Tesla Motors, Inc., the company famous for making electric vehicles, is dropping “motors” from its name. Elon Musk, founder of Tesla, recently released a new master plan that shifts the company away from solely being a car producer. The master plan revealed key components of Musk’s vision for the company, including his commitment to autonomous driving, solar energy, car-sharing, and urban transit.
One of the biggest initiatives outlined in the plan is Musk’s desire to move away from sedans and luxury cars, and work toward electric urban transit. The new proposed vehicles include a massive electric 18 wheeler semi-truck, and an electric bus. Describing the benefits of the new urban transit, Musk said:
“We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate.”
In addition to public transport, the new master plan also turns its attention to autonomous vehicles. Once Tesla vehicles have fully autonomous capabilities, Musk plans to introduce a car-sharing feature, allowing owners to include their car in the company’s fleet. Such a feature would allow owners to generate income from their cars when they aren’t in use. Through this initiative, Musk aims to lower the cost of ownership by allowing owners to in essence, rent out their car to people. Commenting on the proposed initiative, Musk said:
“Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.”
Perhaps the biggest change introduced in the master plan is the company’s desire to become a solar energy provider, and include solar energy roofs on the cars it builds. It’s a change that was easily predicted after Tesla and Solar City’s merger agreement.
Overall, the master plan features many ambitious goals, which indicate Musk’s desire to be a leader in the future of energy and transportation. Although ambitious, the master plan has drawn criticism from many who question whether the company will be able to achieve such lofty goals while still turning a profit.
However, this wouldn’t be the first time Musk’s plans were questioned, and given his drive for innovation, it probably won’t be the last.
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