Just as quickly as Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg went from casual acquaintances to full-on foes, 2017 is more than halfway over.
Tesla had a lot of lofty goals for the year, and made some big moves like the release of the Model 3, but there are still a few ideas brewing that Musk would like to execute by year’s end.
Anticipated Model 3 Release
As mentioned above, the Tesla Model 3 graced the world with its presence this year, and its official unveiling is in two days at a company handover party.
As we previously reported, production is expected to kick into a higher gear and Musk’s processes and logistics will be tested following the official Model 3 event. For investors, this will be the defining moment on whether Musk’s vision for a high volume, affordable electric car is possible.
The delivery event will also feature presentations from Musk on Tesla’s grand vision for a sustainable future.
The Model 3, Musk’s entry into the mass vehicle market, will be $35,000 and have a range of more than 215 miles per charge.
Next Level Semi
The Tesla Semi-truck, which Musk touted as “seriously next level,” is due for an unveiling in September.
Semis typically drive millions of miles and are some of the largest polluters in the world. Tesla’s electric truck could take thousands of these off the road, making the air cleaner and quieter, but battery technology and Tesla’s charging network would need to be able to support the extreme long distance travel and weight often associated with this industry.
The semi initiative is being led by former VP of Worldwide Sales and Service Jerome Guillen. Could the recent rumors about a “4416” cell be pointing to a larger battery cell for the upcoming Tesla Semi?
“A lot of people don’t think you can do a heavy duty long-range truck that is electric. But, we are confident that this can be done,” Musk said.
10,000 superchargers globally
Tesla says it plans to have more than 10,000 Superchargers and 15,000 destination chargers in its network by the end of 2017, doubling that of the existing charging network.
“As Tesla prepares for our first mass-market vehicle and continues to increase our Model S and Model X fleet, we’re making charging an even greater priority,” Tesla said back in April. “It is extremely important to us and our mission that charging is convenient, abundant, and reliable for all owners, current and future. In 2017, we’ll be doubling the Tesla charging network, expanding existing sites so drivers never wait to charge, and broadening our charging locations within city centers.”
As of right now, Tesla has 6,118 superchargers and 909 supercharging stations.
Your Car Will Be Able to Drive Others One Day
As our own Margaret Gach reported, the Tesla Network has the potential to upset ride-hailing giants Uber and Lyft.
The basic idea of the Tesla Network is for the car to drive itself while you’re busy.
Given that the typical car owner only uses their vehicle during about 5 to 10 percent of the day, having your car make money for the other 90 to 95 percent of the day could be lucrative. While you’re at work, asleep, or even on vacation, your Tesla could be driving around the city, picking up and dropping off passengers without any extra effort on your part.
Musk and company still have some way to go though as a 2017 Deloitte study shows that 74 percent of Americans don’t currently trust self-driving cars.
Though Musk didn’t specifically outline a timeframe for Tesla’s ride-sharing network, rapid developments taking place on the company’s Autopilot program and Full Self-Driving Capabilities would lead us to believe that a major announcement related to the Tesla Network will be coming, as Tesla demonstrates a fully autonomous, California to New York drive by year end.
An Eye Toward The Future
With the Model 3 delivery event being Friday, it will become clear if Tesla was able to knock out another one of its goals for the year. Even if it does, the company still has to execute a few more of its 2017 plans before the ball drops into 2018.