Elon Musk unveils new Tesla ‘Master Plan’

A Tesla Model 3 electic vehicle, designed for the mass market. Image courtesy of Tesla
A Tesla Model 3 electic vehicle, designed for the mass market. Image courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Motors founder and CEO, Elon Musk has released a new master plan for the company’s operations into the future.

Within this plan Musk outlines the way Tesla will seek to leverage electric vehicles, solar power, and driverless technology in order to become one of the largest players in the automotive industry.

The so-called ‘Master Plan Part Deux’ follows on an earlier plan Musk detailed 10 years ago which established the basic direction for his company.

The first major point made in the plan is that the company will seek to create an end-to-end solar PV system for homes. This would include the manufacturing, sale, installation and integration with battery systems.

Addressing earlier criticism of Tesla’s planned takeover of Solar City, Musk said his vision required the resources of both companies.

“We can’t do this well if Tesla and SolarCity are different companies, which is why we need to combine and break down the barriers inherent to being separate companies,” Musk wrote.

Investors had earlier panned this planned takeover, accusing Elon Musk of a conflict of interest.

Elon also outlined Tesla’s vision for future expansion in the electric vehicle market, in order to achieve his vision of a ‘sustainable future’.

Specifically, he outlined that the company plans to move into other vehicle types, including small buses and semi trucks. Prototype versions of these vehicles will be unveiled to the public next year.

An autonomous future

Mr Musk looked to address fully autonomous driving and the time it will take for it to be granted full regulatory approval.

“We expect that worldwide regulatory approval will require something on the order of 6 billion miles (10 billion km). Current fleet learning is happening at just over 3 million miles (5 million km) per day,” he explained.

The software for these autonomous vehicles would take time to refine, however he defended his decision to roll-out the partial autonomy Tesla calls ‘Autopilot’ in their vehicles.

“…when used correctly, [Autopilot] is already significantly safer than a person driving by themselves and it would therefore be morally reprehensible to delay release simply for fear of bad press or some mercantile calculation of legal liability,” stated Musk

While likely designed to calm nervous investors, the master plan appears to have failed in this regard. Tesla’s share price is trading down approximately 2% since the post went live.