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    Thread: Elon Musk unveils Master Plan Part Deux for Tesla: Model 3-based Crossover and Pickup, Tesla Semi (big rig) and more...

    1. Senior Member Mazda 3s's Avatar
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      07-20-2016 09:08 PM #1
      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:

      Create a low volume car, which would necessarily be expensive
      Use that money to develop a medium volume car at a lower price
      Use that money to create an affordable, high volume car
      And...
      Provide solar power. No kidding, this has literally been on our website for 10 years.
      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.

      Here is what we plan to do to make that day come sooner:

      Integrate Energy Generation and Storage
      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.

      We can't do this well if Tesla and SolarCity are different companies, which is why we need to combine and break down the barriers inherent to being separate companies. That they are separate at all, despite similar origins and pursuit of the same overarching goal of sustainable energy, is largely an accident of history. Now that Tesla is ready to scale Powerwall and SolarCity is ready to provide highly differentiated solar, the time has come to bring them together.

      Expand to Cover the Major Forms of Terrestrial Transport
      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, because of the third part of the plan described below.

      What really matters to accelerate a sustainable future is being able to scale up production volume as quickly as possible. That is why Tesla engineering has transitioned to focus heavily on designing the machine that makes the machine -- turning the factory itself into a product. A first principles physics analysis of automotive production suggests that somewhere between a 5 to 10 fold improvement is achievable by version 3 on a roughly 2 year iteration cycle. The first Model 3 factory machine should be thought of as version 0.5, with version 1.0 probably in 2018.

      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.

      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. Fixed summon buttons at existing bus stops would serve those who don't have a phone. Design accommodates wheelchairs, strollers and bikes.


      Autonomy
      As the technology matures, all Tesla vehicles will 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. 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.

      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.

      I should add a note here to explain why Tesla is deploying partial autonomy now, rather than waiting until some point in the future. The most important reason is that, when used correctly, it is already significantly safer than a person driving by themselves and it would therefore be morally reprehensible to delay release simply for fear of bad press or some mercantile calculation of legal liability.

      According to the recently released 2015 NHTSA report, automotive fatalities increased by 8% to one death every 89 million miles. Autopilot miles will soon exceed twice that number and the system gets better every day. 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.


      It is also important to explain why we refer to Autopilot as "beta". 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.

      Sharing
      When true self-driving is approved by regulators, it will mean that you will be able to summon your Tesla from pretty much anywhere. Once it picks you up, you will be able to sleep, read or do anything else enroute to your destination.

      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. This dramatically lowers the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla. Since most cars are only in use by their owner for 5% to 10% of the day, the fundamental economic utility of a true self-driving car is likely to be several times that of a car which is not.

      In cities where demand exceeds the supply of customer-owned cars, Tesla will operate its own fleet, ensuring you can always hail a ride from us no matter where you are.

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

      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
      https://www.tesla.com/blog/master-plan-part-deux
      "Of course that's just my opinion; I could be wrong."

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    3. Senior Member Ryukein's Avatar
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      07-20-2016 09:32 PM #2
      Very interesting and exciting.
      Quote Originally Posted by ClothSeats View Post
      In after Ryukein seal of approval.
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      07-20-2016 09:33 PM #3
      "GM and Ford execs hate him".

    5. I’ll never get laid because I’m a nerd ChillOutPossum's Avatar
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      07-20-2016 09:34 PM #4
      What a time to be alive

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      07-20-2016 09:39 PM #5
      Glad to see the respect for Ford.

    7. 07-20-2016 09:54 PM #6
      I really like that he is looking at the complete package of sustainability, from cars, to trucks, to buses, to homes. He is a brilliant icon of our generation!
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      07-20-2016 10:03 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Atl-Atl View Post
      Glad to see the respect for Ford.
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      Quote Originally Posted by Crimping Is Easy View Post
      You're always better off with a Citroën.™

    9. Geriatric Member spockcat's Avatar
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      07-20-2016 10:05 PM #8
      Obviously the OP is totally wrong as he isn't Uber Wagon and this isn't a poll.

      In before Uber Wagon's repost of this info tomorrow.

    10. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      07-20-2016 10:28 PM #9
      color me highly skeptical about their full electrification of heavy duty trucks, but i know some folks whove headed there to work on exactly that... so we'll see how that turns out

      i think the bus makes more sense, and is ultimately easier to implement

    11. Member rimtrim's Avatar
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      07-20-2016 10:34 PM #10
      I think the area where he's most correct is over-the-road trucks. Regardless of whether Tesla ever actually builds an electric and/or self-driving truck, I think conceptually he's right. I believe OTR trucks will be the first vehicles to make the transition to fully autonomous. From the shippers' perspective, it's eventually going to be a rational economic decision, and ultimately they're the ones who get to decide what method of transport to use.

      As for the solar power, I don't really know enough about the economics of that industry, and the level of consumer demand, to say anything intelligent about it, so I'll leave that alone.

      Where I think he's most likely to be wrong (along with a lot of other people who have made similar predictions) is in the idea that most people won't want to own cars in the future. That will be true in areas where it's already known to be true: dense urban centers where off-street parking costs a zillion dollars and on-street parking means getting your side mirror taken off once a week. But the bottom line is, consumers (unlike freight shippers) are mostly not rational. They buy what makes them feel good, or meets an imagined need that they might one day have, not what they actually need today. Elon Musk, of all people, should understand this, since he just got a bunch of people to pay $100K for a crossover with gullwing doors.

      Even if he can come up with a car-sharing plan that makes excellent rational and economic sense, I just don't think that most people are going to want to give up car ownership. That's especially true in economies that are currently "developing", like India and China, where owning a car is a status symbol even more so than in present-day America. And in those countries, the number of people who can afford even a Model 3 is very small. The idea that those wealthy people are going to want to rent out their $40K vehicle to let random people drive it over the potholed streets of India 24/7 seems absurd to me. I think the person who is best positioned to give an alternative (but not retrograde) approach to the future of cars globally is Carlos Ghosn. Nissan has a pretty good understanding of what it takes to build an EV, and nobody understands emerging markets better than he does. It will be interesting to see how the Nissan and Tesla business models play out on the global stage.

      Finally, let me just point out a few things that were widely believed less than 10 years ago:

      - We have reached peak oil, and prices will continue to rise
      - We have reached "peak car", and auto sales will never return to pre-recession heights
      - People will continue to switch from large truck-like vehicles to small, efficient cars
      - Many or most cars will be hybrid or electric by 2020

      None of this turned out to be true. I'm not necessarily celebrating that...I think there would be many benefits to society if people chose to buy smaller, more efficient cars, and if oil prices stayed high enough to encourage that trend. But, as yet, it's just not happening. Elon Musk is not going to convince people to make the "rational" choice if it doesn't line up with what they feel like they want, and how they imagine themselves.

      -Andrew L
      "The whole economy is hinged on potholes." --Ray Magliozzi
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    12. Geriatric Member ValveCoverGasket's Avatar
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      07-20-2016 10:38 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by rimtrim View Post
      I think the area where he's most correct is over-the-road trucks. Regardless of whether Tesla ever actually builds an electric and/or self-driving truck, I think conceptually he's right. I believe OTR trucks will be the first vehicles to make the transition to fully autonomous. From the shippers' perspective, it's eventually going to be a rational economic decision, and ultimately they're the ones who get to decide what method of transport to use.
      definitely agree there.
      theres a lot of money behind moving that direction, as i recall one of the (perhaps the) largest expense of operating a truck is the driver's time.
      they also operate in a more regulated environment, between inspections and licensing, as well as having built in fleet management which would help oversee the safe operation of the autonomous driving. all of which means it makes more sense to roll that out to semis versus your average joe in his luxury sedan.

      its coming, no doubt.

      but i dont think we'll see full electric trucks anytime soon barring some kind of miraculous breakthrough in tech.

    13. Member MrRoboto's Avatar
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      07-20-2016 10:43 PM #12
      I just rode on an electric bus in China the other day. They exist.

    14. 07-20-2016 10:58 PM #13
      Quote Originally Posted by MrRoboto View Post
      I just rode on an electric bus in China the other day. They exist.
      Yes...but you didn't have to go to China to ride one... Many US cities have electric buses.

    15. Member MrRoboto's Avatar
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      07-20-2016 11:11 PM #14
      Quote Originally Posted by surefooted View Post
      Yes...but you didn't have to go to China to ride one... Many US cities have electric buses.
      The Chinese are seriously pushing electrification at the moment. I rode on electric taxis, minibuses, and buses while I was there. Was surprised, though I don't have specs on any of those vehicles.

    16. Senior Member Mazda 3s's Avatar
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      07-21-2016 10:39 AM #15
      Surprised no one latched on to the electric pickup truck Isn't that what some people here were pining for?
      "Of course that's just my opinion; I could be wrong."

      Quote Originally Posted by The Igneous Faction
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      07-21-2016 10:42 AM #16
      Quote Originally Posted by spockcat View Post
      In before Uber Wagon's repost of this info tomorrow.
      Good call. Trying to bring back a dead thread to boot.
      Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.

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      07-21-2016 10:57 AM #17
      Tesla Bus (only half joking - largely aligns with his description)

      http://pixgrove.blogspot.com/2013/06...bo-ockels.html



      Gentlemen, you had my curiosity. But now you have my attention.

    19. Geriatric Member spockcat's Avatar
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      07-21-2016 12:45 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post
      Surprised no one latched on to the electric pickup truck Isn't that what some people here were pining for?
      That is just what I want. An electric pickup truck so I can tow my boat to the boat launch and back it into the saltwater. Should do wonders for the electric motor and battery connections. And if I am fully charged up, I might even be able to electrocute nearby fish, thus eliminating the need for a boat to go fishing.


      Quote Originally Posted by Karma View Post
      Good call. Trying to bring back a dead thread to boot.
      And right on time with a poll as predicted.

    20. Geriatric Member spockcat's Avatar
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      07-21-2016 05:25 PM #19
      Musk's new Tesla 'master plan' comes with big price tag

      UPDATED: 7/21/16 4:48 pm ET - adds detail

      Elon Musk's latest "master plan" for Tesla Motors Inc. to develop an electric commercial truck, a public bus, a pickup and systems to enable fully autonomous driving, could cost $2 billion to $3 billion or more, experts and analysts said Thursday.

      Musk did not lay out a budget for his latest strategy to expand Tesla into a broader range of vehicle markets as well as ride services and solar energy systems. The Tesla CEO also did not explain how the company planned to pay for the new products he envisioned.

      However, analysts said it is likely Tesla will have to go back to investors for more capital to fund the plan, despite the company's success in raising about $1.7 billion with a sale of shares in May.

      "It's beyond us how much fundraising Tesla will need to carry out this master plan," Barclays Capital analyst Brian Johnson wrote in a note to clients.

      Standard & Poors Thursday cut its rating on Tesla to "sell" from "hold" saying "while we think Tesla's new master plan may build a long-term technological monument, we think it will create a short-term cash flow sink hole."

      Tesla shares fell 3.4 percent to close at $220.50 on Thursday.

      Up to Wednesday's close, the company's shares had risen 5 percent since July 8 after Musk tweeted that he was working on a second master plan for the company he founded in 2003.

      Musk on Wednesday sketched out a vision for Tesla to become an integrated carbon-free energy enterprise offering products and services beyond electric cars and batteries.

      The most expensive elements of the plan were his proposals for Tesla to develop a compact pickup truck, an SUV, electric semi trucks and buses.

      The SUV and pickup could cost $500 million to $750 million each for components and production equipment, assuming they borrowed elements from the automaker's current vehicles, said Michael Tracy, a manufacturing expert and president of The Agile Group in Detroit.

      Development and production of an electric semi truck and bus could cost up to $500 million, according to Mark Wakefield of AlixPartners.

      A four-year-old Salt Lake City startup, Nikola Motor Co., plans to unveil in December a working prototype of a natural gas/electric heavy duty semi-trailer truck designed for road haulage.

      Nikola CEO Trevor Milton told Reuters on Thursday he respects Musk, but "Tesla better be willing to round up $5 billion and be willing to spend it" to develop an electric semi truck that can compete in the over-the-road market. The effort could take five to nine years, Milton said.

      Nikola plans to begin producing its Nikola One trucks within 36 months, and has 7,300 orders, he added.

      Playing catch up

      Tesla would be playing catch up in the commercial truck market with established players such as Daimler AG and PACCAR Inc. Daimler and PACCAR are among the participants in a U.S. Department of Energy "Super Truck" program to build a more efficient heavy truck. Daimler said it has matched a $39.6 million federal grant as part of the program.

      Analysts questioned whether a fully electric long-haul freight truck would be practical. "Imagine the battery needed to make a cross country trip," UBS Securities analyst Colin Langan wrote in a report Thursday.

      'Intelligent' trucks?

      However, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas said "intelligent" trucks that use automated driving technology to enable vehicles to run around the clock, and operate in closely-packed platoons, could cut shipping costs by 30 to 50 percent from current levels.

      Another expensive element of Musk's strategy is developing technology to pilot fully self-driving cars, trucks and buses. Musk said he wants self-driving cars that are ten times safer than a human driver. Analysts estimated that effort could consume $400 million to $800 million or more.

      Musk and Tesla CFO Jason Wheeler told investors in May that Tesla planned to accelerate the launch of the Model 3 sedan, aiming to build 500,000 a year of the affordable sedans by 2018. They said capital spending for the coming year would rise 50 percent from previous forecasts to about $2.25 billion.

      Following its share sale, Tesla said it had nearly $2.9 billion on hand, including cash drawn from its credit line. Musk has said he expects Tesla to stop burning cash by the end of this year. Analysts are skeptical Tesla can fund the previous plan to accelerate Model 3 production, and the new ventures, without taking on more debt or launching another share sale.

      $4.2 billion hole

      In delivering on its original master plan, Tesla "... dug a $4.2 billion hole on the financial side that has necessitated a series of fund raises totaling $6.2 billion," Johnson said.

      Of the 17 brokerages covering Tesla's stock, four rate it "buy" or higher and eight "hold", while five recommend "sell". The median price target is $234.

    21. Member Dieselstation's Avatar
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      07-21-2016 06:23 PM #20
      I'm excited to see what a Tesla pickup truck would look like. If it's being built on the Model 3's platform, then i guess it's safe to say it will be unibody and not body on frame. I am hoping it'll be a return to the smaller 80's pickup size. I don't think anyone is really asking for a full size half ton or more hauler for serious work.. I think Tesla would do much better as a smaller family haulerthat is light and quick and easy to load and unload for most city folks.

      Someone else's rendering. Make it a 2 door, small pickup bed, and you're golden.

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      07-21-2016 06:24 PM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by daSchtick View Post
      I really like that he is looking at the complete package of sustainability, from cars, to trucks, to buses, to homes. He is a brilliant icon of our generation!
      This is why I am rooting for this guy. He is a visionary looking to improve society as a whole.

    23. Member alleghenyman's Avatar
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      07-21-2016 06:39 PM #22
      All I can say is that I hope he succeeds.

      I need to put a $10,000 roof on my house that is going to do nothing but wear out, and I'm tired of buying gasoline.
      Power is knowledge

    24. Member G0to60's Avatar
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      07-21-2016 06:46 PM #23
      I love the vision and the long term goals. He has a big hill to climb but I hope that he is able to pull this off. I know that my next daily will be another electric car and I'm hoping that it will be a Model 3. My wife and I are already talking about building a house in the near future and solar is already on the check list so making it easily integrated would be awesome.

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      07-21-2016 07:13 PM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Dieselstation View Post
      I'm excited to see what a Tesla pickup truck would look like. If it's being built on the Model 3's platform, then i guess it's safe to say it will be unibody and not body on frame. I am hoping it'll be a return to the smaller 80's pickup size. I don't think anyone is really asking for a full size half ton or more hauler for serious work.. I think Tesla would do much better as a smaller family haulerthat is light and quick and easy to load and unload for most city folks.

      Someone else's rendering. Make it a 2 door, small pickup bed, and you're golden.
      And I assume you want it for under $15k like all minitrucks used to be.

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      07-21-2016 07:23 PM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by spockcat View Post
      And I assume you want it for under $15k like all minitrucks used to be.
      If it's built like the Model 3, then I say price it like the Model 3.
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