Tesla’s Investor Day event brought with it a new Master Plan from CEO Elon Musk, detailing the company’s strategic focus going forward. While many hoped to see the automaker unveil a more-affordable electric vehicle, the plan focused on something that most EV enthusiasts can still get behind — a mass shift away from fossil fuels.
Above: Tesla vehicles parked in front of a service center (Image: Casey Murphy / EVANNEX).
Musk and Tesla focused on climate change and a global shift toward renewable energy during the recent Investor Day event, unveiling the third Master Plan to surround decarbonizing the global electrical grid, as detailed in a recent report from NPR. Musk argues that the world can and will make a rapid transition to renewables, offering a more optimistic tone than some researchers, analysts and organizations.
"Today is not just for investors of Tesla, but anyone who is an investor in Earth," Musk said. "Earth can and will move to sustainable energy, and it will do so in your lifetime."
To achieve the switch away from fossil fuels, Musk pointed to technologies such as EVs, massive batteries like Tesla’s Megapack systems for storing solar energy, industrial heat pumps, hydrogen and more. Additionally, Musk said that the company estimates a global switch to renewable energy would cost around $10 trillion, which the automaker estimates is lower than what the world would spend on fossil fuels in the next several years.
The big-picture discussion detailed the decarbonization of shipping, air travel, electrical grids and more, in addition to Tesla’s plans for a new assembly process. The process, Musk says, could cut production costs by as much as 50 percent, while eliminating the need for rare earth elements in upcoming vehicles.
To be sure, more than just Tesla will likely be needed to combat climate change, but Tesla seems well-poised to continue making an impact on the industries it has already disrupted. Between its EVs, charging infrastructure and proprietary Powerwall home-charging equipment, the automaker has remained popular amongst buyers and could incentivize continued brand loyalty.
Recent analyses from S&P Global Mobility also show that Tesla drivers tend to remain loyal to the brand when purchasing new vehicles, suggesting that the automaker is in a good position to woo consumers. This detail is crucial, given that the automaker’s Master Plan places so much emphasis on EV adoption.
"Tesla had a very, very strong year," said Vince Palomarez of S&P Global Mobility. "They have produced a product that is attractive to a consumer ... They lowered their price. They're also getting access to the tax credit again."
As Tesla’s ecosystem develops, Palomarez expects that consumers could be as loyal to the brand as some are to Apple’s products, with customers needing to get each piece of equipment that the company offers.
"If you have an iPhone and you have an iPad and you have a MacBook, you know, you're going to get the Apple Watch .... the infrastructure is built there," Palomarez added.