When I had first heard about Tesla Motors in 2007, I said they’ll never going to bring a fully-fledged electric vehicle onto the market. It was the era of cheap gasoline and nobody had thought about what was about to come.
Now, Elon Musk, Tesla Motors’ CEO, has declared himself super-optimistic about their chances to produce an electric SUV and show it to us this year, as a concept. The Tesla Model X, as he called it, is set to go onto the production lines and to the market in about four years, way after the Model S sedan will have grown in popularity.
Moreover, Musk says his Model X will be “cooler” than any of today’s gasoline SUVs, and that four years from now the company will be able to bring a “mainstream” EV costing somewhere around $30,000.
The Model S, though, programmed to be shipped in late 2012 or 2013, is designed to be “the most advanced car in the world,” and will feature a Better Place-like battery system that will allow it to get changed in under a minute, instead of charging it.
Musk is also optimistic about the battery technology getting cheaper each year, and says that by 2020 we’ll be able to purchase an electric car battery with a fraction of the money we’d need today (and he was referring to a long range one).
Tesla’s CEO also runs a private space rocket company, SpaceX. He ironically mentioned that rockets aren’t going to get electric – not even by 2050, when all of the cars will have batteries and electric motors inside, in his vision. He spoke at the Cleantech Investor Summit in Palm Springs, California on Wednesday.