In Elon Musk‘s Master Plan, Part Deux for Tesla, the business titan and innovation legend speaks as plainly as possible — an antidote to a lot of corporate speak. Ten years ago Musk wrote down four things for his Tesla Master Plan, Part One (he has only switched to French now that his company has matured). In Deux, after a rundown of where the company has been, Musk presents his vision of the future and it is, as always, compelling. Besides the important talk of fossil fuel depletion and new factory protocol and design, there’s the more personal intrigue of owning your own robot — except it’s called a car and it makes money for you while you sleep.
You’ve heard that most cars are in use only 5-10% of the time. It’s a fact that Uber has taken profitable advantage of. But Musk paints an easy-to-grasp scenario where your investment in a Tesla pays you back right away — through participation in a share network. While you sleep (or garden or play the drums), your self-driving Tesla will be able go out and pick up share fares. (You’ll merely tap a button and your car will be added to a Tesla shared fleet.) If you’re not much of a driver, the fares, Musk speculates, could exceed “the monthly loan or lease cost,” dramatically lowering “the true cost of ownership to the point where almost anyone could own a Tesla.” Your Tesla won’t just come with an electric engine — it’ll be a profit engine, too.