Elon Musk’s plans for the coming decade are nothing short of ambitious. Among other things, Tesla‘s CEO has promised to dramatically increase car production, launch several completely new cars, and conquer self-driving vehicles by 2020. Here’s a closer look at what exactly Musk has promised Tesla will accomplish during the next few years.
COMPLETE ITS GIANT GIGAFACTORY
Musk’s giant battery factory in Nevada is key to Tesla’s future because it is expected to help the company cut the cost of its batteries by as much as 30%.
The Gigafactory, about 5.5 million square feet, would help the company dramatically cut the cost of its batteries once it’s fully operational in 2018 by “using economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing process under one roof.”
In fact, Tesla has said it will create more battery cells at the Gigafactory than all of the lithium-ion battery makers combined did in 2013.
BRING THE MODEL 3 INTO PRODUCTION
The batteries created at the Gigafactory would enable Tesla to produce its first mass-market car, the Model 3. It will be about $35,000 and have a range of more than 200 miles per charge. Tesla started production of the Model 3 earlier this month and planned to begin deliveries at a company event on Friday, July 28.
LAUNCH A COMPACT SUV, DUBBED THE MODEL Y, BY THE END OF 2019 OR EARLY 2020
In July 2016, Musk confirmed Tesla planned to bring to market a new compact SUV, dubbed the Model Y. But a timeline for the vehicle wasn’t disclosed until May, when Musk said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call that it would arrive by late 2019 or 2020. He also said the vehicle would be built on a platform separate from the Model 3.
REVEAL AN ELECTRIC SEMITRUCK IN SEPTEMBER
Musk announced in August that the company was working on a Tesla semitruck, in his “Master Plan, Part Deux.” In June, though, Musk said Tesla was working with major trucking companies to design the company’s first all-electric semitruck.
“We are showing off a working prototype at the end of September, but we have shown it to people who buy heavy-duty trucking, and they all love it,” Musk said during Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting. “They just want to know how many can they buy and how soon.”
While we will most likely get a look at the electric semi in a few months, it’s still not clear when the truck would be available.
ELECTRIC PICKUP TRUCK BEFORE THE CLOSE OF 2019.
Musk also said in his “Master Plan, Part Deux” that Tesla would build an electric pickup truck for consumers. Musk said in April that Tesla would reveal its semitruck in September and its consumer pickup truck in 18 months to two years, meaning sometime between October 2018 and April 2019.
INCREASE THE RANGE OF TESLA CARS TO 1,000 KILOMETERS PER CHARGE.
Tesla’s cars already boast the best range on the market, but Musk has said he aims to dramatically increase how far Tesla’s cars travel on a single charge.
“The record right now for the Model S is 800 kilometers (497 miles). That is the furthest that anyone has driven a Model S,” Musk told the Danish news site Borsen in September 2015. “My guess is probably we could break 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) within a year or two. I’d say 2017 for sure.”
Musk added that by 2020 Tesla could most likely make its cars go as far as 745 miles per charge.
While the record for hypermiling in a Tesla is about 560 miles, the official range for Tesla’s Model S P100D is about 315 miles per charge, according to ratings by the Environmental Protection Agency.
MAKE ITS CARS FULLY AUTONOMOUS.
Another bold promise Musk has made for Tesla is that its cars will be autonomous before 2020.
Tesla began rolling out its new Enhanced Autopilot hardware in October. Musk said at the time that the hardware would enable full autonomy once the software was ready.
However, Musk has said it’s unlikely regulators will have laws in place by the time Tesla’s autonomous cars are ready, so drivers may have to wait a little longer before getting to go hands-free.
While the company plans to do a demo drive in a Tesla in self-driving mode from Los Angeles to New York City by the end of this year, Musk said during a TED Talk in April that it would most likely be 2019 before a driver could take a nap behind the wheel of a Tesla.
PRODUCE 500,000 CARS PER YEAR BY 2018.
Tesla made a little more than 50,000 vehicles in 2015, but Musk said in May 2016 that his company planned to produce no fewer than 500,000 by 2018.
To help put this in perspective, Tesla delivered a little more than 76,000 vehicles in 2016.
Tesla has acknowledged this is an aggressive target, but it’s not shying away from the challenge.
“Increasing production fivefold over the next two years will be challenging and will likely require some additional capital, but this is our goal, and we will be working hard to achieve it,” the company said in its 2016 letter to investors.
PRODUCE 1 MILLION CARS BY 2020.
As if producing half a million cars by 2018 were not enough, Musk wants to kick it up a notch and make 1 million cars a year by 2020.
Why? Demand for the Model 3 was greater than expected, forcing Tesla to reassess its goals. The company had about 325,000 reservations for the Model 3 during the first week of taking deposits.
While it’s no doubt an ambitious plan, Musk has said he is confident Tesla can achieve such aggressive growth.
DOUBLE THE NUMBER OF SUPERCHARGERS BY 2018.
With more Tesla vehicles on the road, Musk is also aiming to build out Tesla’s charging infrastructure.
During the Model 3 unveiling in March 2016, Musk said the company planned to expand its Supercharging network. Superchargers are stations that can charge a Tesla enough almost 200 miles of range in just 30 minutes.
Musk said during the Model 3 event that Tesla would double the number of its Superchargers worldwide, from 3,600 to more than 7,000, by 2018.
However, in April, Tesla said that by the end of this year it aimed to have 10,000 Superchargers worldwide, meaning the company is most likely ahead of schedule.
As of July, Tesla had increased the number of Superchargers to just over 6,000.
TURN TESLA INTO AN ENERGY COMPANY.
Musk doesn’t just want Tesla to make electric cars — he also wants the company to produce the energy that powers the cars.
In November, Tesla acquired SolarCity, a solar-power company founded by Musk’s cousin, Lyndon Rive.
Musk has made clear that his long-term vision for Tesla is a full-service sustainable-energy company.
“The opportunity here is to have a highly innovative sustainable-energy company that answers the whole energy question from power generation and storage to transport,” Musk told reporters during a call shortly after the announcement in June 2016.
“We are a sustainable-energy company,” he added. “This is, broadly speaking, right in line with that. In order to solve the sustainable-energy problem you need generation, storage, and electric cars.”
In October, right before shareholders voted on the SolarCity acquisition, Musk revealed the Tesla Solar Roof. It’s composed of solar shingles and is Tesla’s energy-generation solution.
The company began taking orders in May for its Solar Roof, which costs about $21.85 per square foot.
THE COMPANY IS EXPECTED TO DISCLOSE DETAILS ABOUT ITS TESLA NETWORK, A MOBILITY SERVICE, SOMETIME THIS YEAR.
In July 2016, Musk said in his “Master Plan, Part Deux” that Tesla planned to roll out a mobility service.
At the time, Musk said that once Tesla vehicles were fully autonomous, the company would set up a program for owners to make money off their car by letting other people use it.
“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 said.
In October, the company said Tesla owners who wanted to make money from ride-hailing or ride-sharing could do so only on its ride-hailing network and that it would disclose more details about it this year.