Elon Musk Confirms Tesla Minibus Built on Model X Chassis, Unveiling Next Year

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Partly in response to a speculative article during Jalopnik, Elon Musk has reliable that a designed “high passenger-density civic transport” car referenced in a latest Tesla master plan will be not an electric city bus, yet a smaller car built on a Model X chassis.

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Musk has also pronounced a Tesla Minibus will be modeled on an iconic car of a freewheeling, confident 1960s.

That is, something a small like this:

Here’s Jalopnik’s take (again, wholly speculative) on how a VW minibus would interpret into Tesla-world:

The second Tesla Master Plan refers to a ‘minibus’ being now underneath development, and says it “should be prepared for phenomenon subsequent year,” along with heavy-duty electric trucks.

One large disproportion between a Tesla minibus and a VW halt seems to be who would possess it and how it would operate. Musk’s devise groups a Model X-based minibus underneath non-consumer vehicles, and suggests that they will work autonomously as partial of centrally-managed fleets.

That’s not unequivocally what Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky had in mind when he suggested Tesla is “about to eat Volkswagen’s lunch” by violence them to a punch on producing a stylish, complicated minibus. He righteously identifies a outrageous nostalgia for a minibus that Volkswagen has frittered divided by not delivering an updated chronicle (alongside a other large foul-ups). But that Boomer nostalgia rests on dreams of cross-country trips to Woodstock, not crosstown rides in an eight-passenger Johnny Cab.

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The slight undo highlights one wily aspect of a transition to a autonomous-vehicle future. Musk’s prophesy of common and swift vehicles, autonomously guided and on-call to anyone with a smartphone, is common by many, and on a macro scale, it creates finish sense. But who would build those fleets?

The initial suspicion is that city governments would do it. Some cities, looking for an corner in potency and services, have been open to creation in open transportation. But many other cities—most of them, really—are cash-strapped and discreet about change. It’s also misleading how prolonged it will take for Tesla, or anyone else, to get to full automation. So unconstrained civic fleets might not be a large marketplace in a near- or even mid-term, yet a longer-term intensity is huge.

On a other hand, people still have greatly personal connectors to cars, yet that view is arguably loss among younger Americans. Elon Musk has already some-more than proven he can build cars that daub into that passion. So it’s not a widen to suppose that eventually Musk might make a slight tweak to a new master devise and rise a minibus for particular buyers; something that would finish adult during a aloft finish of a market, maybe tailored for road-tripping retirees looking to float into a flower-tinged, eco-friendly sunset.

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