Tesla Pickup, Compact SUV All Part of Elon Musk's New Master Plan

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
tesla pickup compact suv all part of elon musk s new master plan

Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s vision for his company’s future covers all the automotive bases, from personal vehicles to commercial trucks and transit fleets.

In a blog post on Tesla’s website, Musk spelled out the steps of his “Master Plan, Part Deux” — a long-term update of his previous decade-long business plan. With the Model 3 on the way in late 2017, the old plan has come to an end, so the company’s founder is looking for other things to power with electricity.

Tesla has big plans to partner with SolarCity on solar energy, but the company is an automaker first and foremost. With this in mind, the company plans to plug the holes in its lineup, offering a new small SUV and a pickup to cover remaining market segments.

Musk didn’t provide a timeline for the future vehicles, which isn’t surprising. Getting the Model 3 into production and clearing its huge reservation list will keep the company busy for at least the next two years. Design work might go on in the background.

The plan goes further than just cars and trucks, with heavy-duty trucks and an urban transit system being another goal.

“Both are in the early stages of development at Tesla and should be ready for unveiling next year,” Musk wrote. “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.”

As for the transit system, Musk fleshed out a vision he first mentioned at a Norwegian transportation summit in April:

With the advent of autonomy, it will probably make sense to shrink the size of buses and transition the role of bus driver to that of fleet manager. Traffic congestion would improve due to increased passenger areal density by eliminating the center aisle and putting seats where there are currently entryways, and matching acceleration and braking to other vehicles, thus avoiding the inertial impedance to smooth traffic flow of traditional heavy buses. It would also take people all the way to their destination.

Musk said he plans to continue development of the Autopilot system, moving it from a semi-autonomous driving aid to a fully autonomous system — the kind that would allow an occupant to sleep or read a book. His goal is to offer a system that’s 10 times safer (per miles driven) than the fleet average.

The CEO shot back at critics who want the current Autopilot system removed from Tesla vehicles. As he’s done before, Musk pointed out the number of miles driven on Autopilot and the many updates to the system.

“It would no more make sense to disable Tesla’s Autopilot, as some have called for, than it would to disable autopilot in aircraft, after which our system is named.”

Autonomous driving would allow Tesla to roll out a planned ride-hailing service, which would use privately owned vehicles as the fleet. Owners could earn money to counter the cost of the vehicles, Musk claimed, which is a dream come true for people who wish their car would pay for itself.

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  • Jimmy7 Jimmy7 on Jul 21, 2016

    Stock price getting soft? Just add vaporware!

    • SCE to AUX SCE to AUX on Jul 21, 2016

      Every company has "vaporware". Is it still vaporware after a functioning concept vehicle is shown? Is it still vaporware until a consumer actually buys one?

  • Jimbob457 Jimbob457 on Jul 21, 2016

    Tesla may find niche markets around the world. Fracking and $50 oil will ruin the EV in most major markets for the next 20 years.

    • See 1 previous
    • Frylock350 Frylock350 on Aug 03, 2016

      Nah EVs can sell on their own merits. Drive a Volt and a Cruze/Civic/Corolla back to back and tell me you don't prefer the Volt. Once prices come down and charging happens more rapidly you'll see more mainstream adoption.

  • 28-Cars-Later "Honda and Acura haven’t yet released an EV in the United States"Ok..."The 2024 ZDX rides on GM’s Ultium Platform and will feature Google built-in services. "Waht?
  • Theflyersfan I was just at the Mazda dealer getting one of the free scheduled maintenances taken care of and saw a couple of these on the lot (inventory...I know!!! No Mazda3s or MX-5s, but had some CX-5s and CX-50s). They are even nicer in person - the paint especially stands out. Plus the terracotta interior treatment isn't something done by Honda, Toyota, or Nissan so you can get something different. The slight price hike is worth it and it's worth it just to have something that isn't white, black, or a million shades of gray. Or get the Soul Red. You can never go wrong with that color. I just with the terracotta interior was offered with that.
  • VoGhost This new SLX looks to be quite a trooper.
  • Wolfwagen I would rather have an annual inspection that may catch something early or at least the driver can be informed of an impending issue. Government vs private is another issue and unscrupulous mechanics is another.On a slightly different topic is the inspection of salvage or rebuilt cars. In NYS it is strictly to ensure that stolen parts were not used to rebuild the vehicle. I would rather see an inspection to ensure that the vehicle has been properly put back together.
  • PeterPuck For years, Ford has simply reworked existing designs originating from Europe and Japanese manufacturers, not being capable of designing a decent car in the USA.What’s the last clean sheet design from the USA? The 1986 Taurus?And they still can’t manage to get things right.why is this? Are they putting all of the competent engineers and designers on the F150? Is woke diversification affecting them, as some rumours suggest? Are they rewarding incompetence?