Has Elon Musk Flipped Out?

In a word, no. But I had to think a bit about it.

First, in case you have been under a rock, Musk has been doing some things that don’t seem to make sense. Here are a few:

  • Delayed the upcoming small, inexpensive Tesla
  • Slowed down Giga Mexico work
  • Fired most of the Supercharger team
  • Trimmed off a lot of employees including some senior management

This wasn’t making sense. I had to think about it. This morning, The Electric Viking got me thinking. He talks about Tony Seba and his predictions. Then things started to fall into place.

Seba has predicted lots of things about the EV industry that seemed “way out there” including the rapidly dropping cost of batteries. He has been right so many times about so many things. That said, ten years ago Seba said that by 2030, 90% of all passenger miles would be delivered by autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets. Yeah, sounds crazy but if someone told you ten years ago that the best selling car in the world would be electric today (Tesla Model Y) that would have sounded equally crazy.

Tesla is investing billions on making self-driving a reality. A few years ago Musk seemed to be more interested in the robotaxi than an inexpensive consumer car and the only way he was talking into the consumer vehicle was by showing him it could be basically the same vehicle.

Is Musk betting the farm on autonomous vehicles? I think so. Or more accurately, on transportation as a service. If Tesla had a $25,000 consumer car today they could go into a price war with BYD and others. On the other hand, if they have mastered self-driving that just got themselves into a new market where there is no competition.

Is this what is happening? My guess is yes. Last week, Musk went to China, canceling his trip to India and got approval to go ahead with introducing full self-driving in China. Let’s keep watching.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *