Elon Musk says Tesla Motors may build electric supercar in a few years
When will Tesla Motors make an electric supercar? Someday, says Elon Musk, the Silicon Valley entrepreneur who started or co-founded Paypal, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX. Musk was interviewed today by the readers of Jalopnik who got him to say a number of interesting things about Tesla Motors.
When asked if battery technology would ever allow recharging as flexibly as refilling a gasoline tank, Musk gave a very curious answer: "I think it can be even better. The Tesla Supercharger, to be unveiled in a few months, will do a lot more than anyone expects." While the SuperCharger is an awesome piece of technology in the context of the electric car market, it is not going to be as flexible as refueling with gasoline. A gasoline vehicle refuels at a rate of 300 miles or so in under five minutes. The SuperCharger will, according to Tesla's website, refuel the 85 kiloWatt-hour Model S at the rate of 300 miles in about 1 hour. For an electric vehicle to refuel at this rate is an amazing advancement, but it is nowhere near the rate of gasoline cars. This refueling rate means the Model S is the first electric car that can realistically implement the Great American Roadtrip experience (drive 300 miles, refuel, take a lunch break, drive another 300 miles, etc). Musk did hint at June's shareholder meeting that the SuperCharger network would incorporate solar panels into the system in a way that may include quickly swapped battery packs.
When asked about new models designed by Tesla, Musk talked about the Model S, the Model X, and then said "Maybe an E :)". The company has long promised that following the Model X, they would unveil a more affordable electric car. Maybe 'E' is Musk's sideways reference to "Economical".
Later he was asked about the possibility of an electric "supercar" from Tesla, to which Musk said "Yes, we will do an electric supercar at some point. It was going to happen right after the Model X, but it is more important to the world that we do a more affordable electric car. Hopefully, we will get to an electric supercar in 4 to 5 years." This reiterates the long-stated plan of developing an affordable electric car. Given that Elon Musk is currently 41 years old, in 4-5 years he'll be in his mid-to-late 40's and just in time for a mid-life-crisis, and an electric supercar might be on his mind at that time.