Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, addressed a packed crowd at the Automotive News World Congress yesterday. In the speech he praised some competitors, criticized the technology behind others and hinted about an upcoming project.
Musk said the future of electric cars is promising, which is why he isn’t concerned about competition from other electric cars, such as the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf.
“I don’t see it as a competitive threat because I think all cars will go electric,” said Musk. “There are 100 million new cars and trucks made every year. So what does it matter if someone makes a few 100,000 additional electric cars. It’s not going to affect us really.”
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But that attitude doesn’t extend to all alternative-fuel vehicles. Fuel cell vehicles in particular were criticized by Musk.
“I just think that they are extremely silly,” said Musk. “If you’re going to pick an energy storage mechanism, hydrogen is an incredibly dumb one to pick. You should pick methane. That’s much, much easier. Or propane.”
Musk’s outlook for Tesla is optimistic, even though he doesn’t expect the company to become profitable for another five years. He told the crowd that he is committed to staying with the company forever in one capacity or another.
Looking closer in at 2015, Tesla will gain two new additions. The company’s first SUV, the Model X, is schedule to arrive over the summer. And later this year Musk hopes to introduce a new system that he believes will be nothing short of groundbreaking. Though he gave very few details during an interview with Automotive News Publisher and Editor Jason Stein, Musk briefly explained his concept.
“I think service should feel like invisible love,” Musk told Stein. “So when your car gets serviced, you don’t even know that it was serviced. Like it’s just invisible, it just happened. And when it’s done, your car is back and you love it.”
When Stein asked if the industry offers this right now, Musk laughed as he gave Stein a definitive, “No.”