Elon Musk shares his ‘secret master plan’
Tesla founder Elon Musk on Wednesday announced the company’s plan to build a pick-up truck, an urban bus and launch a sharing system of self-driving cars.
The projects are part of what the billionaire entrepreneur called a “secret” second master plan for the U.S. electric car manufacturer at a time it is looking to rebound from concerns over the safety of its “autopilot” semi-autonomous driving mode.“In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport,” Mr. Musk wrote. “Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year.”
He also restated his ambition to make all Tesla vehicles completely autonomous — capable of driving without a human driver.
Once regulators approve the technology, he said: “You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation.”
“In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet,” he added.
The new road map follows a first master plan Mr. Musk unveiled in 2006, when he promised “an electric car without compromises” and a long-term vision of building “affordably priced family cars.”
Tesla Motors launched its first electric car in 2008 called the Roadster, which had limited distribution, followed in 2012 by the Model S, which has gained appeal globally, with buyers willing to pay some $70,000 or more.
Profits from those models have enabled the company to begin plans for its more affordable Model 3, at roughly half the price of the Model S, for which it has already received more than 300,000 orders.