Elon Musk – Super hero of the smart green economy

Elon Musk turns 40 this year and is already the super hero entrepreneur of the smart green economy. Being an engineer he believes entrepreneurship means applying logic and critical thinking to a given problem in order to develop the best new solution. Elon likes to reinvent and reengineer problems on a big scale, especially transportation on the road and in space and production of clean energy. Next to being CEO and Product Architect of Tesla Motors, Elon is also CEO and CTO of SpaceX and Chairman of Solar City.

Elon plans to build the best electric car company in the world, reduce the cost of space transportation by a factor of 10, put a man on Mars by 2021 and put solar panels on every roof in the US with the help of smart leasing. Sustainable social mobility with 100% electric cars running on 100% renewable energy is the future and we should reach it by 2030. I hereby invite Elon to speak at Ecosummit 2012 on 22-23 March in Berlin. I cross my fingers as I know it will be hard to get him: the whole planet is sending him invitations. I guess he received one from Mars, too.

The future of mobility is electric and Tesla is leading it. Having sold 1.700 high-end Roadsters ($101.500 incl. $7.500 tax incentive) Tesla’s market cap currently is $2.6B. I am sure it will be around €100B in 2020. One of the reasons for its success is Tesla’s rock-solid retail strategy that is inspired by Apple (market cap $321B). Tesla hired George Blankenship (formerly with Apple and Gap) to reinvent the customer experience at the point of sale. Owning stores means that you can manage the customer’s buying and post-sale service experience which is an important success factor. With your own international chain of retail stores you can also design and manage the smart green high-tech location where your customers can test, share, rent, clean-energy-recharge, battery-swap, resell and recycle the cars.

The new mid-end Model S launches in 2012, costs $49.900 (incl. $7.500 tax incentive) and is supposed to be the best and technologically most advanced car in the world. Elon says the electric car Model S is better than the gas burner Audi A8. Given that Daimler and Toyota both already buy battery and powertrain technology from Tesla I am sure that Elon is right. The cool thing is that the Model S has a swappable battery pack and may already support Better Place’s battery switching station standard – just in case the emobility leaders think about cooperation.

In 2014, Tesla will launch a new mass market model in the $30.000 price range. Then the big car makers should really get scared as this is clearly a mass market price tag. I believe that Tesla will sell out all their production in the coming years. They will just have to build new factories of the future across the world to satisfy demand and get insanely rich. Isn’t that enough motivation for us to start a cool EV startup in Germany, too? The courage I have, now I need the engineering skills and financial horse power.

To give you more brainfood on the cars and car companies of the future I have collected some worthwhile bits on the net:

Awesome Wired article – How Elon Musk Turned Tesla Into the Car Company of the Future (Wired October 2010)

I cannot wait to see the new movie – Revenge of the Electric Car (RevengeElectric on Youtube)

Elon Musk Keynote at CLEAN-Tech Summit 2011 (IBFConferences on Youtube)

Interview with George Blankenship on Tesla’s new Apple-inspired Retail Concept (Gigaom on Youtube)

I’ll Put a Man on Mars in 10 Years – Elon Musk on The Big Interview with Alan Murray (Wall Street Journal)

Emobility is a Reality – Craig Davis, Marketing & Sales Director Europe, presents Tesla at Green Venture Summit 2010 – Part 1 (greenvsummit on Youtube)

Emobility is a Reality – Craig Davis, Marketing & Sales Director Europe, presents Tesla at Green Venture Summit 2010 – Part 2 (greenvsummit on Youtube)

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