Tesla bosses have given early details of how new production processes and technical innovations will help it massively boost the efficiency of both its factories and its vehicles.
In a wide-reaching strategy presentation termed Masterplan 3, available to watch below, CEO Elon Musk and other Tesla managers gave updates on a wide array of developments for the EV firm, ranging from advances in electric motor technology to new car construction processes that speed up production.
Taking to the stage at the Texas Gigafactory before Tesla stakeholders, fans and car owners, Musk was expected primarily to outline a long-mooted new EV architecture that’s tipped to underpin an ‘affordable’ entry-level car sitting beneath the big-selling Tesla Model 3.
Musk instead outlined his vision for a cleaner global economy in the post-ICE age, saying: “There is a clear path to a fully sustainable Earth, with abundance,” adding that this can be achieved without “austerity” and predicting that “an electrified economy will require less mining than the current economy”.
The all-out switch to electric road vehicles will cut fossil fuel usage by 21%, Tesla said. Furthermore, according to Musk: “All cars will go fully electric and autonomous. Driving a non-autonomous gasoline car is going to be an allegory for riding a horse and using a flip phone.”
Musk spoke of the need for a massive ramp-up in battery production and storage capacity – the latter of which he estimates Tesla will ultimately need 240TWh. “This is a lot of batteries but a very achievable amount,” he said, explaining that the tally included batteries both in and out of electric cars, at a ratio of around 1:8.
His battery ambitions are in line with a conviction that “as we improve the energy density of batteries, you will see all transportation go fully electric”. He was condemnatory about the potential for other fuel types to transform the mobility industry, saying: “Hydrogen will not be meaningfully used in transport.”
It had also been expected that the presentation would shed light on the long-delayed Cybertruck and Roadster EVs and future production facilities, but this time Tesla was less focused on showcasing future products than in recent years.
The Cybertruck, Roadster, Robotaxi and Semi are still yet to reach volume production (or any production) several years after they were announced.
Investors didn’t take kindly to the dearth of product announcements, with Tesla’s value dipping 5% overnight following the presentation.
Global reports had also suggested that Musk could give new details of Tesla’s long-mooted ‘affordable’ EV, which would be smaller and cheaper than the hugely popular Model 3 and provide the American company with a rival to the Volkswagen ID 3. Sketches of that car had been circulating on social media, with speculation that it could have a price tag of around £20,000 and a range of around 250 miles.