Telsa will be making a Model X crossover SUV available late this year or early 2015, followed in 2016 by the entry-level “Gen 3” platform, which Musk has said will retail for about $35,000, or half the price of a Model S. This is the car Musk is counting on to take EVs mainstream.
Musk wants Tesla to make its own lithium-ion batteries on a grand scale (30 gigawatt hours of production capacity), preferably in the United States. This could cut battery costs by up to 40%, so investors are eager for an update.
Elon plans to provide details on a proposed “gigafactory” to produce the batteries needed to make more affordable vehicles. With each Tesla capable of storing enough energy to power the average house for 3.5 days, a growing population of Tesla cars represents a significant increase in how much electricity can be held in a country’s infrastructure.
Homeowners might use battery storage to further reduce their dependence on utilities and potentially sell electricity back to the grid.
While still considered too expensive for wide-scale adoption, a drastic reduction in the cost of home energy storage systems would be a “game changer,” American Electric Power Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Nick Akins said during an interview last year. Batteries allow customers with solar panels to store energy during the day and then tap the excess overnight when the sun goes down, lessening a homeowner’s dependence on the grid.
Elon Musk also runs SolarCity which installs solar panels.
Electric batteries that are cheaper and higher energy density could also enable electric passenger planes. Elon Musk has discussed creating vertical takeoff and vertical landig supersonic electric passenger planes.
Domination in cheap batteries, electric cars, electric passenger planes and solar power installation could enable Elon Musk to dominate industries that are 10-20% of world GDP.
Telsa stock was as high as $256 at around 11:00 a.m. Wednesday. Elon Musk gained over $1 billion in net worth and is now worth about $11 billion.
“If Tesla can become the world’s low-cost producer in energy storage, we see significant optionality for Tesla to disrupt adjacent industries,” said Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas.
Elon Musk has had a strategy of vertically integrating and controlling his own supply chain.
Apple allowed Samsung to be a primary supplier for their iPhone. This allowed Samsung to learn details of the iPhone that enabled Samsung to be a stronger competitor.