By Gabe Rodriguez Morrison
In 2006, Elon Musk released Tesla Motors’ master plan. The first plan outlined how Tesla would build an expensive electric sports car, use that money to build a more affordable car, and then use that money to build an even more affordable car. While offering zero-emission electrical power generation options. Tesla has since accomplished all of the above, producing millions of electric cars while rapidly reducing production costs.
A decade later, in 2016, as the first plan came to fruition, Tesla released the Tesla Master Plan, Part Two. In short, the plan would be to “Create stunning solar rooftops with seamlessly integrated battery storage. Expand the electric vehicle product line to cater to all major segments. Develop self-driving capability that is 10 times safer than the manual via massive fleet learning and allow your car to earn you money when you’re not using it.”
Although this plan has not yet been fully realized, a third plan could indicate that the second plan is at hand. Tesla has made tremendous progress with its FSD beta program and Elon Musk recently doubled down on the fact that Tesla will release FSD later this year. Production of the CyberTruck and Semi is expected to begin next year. As the second plan prepares, Elon Musk tweeted that he was working on Tesla’s “Master Plan Part 3”
Working on the Blueprint Part 3
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 17, 2022
Elon further hinted about the master plan in another recent tweet:
Tesla’s main subjects will be scaled to extreme size, which is necessary to move humanity away from fossil fuels and AI.
But I will also include sections on SpaceX, Tesla and The Boring Company.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 21, 2022
This tweet gives us a lot more information about what Tesla is planning. It is now clear that a key part of the plan will be to “scale to extreme size to move humanity away from fossil fuels”.
Tesla has set a goal of 20 million vehicles by 2030. It looks like a third plan will address how to meet or even exceed that goal. Despite Tesla’s massive growth, the automaker currently accounts for only around 1% of the total vehicle market share. Scaling to “extreme size” is needed to move significantly away from fossil fuels. The limiting factor to further scaling is battery manufacturing. In particular, the real bottleneck is the extraction of rare earth minerals (copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt, etc.) necessary for the production of batteries.
That’s why Tesla’s master plan part 3 could be centered around the mining of rare earth minerals. So how do the Boring Company, AI, and SpaceX play into mining? One theory is that the Boring Company could create the tunnels and earth environment needed to extract the raw materials. The Tesla bot could be used to extract raw materials safely and ethically. SpaceX could use spacecraft to transport raw materials quickly and cheaply over long distances. If the battery limiting factor is successfully mastered, the company could start thinking about other uses for batteries, including HVAC systems, manufactured homes, and more.
It’s also possible that Tesla’s Master Plan Part 3 involves Tesla’s transition to an AI and data company. After all, Elon has repeatedly said that Tesla would be seen more as an AI company than anything else. The company has been focused on solving real-world AI and most recently we had a day on AI, showcasing the humanoid robot Optimus.
In the product roadmap update on the fourth quarter earnings call, Elon said “the most significant product development is the Optimus humanoid robot” which he says “has the potential to be more important than the automobile business over time”. He explained that “work is the basis of the economy.”
Without a labor shortage, humanoid robots could revolutionize the global economy. They could also play a crucial role in scaling to extreme size and overcoming the limiting factor of battery manufacturing.
Here is a prediction of what the Master Plan Part 3 might include:
- Develop the best AI training supercomputer to solve real-world problems that go far beyond simple autonomous driving
- Remove battery manufacturing as a limiting factor in vehicle production by building millions of Tesla robots to eliminate the need for dangerous, boring and repetitive work (mining)
- Synergize The Boring Company, Tesla and SpaceX to extract and transport raw materials on a large scale
What do you think Tesla is aiming to accomplish in its third master plan? Let us know.