- REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
- Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company aims to begin producing cars in China in 2020.
- The company also aims to ramp up its energy business and launch several new cars in the same time frame.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has aggressive expansion plans for the company over the next few years.
One of the most notable things that Musk has planned is a big push into China. The company aims to begin producing its cars in a new factory in Shanghai in about three years, Musk said during Tesla’s third-quarter earnings call earlier this month.
But that’s not all Musk envisions for Tesla during the next few years.
Among other things, Musk aims for Tesla to launch a new compact SUV, perfect autonomous cars, and expand its energy business – all by 2020.
Here’s what else Musk wants Tesla to accomplish by then.
Finish building its giant battery plant called Gigafactory 1.
- YouTube/Duncan Sinfield
The Gigafactory 1, which is located in Nevada, is crucial to Tesla’s future because it is expected to help the company produce batteries en masse so that it can drive down the cost of the technology by as much as 30%.
Tesla claims the Gigafactory would help the company dramatically cut the cost of its batteries once it’s fully operational by “using economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing process under one roof.”
In fact, Tesla has said that by 2018 the Gigafactory will be able to produce almost as many lithium-ion cells as the rest of the world’s battery production combined.
Ramp up Model 3 production.
Tesla wants to bring electric vehicles to the masses with its Model 3, but the company must first seriously ramp up production.
The company launched the car in July and has since been dealing with a production nightmare.
The problem stems from a manufacturing hiccup at the Gigafactory where the batteries for the Model 3 are made.
Because of the assembly issue, the company has to push its production timeline back by three months, Musk said during an earnings call on Thursday.
The company had originally aimed to build 5,000 cars a week by December, but now the company foresees hitting that production level by the end of the first quarter, so sometime around March.
The delay, though, hasn’t changed the company’s ultimate goal to ramp up its total vehicle production to one million vehicles per year by 2020.
Launch a compact SUV, dubbed the Model Y, by the end of 2019 or early 2020.
In July 2016, Musk confirmed that Tesla planned to bring to market a new compact SUV, dubbed the Model Y.
But a timeline for the vehicle wasn’t disclosed until May, when Musk said during the company’s first-quarter earnings call that it would arrive by late 2019 or 2020. He also said the vehicle would be built on a platform separate from the Model 3.
Begin building cars in China.
- Benjamin Zhang/Business Insider
Tesla aims to begin building vehicles in China in roughly three years, Musk said during the company’s third-quarter earnings call.
This would put the production around the end of 2020 or beginning of 2021.
Reveal an electric big-rig.
- Screenshot/ TED Talk 2017
In August 2016, Musk announced in his “Master Plan, Part Deux” that the company was working on a Tesla semi-truck.
Musk has since said that he plans to reveal the truck on November 16.
Tesla has been working with major trucking companies to design the company’s first all-electric semi-truck, Musk said in June during the company’s annual shareholder meeting.
“We have shown it to people who buy heavy-duty trucking, and they all love it,” Musk said. “They just want to know how many can they buy and how soon.”
Launch an electric pick-up truck.
- REUTERS/Jason Reed
Musk said in April that Tesla would reveal its semi-truck in September and its consumer pickup truck in 18 months to two years, meaning sometime between October 2018 and April 2019.
Make Tesla vehicles completely autonomous.
- Business Insider
Tesla is pushing to make its cars autonomous sooner than you might think.
Musk said during a TED Talk in April that it would most likely be 2019 before a driver could take a nap behind the wheel of a Tesla.
Tesla began rolling out its new Enhanced Autopilot hardware in October. Musk said at the time that the hardware would enable full autonomy once the software was ready.
However, Musk has said it’s unlikely that regulators will have laws in place by the time Tesla’s autonomous cars are ready, so drivers may have to wait a little longer before getting to go hands-free.
Tesla had originally aimed to drive one of its cars across the US in autonomous mode by the end of this year. But, Musk said in August that it looks like the company may delay the drive until 2018.
Reveal details about the Tesla Network, its planned mobility service.
At the time, Musk said that once Tesla vehicles were fully autonomous, the company would set up a program for owners to make money off their car by letting other people use it.
“You will also be able to add your car to the Tesla shared fleet just 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,” he said.
In October 2016, the company said that Tesla owners who wanted to make money from ride-hailing or ride-sharing could do so only on its ride-hailing network, and that it would disclose more details about it this year.
Automate even more of its manufacturing process.
Musk has become obsessed with automating Tesla’s factories over the last few years.
“The biggest epiphany I’ve had this year is that what really matters is the machine that builds the machine, the factory,” Musk said during an interview with Y Combinator’s Sam Altman in September 2016. “And that this is at least two orders of magnitude harder than the vehicle itself.”
Musk’s words have proven true.
The company has been struggling to perfect the highly automated system used to produce batteries for the Model 3 at its Gigafactory. This has pushed production targets for the vehicle back by three months. But Musk said that ultimately, once the assembly line is fixed, the automated system will allow Tesla to build cars faster than they have before.
Expand its Supercharger network.
- Green Car Reports
Tesla started 2017 with about 5,000 Superchargers around the world. However, the company said in April that it plans on more than doubling that number by the end of the year.
Tesla said in its third-quarter earnings letter that it had more than 7,000 Superchargers by the end of September. According to the company’s website, it currently has 1,032 Supercharger stations with 7,320 Superchargers.
Build “mega supercharging” stops.
- Bryan Logan/Business Insider
Tesla wants to create large supercharging stations that are more like convenience stories with bathrooms, food, and other amenities.
“We should see some immediate relief even for S and X customers on some of the key supercharge locations whilst we [experiment] with … mega supercharging location, like really big supercharging location with a bunch of amenities,” Musk said on the company’s second-quarter earnings call in August.
“So we’re going to unveil the first of those relatively soon. And I think we’ll get a sense for just sort of how cool it can be to have a great place to – if you’ve been driving for three, four hours – stop, have great restrooms, great food, amenities, hang out and for half an hour and then be on your way,” he said.
JB Straubel, Tesla’s chief technology officer, shared more details in September, saying that Tesla is already working with some restaurants on the venture.
Almost double its mobile service fleet.
In an effort to ramp up its customer service efforts, in 2018, Tesla plans to almost double its mobile service fleet from 160 service vans, the company said in its third-quarter earnings letter.
Tesla’s mobile service fleet are technicians that will come fix issues with a Tesla on-site.
Because Tesla’s cars are connected, a lot of issues with the vehicles can be diagnosed remotely so that a technician knows exactly what they need to fix before arriving.
Scale up its energy business.
- Darren Weaver
Tesla is making a big push to become a full-fledged energy company.
After purchasing Solar City last November, the company has been especially focused on growing its battery and solar business.
Tesla plans to shift production of its solar roof to its new Gigafactory 2 plant in Buffalo, New York, during the fourth quarter, which will help it increase installations significantly in 2018, the company said in its third-quarter earnings letter.