Thursday, July 21, 2016

Elon Musk’s Second ‘Master Plan’ Calls for a Solar and EV Revolution

Tesla Motors Inc. CEO Elon Musk delivers a conference at the Paris Pantheon Sorbonne University as part of the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Paris, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2015. (Credit: AP Photo/Francois Mori) Click to Enlarge.
If Elon Musk gets his way and his electric car company succeeds in buying the solar company SolarCity, Tesla will not just mean fancy electric vehicles (EVs).  It will mean energy.  Home battery storage.  Solar panels on your roof.  A wider variety of affordable Tesla vehicles driving the streets, increasingly without drivers — including a forthcoming Tesla Semi.

This corporate pivot was not wholly unexpected.  On Tuesday, Reuters reported that Tesla had changed the name of its official corporate website from to — potentially signaling a shift in direction from an auto company to to an energy company that also makes vehicles.

Musk tweeted first on Tuesday that he planned to “pull an all-nighter and complete the master product plan” and also that it seemed “appropriate” that he was listening to the soundtrack from the film The Great Gatsby.

Late Wednesday night, Musk tweeted a link to Tesla’s “Master Plan, Part Deux.”

Musk starts out reminding readers that the initial Master Plan, written 10 years ago, included “providing solar power,” after a ladder-like series of goals focused on electric vehicle production, innovation, and revolution.  Tesla first wanted to get good at producing a fancy, amazing EV, and then using those profits to produce more and more EVs that might be less expensive and fancy but still were better than the competition.

The plan then gets to the part where Musk explains what this has really been all about:
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.
In the past, Musk has called for a carbon tax, and a “revolt” against the fossil fuel industry because of his concerns about climate change.  He’s called uncapped greenhouse gas emissions “the dumbest experiment in history.”

So it’s not surprising that Musk feels this way, but to so clearly state the goals behind Tesla’s master plan as a sustainable world and cutting carbon emissions is notable.

Read more at Elon Musk’s Second ‘Master Plan’ Calls for a Solar and EV Revolution

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