Tesla's Future Plans: Trucks, Solar Batteries, Ride-Sharing - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

IoT
IoT
IT Life
News
7/21/2016
12:05 PM
50%
50%

Tesla's Future Plans: Trucks, Solar Batteries, Ride-Sharing

Telsa CEO Elon Musk has unveiled his master plan. It calls for the company to expand into self-driving semi trucks, roof-mounted solar batteries, and ride-sharing initiatives.

Tesla Model 3, BMW i3: 10 Electric Vehicles To Own
Tesla Model 3, BMW i3: 10 Electric Vehicles To Own
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has outlined his broader vision for the company in a July 20 blog post entitled "Master Plan, Part Deux," which makes the case for acquiring solar panel installer SolarCity.

Musk detailed proposals to move his company beyond electric cars and batteries, including ones for heavy-duty trucks and for high-passenger-density urban transport, which is something luxury carmaker Daimler is currently developing.

In his post, Musk restated his opinion that in order to quickly progress, SolarCity, of which he is chairman and a major shareholder, should become integrated -- meaning acquired by -- Tesla.

"That they are separate at all, despite similar origins and pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy, is largely an accident of history," Musk wrote. "Now that Tesla is ready to scale Powerwall and SolarCity is ready to provide highly differentiated solar, the time has come to bring them together."

(Image: wellesenterprises/iStockphoto)

(Image: wellesenterprises/iStockphoto)

Musk also expressed support for ride-sharing programs, which would be coupled with autonomous vehicle technologies, providing users the ability to add their own car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for users while they are at work or on vacation.

One of Musk's main goals is to create a "smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works," offering users one ordering experience, one installation, one service contact, and one phone app.

With the introduction of the Tesla Semi, Musk hopes to deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while at the same time increasing safety and making it "really fun" to operate.

All of Musk's points dovetail with the company's overall strategy of reducing emissions and improving efficiency, something he said hopes will give Tesla the ability to scale up production volume as quickly as possible --in essence, turning the factory itself into a product.

"By definition, we must at some point achieve a sustainable energy economy or we will run out of fossil fuels to burn and civilization will collapse," Musk wrote. "Given that we must get off fossil fuels anyway and that virtually all scientists agree that dramatically increasing atmospheric and oceanic carbon levels is insane, the faster we achieve sustainability, the better."

[Read about the controversy over the recent Tesla fatality.]

Despite the successful launch of the company's first affordable electric vehicle, the Model 3, Tesla has recently been the subject of criticism following the fatal crash of one of its cars while on autopilot.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is currently investigating the May 7 fatal accident that killed a 40-year-old man while he drove his Model S with the Autopilot activated.

The Autopilot software feature, launched in October as a beta, requires driver activation to kick in, but has a fair number of Tesla owners baffled about how to use it, Musk told The Wall Street Journal.

"A lot of people don't understand what it is and how you turn it on," Musk told the Journal. As a result, Musk said Tesla is planning to post a blog that delves into how Autopilot works and the responsibilities of the driver once this self-driving feature is turned on.

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
mediaclic
50%
50%
mediaclic,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/22/2016 | 4:37:42 AM
Good luck Elon!
Elon Musk is amazing! Of course, this is business, but currently he's changing the economics prorities by working on huge causes. Not bad for our planet and the entire world! Seriously, we lack person like him.. I hope those projects will be done and followed by other companies in the next years.
Whoopty
50%
50%
Whoopty,
User Rank: Ninja
7/22/2016 | 8:05:48 AM
Impressive
Although the new Master Plan seems a little far fetched, it's really quite amazing how well Tesla did at securing all of the points on the original Master Plan. 

I think if anyone can complete the aims that Elon Musk has laid out, it's him. If he can do it too, the world is going to be a very different place in just 10 years' time.
Slideshows
7 Technologies You Need to Know for Artificial Intelligence
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  7/1/2019
Commentary
A Practical Guide to DevOps: It's Not that Scary
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  7/5/2019
Commentary
Diversity in IT: The Business and Moral Reasons
James M. Connolly, Editorial Director, InformationWeek and Network Computing,  6/20/2019
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
Video
Current Issue
Data Science and AI in the Fast Lane
This IT Trend Report will help you gain insight into how quickly and dramatically data science is influencing how enterprises are managed and where they will derive business success. Read the report today!
Slideshows
Flash Poll