Almost a decade ago, Elon Musk had made his first ‘master plan’ for Tesla Motors. It basically consisted of developing a low volume expensive car; using that money to make a medium volume car at a lower price; and then using that money to develop a high volume affordable car. Now when the first master plan is about to complete, Musk has released ‘Master Plan, Part Deux’ which is far more aggressive and ambitious. The blog written by Musk on Tesla website emphasises on the need of sustainable energy as the world will run out of fossil fuels at some point.
“We must at some point achieve a sustainable energy economy or we will run out of fossil fuels to burn and civilization will collapse. 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.”, he wrote.
Here’s a brief explanation of Tesla’s ‘Master Plan, Part Deux’ –
1. Solar roofs for cars to collect energy for integrated batteries
Under the Master Plan, Part Deux, Tesla’s first objective is to create smoothly integrated and beautiful solar roofs that will help collect energy for the integrated battery. This will reduce the dependency on electricity to charge the car. One ordering experience, one installation, one service contact, one phone app – is what Tesla wishes to achieve.
To be able to do that, Tesla wants to acquire SolarCity – a solar tech firm – of which Elon Musk is Chairman. He basically wants to combine Tesla and SolarCity and breakdown the barriers inherent to being separate companies.
2. Electric vehicles across all major segments
Tesla aims to launch electric vehicles across all major segments. The company that currently has its vehicles in only premium sedan and SUV segments, is working on a compact SUV, a new kind of pickup truck, heavy-duty cargo trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. The heavy-duty truck and the public transport vehicles are in the early stages of development, and could be unveiled next year.
3. Autonomous technologies to make cars safer
The next plan is to install autonomous technologies in Tesla vehicles to make them safe and self dependent. “As the technology matures, 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. It is important to emphasize that refinement and validation of the software will take much longer than putting in place the cameras, radar, sonar and computing hardware.”, he said. Since the self-driving vehicles still seem far-fetched now, Tesla is deploying partial autonomy instead of waiting for future. The company believes that semi-autonomous technologies are already safer than a person driving a car.
4. Car sharing to reduce the overall cost of ownership
‘Sharing’ is the last part of the Master Plan: Part Deux, but that will happen only after self-driving is approved by regulators. The idea is to share your car with others when you are not using it and making money out of it. And to do this, the car owners will be able to add their car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the app.
“This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. 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.”, he added.