Tesla founder, Elon Musk, has revealed the company’s next stage of vehicle development, and they include a ute, compact SUV and “heavy-duty trucks”.

TESLA WILL produce a ute, compact SUV and heavy-duty trucks as part of the next stage of the electric vehicle maker’s vehicle development. And Tesla boss, Elon Musk, has also confirmed it won’t produce a cheaper vehicle than the Model 3. He’s also outlined plans to make access to solar power cheaper.

Writing on the company website, Musk said: “The first master plan that I wrote 10 years ago is now in the final stages of completion. It wasn’t all that complicated and basically consisted of:

1. Create a low volume car, which would necessarily be expensive;

2. Use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price;

3. Use that money to create an affordable, high volume car;


4. Provide solar power. No kidding, this has literally been on our website for 10 years.”

The next part of Tesla’s plan, he wrote, is to move into other automotive segments, including heavy trucks, improve on the autonomous capability of Tesla vehicles and keep going with the solar panel push.

“Today, Tesla addresses two relatively small segments of premium sedans and SUVs. With the Model 3, a future compact SUV and a new kind of pickup truck, we plan to address most of the consumer market. A lower cost vehicle than the Model 3 is unlikely to be necessary…

“In addition to consumer vehicles, there are two other types of electric vehicle needed: heavy-duty trucks and high passenger-density urban transport. Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year. We believe the Tesla Semi will deliver a substantial reduction in the cost of cargo transport, while increasing safety and making it really fun to operate,” Musk wrote.

Writing about autonomous vehicle technology, Musk wrote that all Tesla vehicles would “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”. 

That said, Musk did acknowledge a time gap in the development of autonomous technology and its acceptance by regulators. “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 wrote. “Even once the software is highly refined and far better than the average human driver, there will still be a significant time gap, varying widely by jurisdiction, before true self-driving is approved by regulators. We expect that worldwide regulatory approval will require something on the order of 6 billion miles (10 billion km). Current fleet learning is happening at just over 3 million miles (5 million km) per day.”

But Tesla isn’t just about vehicles, it’s also about sustainability, Musk wrote, suggesting it’s just as important in developing ways to get the world to switch its reliability on fossil fuels to sustainable energies. Last month, Tesla announced it wanted to buy solar power company Solarcity to create a seamless integration of solar technology and Musk’s vision of empowering home owners to become their own utility. It has finalised the purchase and will roll that company into Tesla.

“[We want to] 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.”

He finished off by writing: 

“So, in short, Master Plan, Part Deux is:

1. Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage;

2. Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments;

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

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


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