Tesla’s Master Plan includes a pick-up. But there is much more to it

In April, we have tried to imagine how a Tesla pick-up could be. The guys from PickupTrucks.com were trying to figure it out. And yesterday Elon Musk has released the Master Plan, Part Deux. It confirms the idea of an electric pick-up for the next 10 years. But there is much more than that on the pipeline. In some cases, surprising new products and goals. In others, things that were already expected to appear.

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Besides the pick-up, Musk also spoke about the Model 3 and of a compact SUV. We already know it will be called Model Y. But Musk also plans to expand Tesla’s range into trucks and a kind of bus. The truck even has a name: Tesla Semi. And it will be presented next year. If Nikola Motors has decided to have a truck, the Nikola One, why wouldn’t Tesla?

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The bus is a little more mysterious. It will not be the way current buses are. It will not have a central aisle, what would make it more agile in traffic. Musk does not even call it a bus, but a “high passenger-density urban transport.” And it would only be possible with a fully autonomous technology. It would take passengers until their final destination, not only to a bus stop. Hence, developing autonomous technology is another keystone in Musk’s Master Plan.

Autopilot

Regarding the autonomous technology, Musk clarifies Tesla does not call Autopilot “beta” due to lack of testing. “This is not beta software in any normal sense of the word. Every release goes through extensive internal validation before it reaches any customers. It is called beta in order to decrease complacency and indicate that it will continue to improve (Autopilot is always off by default). Once we get to the point where Autopilot is approximately 10 times safer than the US vehicle average, the beta label will be removed”, he writes. In other words, it is one more way to prevent people from using it as irresponsibly as they are using it nowadays. In other words, calling it beta has not prevented idiots from trying to suicide with technological aid.

This is the most interesting part of the Master Plan Musk has announced. He also mentions strategies, such as the merge of Tesla and SolarCity, in an effort to integrate energy generation and storage. Each Tesla vehicle can become an energy storage device. With wheels. It is just a matter of implementing smart grids in every house. If solar roofs from SolarCity are also added to the equation, Musk will have accomplished another step.

The last step relies on autonomous technology to be fulfilled. If Tesla cars become fully autonomous, they can be shared and generate revenue for each of his owners. This would be Musk’s idea to bring the cars ownership costs down. Eventually, owning a Tesla would be even profitable. Will Musk manage to get it done? The “Part Un” of his Master Plan has been fully accomplished, despite many problems along the way, so we would definitely not doubt it.

 

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.