With the release Wednesday of a blog post titled simply, Master Plan, Part Deux, Tesla Motors Inc. [wt stock ticker=TSLA] founder and CEO, Elon Musk, made it clear he sees an automotive future few others see and one likely to create even more doubters of his vision.
In Musk’s future world, you could own a self-driving electric-powered vehicle that you rent out to other drivers when you are not using it, effectively making you the owner of a car rental agency.
While this concept has already been described as a potential threat to Uber, Lyft, Zipcar and others, it is likewise considered a tall order for a company that has yet to report a profit.
According to Musk, Tesla owners would activate their participation in the ride share network 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.”
Musk’s new master plan also includes the development and introduction of several much heavier utility vehicles than previously discussed by the carmaker. Musk said specifics on the new vehicles should be unveiled in 2017.
The new fleet includes an all-electric pickup truck, small sport utility vehicle, large semi-trucks and even buses. Because of size, weight and load requirements, development of these vehicles would likely involve major redesign of both the vehicles themselves and the factories needed to build them.
Meanwhile Back At The Ranch
Tesla is busy gearing up to launch the Model 3 in record numbers. One of the numbers mentioned has been 500,000 vehicles per year. That’s a 10-fold increase over the 50,000 vehicles sold last year.
Musk’s previously announced desire to add a small SUV and a pickup truck to the Tesla lineup could provide a big boost, especially given the fact the light-truck market represents nearly 60% of automobiles sold in the U.S.
In addition, it has likely not gone unnoticed at Tesla that General Motors Co. [wt stock ticker=GM] just posted a 157% increase in net profit in Q2, thanks to huge sales of SUVs and trucks.
Related: DRIVERLESS TRUCKING – IT'S COMING
Finally Don’t Forget SolarCity
As Elon Musk’s plan to turn Tesla owners into car rental agencies gathers headlines, he is quietly working behind the scenes promoting his plan to combine SolarCity Corp. [wt stock ticker=SCTY] with Tesla to form a one-stop shop for both solar and electric powered automobiles.
With Part Deux comes the announcement that Musk hopes to use that merger to integrate energy generation (via solar panels) with energy storage (via batteries) into what Musk calls a “smoothly integrated and beautiful solar-roof-with-battery product that just works.”