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Tesla Unveils Third ‘Master Plan’ Reaching for Sustainable Energy Economy


  • Tesla held an Investor Day event today in Austin, Texas, hosted by CEO Elon Musk.
  • Much of the talk was about the company’s “Master Plan,” which is now all about sustainability.
  • There’s also talk of updates coming soon to the Model Y and Model 3.

“There is a clear path to a fully sustainable earth, with abundance.”

That’s not the way most automotive company investor presentations start, but that was the early message from CEO Elon Musk during Tesla’s Investor Day presentation today in Austin, Texas.

The event was billed as the third in Musk’s long-term strategy outlines for the automaker, the next Tesla Master Plan. In short, the first TMP, from 2006, was about financing lower-cost EVs by first selling a more-expensive sports car (the original Tesla Roadster). The second, which followed a decade after the first, broadened Tesla’s scope to include solar roofs with battery storage, expanded the company’s product line to “address all major segments,” developing safer self-driving capability that and finding a way to let Tesla owners “make money for you when you aren’t using it.” Not all aspects of these plans have come to pass.

Tesla’s New Master Plan

Musk’s third Master Plan shifts its focus to the entire world. “Tesla’s purpose is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” the company said today, calling its latest plan a “path to a fully renewable energy future for the earth.”

Musk said a sustainable energy economy is within reach, but it will require incredible levels of investment—around $10 trillion—in new technologies to get there. That means 240 total tWh (terawatt hours) of energy storage (stationary batteries and electric vehicles) and 30 tW (terawatts) of renewable power generation. The benefits far outweigh the cost, Musk said, and the next two hours of the presentation beefed up this vision, including the many ways Tesla is working toward this goal—and, of course, how its own fleet of vehicles fit into this overall plan.

tesla presentation


Updated Model 3 and Model Y

As far as new details on Tesla’s vehicles themselves, the highlight came not from the official presentation itself but rumors that came out today about a revamped Model Y that is code-named Juniper. The new Model Y will have upgraded exterior and interior and should arrive in 2024, according to Automotive News. Another upgraded vehicle, a new Model 3 code-named Highland, is also in the works.

While Tesla didn’t officially talk about these models during Investor Day, it did explain how it will build EVs on its next-generation platforms in a more efficient manner than it does today thanks to a new process called unboxed assembly strategy, where the new platform and its integrated battery pack allows the unnamed future car to be put together without the traditional automotive frame (box), which will make assembly cheaper and faster.

Another change comes from the way Tesla has steadily increased the percentage of controllers it designed itself that can be found in its vehicles’ powertrains. In the original Model S, for example, just 20 percent of the controllers were designed by Tesla. In the Model Y, it’s 61 percent. In the Cybertruck, Tesla says it will be 85 percent, and in the next-gen vehicles, every controller will be Tesla-designed. The main benefit of this shift will be better control of all of the vehicle’s software, Tesla said.

An actual Cybertruck was on display at the Investor Day event as well, showing off a new steering yoke design, rear folding seats and a screen for rear passengers.

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Contributing Editor

Sebastian Blanco has been writing about electric vehicles, hybrids, and hydrogen cars since 2006. His articles and car reviews have appeared in the New York Times, Automotive News, Reuters, SAE, Autoblog, InsideEVs, Trucks.com, Car Talk, and other outlets. His first green-car media event was the launch of the Tesla Roadster, and since then he has been tracking the shift away from gasoline-powered vehicles and discovering the new technology’s importance not just for the auto industry, but for the world as a whole. Throw in the recent shift to autonomous vehicles, and there are more interesting changes happening now than most people can wrap their heads around. You can find him on Twitter or, on good days, behind the wheel of a new EV. 

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