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Irina Slav

Irina Slav

Irina is a writer for the U.S.-based Divergente LLC consulting firm with over a decade of experience writing on the oil and gas industry.

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This Is How Elon Musk Plans To Dominate Global Transportation

Elon Musk

It’s out. The second part of Elon Musk’s Top Secret Master Plan has been published on the Tesla website. The much-awaited document gave rise to a lot of speculation in the media about its scope and re-focus on solar, in light of Tesla’s recent offer to buy SolarCity.

Now the man of the hour himself has detailed it all. First, solar power is indeed a main element of the plan: “Create a smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works, empowering the individual as their own utility, and then scale that throughout the world. One ordering experience, one installation, one service contact, one phone app.”

But, says Musk, for this vision to become reality, Tesla and SolarCity need to be one company. In fact, he notes that the separation of the two was “an accident of history.”

The second main element of the plan is, of course, vehicles. Tesla currently has a pretty narrow focus, but this is about to change: the company will expand into pickup trucks and compact, affordable SUVs. With that, Musk says, Tesla will have covered most of the consumer car market.

And it’s not stopping there: Tesla is also working on heavy-duty electric trucks and public transport buses. According to Musk, Tesla will be ready to unveil its electric truck and electric bus in a year.

It’s worth noting here that Musk puts a special emphasis on high passenger density for the bus. This higher density, he says, could be the solution to traffic congestion: Tesla’s electric buses will be able to carry more people with their novel seating design, and they will be able to better match the accelerating and braking pattern of other vehicles. Related: Pokémon Go Fuels Norway’s “Oil Fund”

To make this all work optimally, Tesla is betting big on vehicle autonomy. Says Musk, “all Tesla vehicles will have the hardware necessary to be fully self-driving with fail-operational capability, meaning that any given system in the car could break and your car will still drive itself safely.” This, he notes, will take a long time, not least because of the strictness of future self-driving system approval regulations.

Finally, Tesla is all about sharing. Musk paints a future in which every Tesla owner will be able to summon their car from wherever it is, get in it, do anything but drive and when they don’t need it, the car can join the Tesla shared fleet and be used by other people in exchange for payment.

In short, Tesla envisages a future where autonomous electric vehicles are being built in solar-powered factories and bought by people living in solar-powered, energy-independent homes, then shared by these people with others, perhaps while they ride on a self-driving electric bus.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

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