Tesla’s Master Plans—Minority Report

Sam Lin
3 min readOct 13, 2022

Tesla becomes the most valuable car company, $670B by reinventing cars & accelerating the EV adoption. But, it’ll be a big mistake to consider Tesla as an ordinary carmaker. Tesla has a bigger mission even it’s still in a car-selling business for now. So, how did Tesla pave a new way out? Where may Tesla go next?

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

Alviso Slough Trail, Sunnyvale, California

1st 10x: becoming energy positive

In 2006, Elon Musk laid down The Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan to become Energy Positive. To some extent, Tesla executed the master plan successfully by building:

  1. Roadster: a sports car
  2. Model S/X: affordable cars
  3. Model 3/Y: even more affordable cars
  4. Tesla Energy: a zero-emission electric power generation option
Visual Capitalist: Visualizing 10 Years of Global EV Sales by Country

2nd 10x: accelerating toward sustainable energy

In 2016, Elon Musk updated the Master Plan, Part Deux to double down on the mission: “Accelerating the World’s Transition to Sustainable Energy” as:

  1. “Create stunning solar roofs with seamlessly integrated battery storage” to scale a huge distributed network of zero-emission power supply.
  2. “Expand the electric vehicle product line to address all major segments” to replace gasoline consumption for transportation at scale.
  3. “Develop a self-driving capability that is 10X safer than manual via massive fleet learning” to make transportation safer at scale & scope driven by real-world data aka Software 2.0.
  4. “Enable your car to make money for you when you aren’t using it” to turn cars to value-creating assets & lower the cost of transportation to serve more.

Seems Tesla is on track to deliver them too. For example, Tesla will ship the 1st Semi truck to Pepsi in Dec. And, Cybertruck will be in production in 2023. With transportation being a big end-use sector of energy consumption, 28% in the US in 2021, it’s indeed a big step forward when EVs carrier most of them.

Elon Musk: start of production of Tesla Semi Truck with deliveries to @Pepsi on Dec 1st!

3rd 10x: scaling to an extreme size

So, what could be the Master Plan, Part 3 in 2026? This March, Musk hits what may be coming. It will be scaling to extreme size, shifting away from fossil fuels & AI involved. In Tesla AI Day 2, Musk says that Tesla wants to be the leader in the real-world AI HW & SW.

FSD Beta users from 2K in 2021 to 160k in 2022

If Tesla keeps succeeding in its unique way to solve real-world problems at scale from Self-Driving cars to Humanoid Robots, Tesla may be a superpower on AI with huge real-world datasets & ML training farms. Even though it may not be solving General AI specifically yet, it’s definitely pave a way to get closer to GAI. Beside, Tesla can pursue this dream in a self-sustain way at scale, because there are business models for Tesla to capture new values created. For example, Tesla may provide ML training as a service through its DoJo farm. In the other word, it can be “the AWS of AI services”.

FSD Video Model Training takes huge storage & computation

Full Disclosure

The opinions stated here are my own, not those of my company. They are mostly extrapolations from public information. I don’t have insider knowledge of those companies, nor a whatever expert. Up to you to take it with a grain of salt or two 😉.

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Sam Lin

A Taiwanese lives in Silicon Valley since 2014 with my own random opinions to share. And, they are my own, not those of companies I work for.