Understanding Elon Musk and Tesla

I’m a HUGE Tesla fan and Elon Musk fan boy. Tesla is simply one of the most important companies of our lifetime. The Model S is an amazing and important car, but when Tesla launches the Model III in about 2017 – it will probably be looked at as the most pivotal vehicle in the last 100 years.

Elon Musk’s vision is not really about building a great car company, but rather being the company that is a change agent and is a key catalyst for getting consumers and the other auto companies to embrace electric vehicles. Along the way, Tesla is becoming a great auto company that is building not just good EVs, but some of the best cars ever, period.

Tesla Motors logo
Tesla Motors logo: Source Tesla Google+ page

And the company is changing aspects of how cars are manufactured, sold and serviced. And then think about their Supercharger charging stations, the Gigafactory battery plant that is coming in a few years and the amount of robots used to build their cars – right here in America, in the high-cost-of-living Bay Area.

A lot of people simply don’t understand Elon and Tesla. They are focused on whether Tesla ismaking a profit? On how many cars they sold in the most recent quarter? This type of myopic thinking simply reveals that a lot of people still simply don’t comprehend what Elon and Tesla are undertaking. Tesla is a bit like Amazon in that Amazon is still losing money, but they are becoming world dominating – that is their larger goal. Making a profit can come later.

Tesla is also not looking to become a dominant auto company or even necessarily the largest manufacturer of EVs long term. The ultimate measure of Tesla’s success will be how much of a force their success was as a catalyst in the transition of GM, Ford, Chrysler, BMW, Mercedes and Toyota, etc away from ICE-powered cars to electric?

I’m betting that Tesla and Elon will achieve their vision and goal – but unfortunately not for many, many years. The first major inflection point for EVs will not come until after the Model III is launched and EV sales likely won’t explode until around 2025.

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