No kidding, this has literally been on our website for 10 years.”
“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.”
“1. Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
2. Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
3. Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning
4. Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it.”
The recent integration of SolarCity and Tesla means integration of solar power and efficient battery storage, effectively making public utilities-based electricity generation and distribution superfluous.
Autopilot capabilities which are continually improving will yield a safer day-to-day driving experience, as well as smarter, more efficient, self-driving bus systems.
Moreover, when autopilot has overcome regulatory barriers, consumer Tesla vehicles can comprise a publicly accessible, Uber-like (and Uber-substituting) self-driving fleet. These elements reflect a significant facet of broader Smart City development methodology: public and on-demand transit that is more efficient, more reliable, and generally more desirable to use.
It appears that Elon Musk is not only accelerating electric vehicle adoption — he is also accelerating the overall Smart-ifying of society’s energy use and transportation.