Elon Musk sees his Tesla as an accelerant, pushing other car manufacturers to make the leap toward electric cars.

“Electric vehicles were always going to be the long-term transportation mechanism, but to make that day come sooner, you have to bridge the gap with innovation,” he said. “That was the goal with Tesla — is to try to serve as a catalyst to accelerate the day, the day of electric vehicles.”

Competition in the electric vehicle space is good for business, but it's better for all of us — for the future of our world.

"Tesla will still aspire to make the most compelling electric vehicles, and that would be our goal, while at the same time helping other companies to make electric cars as well," Musk told the BBC in an interview.

It's been an open secret for some time now that Apple is working on an electric car, and then there's the open competition from the electric cars Nissan, BMW, and others offer. But many of these cars are sporty — sold at a premium. Musk knows that in order for the car industry to go fully electric, getting a mass-market vehicle out there is just as important as getting the industry on board. 

"We need to make a car that most people can afford, in order to have a substantial impact," he said. Some companies are placing their bets on manufacturing hydrogen-powered vehicles. Musk calls the technology "bullshit" — it won't move us closer to a truly zero-emission ecosystem. The only way is electric.

He has stated in a previous interview with TED that Tesla's grand plan has three phases, and the third phase of its plan is in producing a mass-market car. It's expected to be priced at $35,000 and roll out before 2020.

In a more recent interview, Musk told the BBC the cheaper Model 3 version of Tesla's electric car will go into production by the end of 2017.


Natalie has been writing professionally for about 6 years. After graduating from Ithaca College with a degree in Feature Writing, she snagged a job at PCMag.com where she had the opportunity to review all the latest consumer gadgets. Since then she has become a writer for hire, freelancing for various websites. In her spare time, you may find her riding her motorcycle, reading YA novels, hiking, or playing video games. Follow her on Twitter: @nat_schumaker

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