Tesla’s new master plan: Reshape the car industry one disruption at a time

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Tesla’s new master plan: Reshape the car industry one disruption at a time
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Tesla founder Elon Musk is known for dreaming big. This is the guy who launched the first-ever private spacecraft to dock at the International Space Station and who also envisions a high-speed pneumatic tube for travel that whips you between San Francisco and Los Angeles at a speed of 800 miles per hour!

Clearly, Musk is one entrepreneur who understand creative capitalism! Moreover, he’s no stranger to disrupting industries. From co-founding PayPal to creating space exploration company Space X to launching the most successful all-electric car company ever, Musk is a bold thinker.

Back in 2006, Musk released part one of his master plan for Tesla. As part of that initial plan, the company has been readying the relatively inexpensive Model 3 car; developing home and business batteries; and making moves to buy Solar City so it can more easily integrate solar panels and energy storage into a single product.

Now comes part two of the master plan, which Musk has just released…

Read more: Why I decided to buy a Tesla S by Clark Howard

What Tesla’s new master plan entails

Here’s Musk’s thumbnail sketch of the master plan before we get into specifics…

  • Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage
  • Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments
  • Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning
  • Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it

Now let’s break it down point by point!

Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage

Let’s take a look at the first point. Musk envisions ‘a smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works, empowering the individual as their own utility…One ordering experience, one installation, one service contact, one phone app.’

The company made overtures towards the solar market last year with its Tesla Powerwall Home Battery, but now it looks like Musk is going to step in full steam ahead. This move synchs nicely with his recent efforts to bring Solar City into the Tesla fold.

Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments

Maybe you heard about Tesla’s coming Model 3, which will cost a reasonable $35,000 before incentives. The electric sedan made big news when Tesla racked up 373,000 preorders with deposit. (The first deliveries of Models 3s are set to take place in late 2017.)

But Musk has his sights set on other segments of the auto industry too. Coming soon from Tesla are a compact SUV and ‘a new kind of pickup truck.’

In addition, Tesla has a semi and a bus in early stages of development. Musk expects they’ll be ready for unveiling next year. When this guy says ‘address all major segments,’ he really means it!

To achieve these lofty goals, Tesla is going to disrupt and recreate the auto production industry. ‘Tesla engineering has transitioned to focus heavily on designing the machine that makes the machine — turning the factory itself into a product,’ he writes.

Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning

Perhaps you heard that, for the first time ever, a Tesla driving with autopilot was involved in a deadly crash

The news confirmed people’s worst fears about self-driving vehicles. However, Clark was quick to explain why he continues to use the autopilot feature in his Tesla with no fear, and to clarify why he’s glad to do so in order for Tesla to get the data it needs to perfect self-driving functionality.

Musk too has faith in the future of autonomous vehicles.

‘As the technology matures, all Tesla vehicles will have the hardware necessary to be fully self-driving with fail-operational capability,’ Musk writes, ‘meaning that any given system in the car could break and your car will still drive itself safely.’

Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it

In the near future, when self-driving cars are widely used on the roads, Musk wants to Uber-ize the experience of owning a Tesla…only you won’t have to be present to ferry people around to earn the extra income!

‘You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just by tapping a button on the Tesla phone app and have it generate income for you while you’re at work or on vacation, significantly offsetting and at times potentially exceeding the monthly loan or lease cost,’ he writes in the master plan.

Now that’s some vision of the future!

Read more: Clark’s take on Tesla’s controversial Autopilot feature

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Theo Thimou About the author:
Theo is director of content for clark.com. He has co-written 2 books with Clark Howard, including the #1 New York Times bestseller Clark Howard's Living Large in Lean Times.
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