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Elon Musk's "Master Plan" for Tesla Includes Trucks, Autonomous Driving and Ride-Sharing

Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled the updated “Part Deux” of his “Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan” on the company’s website earlier tonight. The plan outlines Tesla’s upcoming ambitions, and follows Musk’s first “Master Plan,” which he wrote 10 years ago and “is now in the final stages of completion.” In this new Master Plan, Musk talks about Tesla’s history and how the company has grown, before going into his future ambitions, which are ambitious indeed. In short, Musk hopes to focus on selling integrated energy generation and storage in the form of the PowerWall for the home, he wants Tesla to expand into making trucks and buses, to continue expanding into autonomous driving technology, and lastly, for users to be able to share cars for money when not in use. 

The reason we had to start off with step 1 was that it was all I could afford to do with what I made from PayPal. I thought our chances of success were so low that I didn’t want to risk anyone’s funds in the beginning but my own. The list of successful car company startups is short. As of 2016, the number of American car companies that haven’t gone bankrupt is a grand total of two: Ford and Tesla. Starting a car company is idiotic and an electric car company is idiocy squared.

Also, a low volume car means a much smaller, simpler factory, albeit with most things done by hand. Without economies of scale, anything we built would be expensive, whether it was an economy sedan or a sports car. While at least some people would be prepared to pay a high price for a sports car, no one was going to pay $100k for an electric Honda Civic, no matter how cool it looked.

Part of the reason I wrote the first master plan was to defend against the inevitable attacks Tesla would face accusing us of just caring about making cars for rich people, implying that we felt there was a shortage of sports car companies or some other bizarre rationale. Unfortunately, the blog didn’t stop countless attack articles on exactly these grounds, so it pretty much completely failed that objective.

However, the main reason was to explain how our actions fit into a larger picture, so that they would seem less random. The point of all this was, and remains, accelerating the advent of sustainable energy, so that we can imagine far into the future and life is still good. That’s what “sustainable” means. It’s not some silly, hippy thing — it matters for everyone.

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. 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.