Tesla Masterplan - The Second Installment
10 years ago Elon Musk set out the Tesla masterplan. It all began with a low volume, high price car, the Tesla Roadster. The money generated was then used to develop a slightly lower priced, medium volume car. The money from this was then used to create a high volume, low cost car and so we arrive at the soon to be released,highly anticipated, affordable Tesla Model 3. With the original masterplan complete – what will Tesla do next?
We know thanks to the second installment of the Tesla masterplan outlining what is in store for the next 10 years with 5 main areas addressed.
Merging Tesla and Solar City
In Elon Musk’s original masterplan providing solar power featured. This is still very much on the agenda for Tesla and they are currently working towards merging Tesla Motors and Solar City. It is the hope that when these 2 companies merge, a one-stop clean energy shop will be created. In this idea solar panels will be able to charge batteries, such as Tesla’s newly released Powerwall, so cars will be completely sustainable along with energy used within the home. Solar panels, home battery storage and electric cars will all be available from one trusted brand. Helping reduce the cost of clean energy with only one contract and one installment charge.
Expanding the range
At the moment Tesla realise they are only addressing the needs of a small selection of drivers with the current premium sedan and SUV on offer. The Tesla Model 3 will help to appeal to a much wider range of customers, but Tesla feel they are still not catering for everyone. To put this right a compact SUV and a pick-up truck are planned in the near future.
The pick-up truck is likely to share the same underpinnings as the Model X SUV as well as the same powertrains. This will create a pick-up truck like no other currently on the market. Drivers can expect 0-60 in 6 seconds and all electric range of 220 miles. As a commercial vehicle pricing is expected to be below the Model X SUV to make sure it is competitive at around £30,000.
Tesla also identify 2 other types of electric vehicle that are needed in the future. Heavy duty trucks and high passenger density urban transport. These modes of transport are already in early development and first designs may even be ready to be unveiled next year.
Elon Musk described his vision for bus travel. The sizes of buses will be shrunk with the bus driver becoming the fleet manager as autonomous technology increasingly takes over. To ease congestion on the roads, increasing the number of passengers a bus can carry will be vital. To do this Tesla plan a bus with the centre isle removed to make more seats. To summon the Tesla bus travellers only need to press a button on their smartphone. For those who do not have a mobile fixed buttons will be installed at existing bus stops. In addition buses will be designed to take you to your final destination rather than the closest bus stop to there.
Autonomous features are creeping into our cars more and more and are slowly becoming accepted by drivers. Tesla believe future vehicles will be fully autonomous, but with full operational capability. This will provide a failsafe system so if any components of the driverless system were to break, the vehicle will still be able to drive itself safely.
Elon Musk believes when autonomous features are used correctly they provide a much safer option than a human driving. This is why they will feature in Tesla’s cars before the correct legislation is in place as he feels it is morally reprehensible to delay a technology that could save lives.
“Even once the software is highly refined and far better than the average human driver, there will still be a significant time gap, varying widely by jurisdiction, before true self-driving is approved by regulators” Elon Musk
Tesla state that on average a car owner will only be using their vehicle between 5% and 10% of the day. The remaining 90%-95% could be seen as an opportunity to share your car with others. This will be done through the Tesla Shared Fleet App, owner can tap a button to let the app know their vehicle is now ready for use by others. This means while owners are sat at their desks or on holiday their car could be making money for them.
Tesla believe this will help offset the all costs of ownership. This means even those who previously thought they would not be able to afford to own a Tesla, may be able to in the future.
Pretty much everyone agrees that Tesla produce great cars, but there are some people who wonder whether they can produce enough of them quickly enough. This concern was addressed by Elon Musk. The Tesla production factory will become the product. There will be a focus on scaling up production as fast as possible over the coming years to meet exceptional increase in demand.
What do you think of the second installment of the Tesla masterplan? Are shared cars something you can see happening in the near future? Or do you think range anxiety and driverless fear will mean these plans never become a reality?
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27 July 2016
Written by Natalie Faughy