Elon Musk: Tesla master plan to cost ‘tens of billions’

2016-07-27 12:50 - Mark Chediak
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Elon Musk

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San Francisco - A 1 500-word manifesto that  Elon Musk unveiled last week, outlining his plan to expand Tesla Motors’ electric-vehicle line and to build “stunning solar roofs,” may end up costing the company tens of billions of dollars to carry out.

Musk, Tesla’s chairman and chief executive officer, gave the estimate on Tuesday after a tour of the company’s battery factory under construction in Nevada. He quickly added that he doesn’t plan on spending billions more right away.

“Over time, this must necessarily be true,” he said.

“Don’t quote me saying I plan to spend tens of billions right now because that would be incorrect.”

Musk took heat from investors last week after delivering a “master plan” that was seen as long on vision and short on details about how he’ll finance his ideas for merging Tesla with rooftop solar installer SolarCity, developing an all-in-one solar and battery solution, and offering electric buses and trucks and autonomous ride-sharing fleets.

It followed what was already a rocky month for Tesla, which has been on the defensive about its driver-assist technology following a fatal Florida crash.

A key manufacturing executive also left for Facebook and Tesla’s stock plunged on news of the potential $2.86bn takeover of SolarCity.

Tesla’s shares slipped 51 cents after the close of regular trading on Tuesday to $229 at 19:59 New York time. SolarCity was virtually unchanged.

The ‘inevitable’

Musk said he was “frustrated” by the media coverage from the crash in Florida and that Tesla’s Autopilot technology has made the company’s cars safer.

‘Fully engineered’

Read more about: tesla  |  elon musk  |  electric cars