PALO ALTO, California, April 17, 2017 (ENS) - Before 2020, Tesla is planning to round out its line of electric vehicles with a pickup truck, a semi heavy haul freight mover, a bus and a convertible, in addition to its existing sedans and SUV, the company's CEO Elon Musk indicated on Twitter Thursday.
Musk outlined the Silicon Valley company's future in a series of tweets with announcements of a Tesla heavy-haul freight truck, a Tesla pickup truck and a Tesla convertible, in addition to the final unveiling of Tesla's affordable Model 3 sedan in July.
Stock market analysts estimate the four tweets by Musk led to US$1.2 billion in additional market value for Tesla.
"Tesla Semi truck unveil set for September," tweeted Musk. "Team has done an amazing job. Seriously next level."
In questions responding to that tweet, Musk said a Tesla pickup truck would be coming in 18 to 24 months, and said he envisions the next-generation version of Tesla's first model, the Roadster, as a convertible.
"Next gen Roadster will be convertible," tweeted Musk.
Tesla first gained global attention following its production of the Tesla Roadster, the first electric sports car, in 2008.
The company's second vehicle, the Model S, an electric luxury sedan, debuted in 2012 and is built at the Tesla factory in Fremont, California. The Model S has been the world's best-selling plug-in electric car for the past two years, with global sales at the 150,000 unit mark in November 2016.
As of December 2016, the Model S ranks as the world's all-time second best-selling plug-in after the Nissan Leaf.
The Model S was then followed by the Model X, a crossover SUV; deliveries began on September 29, 2015.
In an impromptu question and answer session on Twitter in March, Musk teased an SUV update, the planned Model Y electric SUV.
Tesla's next vehicle to hit the marketplace is the Model 3. In its only disclosure of how many Model 3 reservations it has collected Tesla said that as of May 15, 2016 it had taken 373,000 reservations for Model 3s.
Tesla's most affordable car yet, starts at only $35,000 before government incentives. With a range of 215 miles per charge, the Model 3 is designed to attain the highest safety ratings in every category, the company says.
In late March Musk clarified what the Model 3 really is.
On March 24 he tweeted, "Am noticing that many people think Model 3 is the 'next version' of a Tesla, like iPhone 2 vs 3. This is not true."
"Model 3 is just a smaller, more affordable version of Model S w less range & power & fewer features. Model S has more advanced technology," tweeted Musk.
The Model 3 vehicle itself will not have any new technology, tweeted Musk; that shows up only on the drawing board and on the assembly line.
"Nothing majorly new that a consumer would notice," tweeted Musk. "Lots of new tech in the design and production process though."
The first Model 3 cars will be rear-wheel drive (RWD), while the all-wheel-drive versions will come at least six months after launch.
"We are minimizing configuration complexity to keep the production ramp on schedule. RWD only for early production, just like Model S," he tweeted.
the delivery estimate for new reservations is mid-2018 or later, depending on country of delivery. Once production begins, Tesla will begin deliveries in North America starting on the West Coast, moving east. As the company ramps up production, it will begin deliveries in Europe, Asia Pacific and right-hand drive markets.
Any new reservations made will be delivered in 2018 or later as production at Tesla increases to 500,000 cars per year.
The performance version of the Model 3 will come no earlier than April 2018.
In a blog post last year about long-term next goals for the company, Musk wrote about plans that included making an electric heavy-duty truck and a "high passenger density urban transport" vehicle, in other words, a bus.
Musk said the truck and the bus are in the "early stages of development" and will likely be ready to be revealed this 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,” Musk tweeted late in March.
So, to summarize, by 2020 Tesla plans to offer: the Roadster as a convertible sports car, the Model S luxury sedan, the Model 3 affordable sedan, an SUV, a pickup truck, a semi-truck, and a bus.
Ten years ago Musk wrote his first master plan for Tesla. It basically looked like this:
- 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
On July 20, 2016, Musk published his "Master Plan, Part Deux" of which the vehicle section is:
- 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
It appears that Musk is geared up to accomplish these goals.
PHOTO: Tesla Model 3 (Photo courtesy Tesla)