At Owners Meeting, Tesla CEO Elon Musk Drops Hints about Future Plans

By · July 31, 2013

Elon Musk at TesLive />

Earlier this month, the inaugural TESLive conference—a two-day event devoted to Tesla Electric cars—took place in San Jose, Calif. Tesla CEO Elon Musk was the featured speaker on the second day. In a townhall-style question and answer session, Musk shared updates for existing Tesla Roadster owners, chatted about the safety record for the Tesla Model S, and gave hints about future Tesla models.

TESLive, jointly organized by Tesla Motors and the Tesla Motors Club, gave Tesla owners and fans the chance to celebrate the Californian automaker. The event was streamed live over the Internet. A one-hour video of the session with Musk was recently posted to YouTube by Tesla Motors. Here are some of the highlights.

Europe, Superchargers, Model X

Throughout the hour-long session, Musk made it clear that Tesla is currently focusing on three goals. “The key thing that we’ve got to get through in the balance this year is the European introduction of the Model S, which is happening right now,” Musk said. In addition, the continued rollout of the supercharger stations across the U.S. and readying the Model X crossover SUV for production are on top of Tesla’s to do list.

Roadster Owners Not Forgotten

Despite ending production long before the Model S hit the streets, Tesla’s first car, the two-seat Roadster, is still the primary car for hundreds of Tesla owners around the world. While the Roadster may not have the same battery or Supercharger capabilities as the Model S, Musk said Tesla hasn’t forgotten about Roadster owners. “We are going to do something special for Roadster owners next year,” Musk said in response to a question from a Roadster owner inquiring if battery upgrades or Roadster-friendly chargers would be installed at Supercharger sites. “I can’t say what that is, but I can say that it will be pretty cool,” he said.

Tesla Model S Safety Record

“What a lot of people actually maybe don’t realize is that the primary optimization, the thing we focused on the most with Model S was safety,” said Musk, in response to a request for information about Model S’s past that owners might not have previously known. “To the best of my knowledge, there’s never been a permanent injury in the Model S. No fatalities and not even a permanent injury,” he continued. “Statistically speaking, that’s unlikely to remain the case...but so far, so good.”

That record was highlighted by a member of the audience, who survived a crash with a BMW M5. While the Tesla was repairable, the M5 was “destroyed” Musk added.

Tesla Wants To Build a Truck

“I definitely am quite keen on building a truck,” said Musk. “There’s a lot one can do with truck technology.” While Musk declined to give a date, he talked at length about building a truck that would handle well regardless of its payload, hinting that air suspension would be a key feature.

Valet Mode and Mobile WiFi

Concerned that a parking valet—or a teenage relative— might have too much fun in their high-performance Model S sedan, many Tesla owners asked for the Model S to have a valet mode similar to the valet mode found in the Tesla Roadster. According to Musk, valet mode is a part of the Model S’s operating system already—although for now, it’s hidden. That will change later this year, said Musk, along with the ability to tether your cellphone’s Internet with the car and even enable WiFi connectivity.

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