He’s got a busy few years ahead of him.
Elon Musk’s list of accomplishments is by no means a skimpy one. Since founding SpaceX in 2002 and Tesla Motors in 2003, the 45-year-old billionaire has rose to be one of the greatest influencers and visionaries of our time.
As impressive as his list of past accomplishments is — from creating a video game at the age of 12 to releasing the Hyperloop concept — his list of future goals is just as remarkable.
Here are 8 things Elon Musk wants to accomplish in the next few years.
1. Begin cell production in the Tesla Gigafactory in 2017
The Tesla Gigafactory is poised to help Tesla accomplish its overlying goal of transitioning the world to sustainable transportation.
Tesla estimates that the Gigafactory will help reduce the cost of the batteries required to power its electric cars by as much as 30 percent once the factory is fully operational. In fact, Tesla says the Gigafactory will reach full capacity by 2020 and produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013.
2. Produce half a million Tesla cars per year by 2018
Currently, Tesla Motors is producing over 100,000 cars annually, but the company is aiming to increase that number to 500,000 cars per year by 2018.
With the planned production rate of half a million cars per year, “Tesla alone will require today’s entire worldwide production of lithium ion batteries,” the company reports. So the Gigafactory is a critical factor in these goals.
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3. Increase the range of Tesla cars to 1,000 kilometers per charge in the next few years
“The record right now for the Model S is 800 kilometers (497 miles), that is the furthest that anyone has driven a Model S… we are pretty close,” Musk said in an interview with the Danish news site Borsen. “My guess is probably we could break a 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) within a year or two. I’d say 2017 for sure.”
4. Double the number of Superchargers by 2018
If the production rate of Tesla cars goes up, the company is also going to have to make sure there are enough Superchargers to sustain the vehicles.
Superchargers are the free Tesla charging stations that connect to the electronic vehicles and charge them up in minutes instead of hours. You can see a map of Tesla’s current Supercharger locations around the world here.
During Musk’s presentation at the Model 3 unveiling back in March, he said that the company plans to double the number of Superchargers around the world, from about 3,600 to over 7,000 by the end of 2018.
5. Acquire Solar City and turn Tesla into an energy company
In addition to supplying the world with electric cars, Musk also wants Tesla to produce the energy to power the vehicles.
Back in June, Tesla announced its plans to acquire Solar City — a solar power company owned by Musk’s cousin, Lyndon Rive.
“The opportunity here is to have a highly innovative sustainable energy company that answers the whole energy question from power generation and storage to transport,” Musk told reporters after the announcement, according to Tech Insider.
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6. Transform space exploration with reusable rockets
Space travel is an expensive affair, but Musk hopes to dramatically decrease the cost with reusable rockets. In fact, Popular Science reports that reusable rockets could cut the cost of space travel by as much as 30 percent.
7. Make reusable rockets safe enough to carry humans
Musk’s plans to transform space exploration don’t stop at creating reusable rockets — he wants to make them safe enough to transport humans.
SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket made history back in 2012 when it delivered Dragon to the International Space Station, making SpaceX the first-ever commercial company to visit the ISS. However, SpaceX says that both the Falcon 9 and the Dragon spacecraft were designed to deliver humans into space, and the company is actively working under an agreement with NASA to achieve that goal.
8. Send people to Mars by 2025
By 2024, Musk says he plans to launch a rocket to Mars — with humans on board — that would touchdown on the Red Planet sometime in 2025. Then, fresh supplies would be sent out to Mars roughly every 26 months to sustain a civilization out there.
"It's really being a multi-planet species and having civilization extend to other planets beyond the solar system," he said at the Code Conference in early June.
It looks like Elon Musk has his work cut out for him — but remarkably, he still finds time to collaborate with the US government on secret projects.
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