Tesla Minibus Overview Updated May 4, 2017

Tesla Minibus

An all-electric and self-driving bus

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Six 'Tesla Minibus' stories

July 2016 - May 2017

The ‘Tesla Minibus’, which is also only a placeholder name for now, is another upcoming Tesla vehicle in early stages of development confirmed by CEO Elon Musk when revealing his ‘Master Plan Part Deux’. While in early stages of development, Musk confirmed that the vehicle is being built on the Model X chassis, which should make easier to bring to production.

Musk said that the bus is inspired by the “California Custom VW combi design art”. Jalopnik came up with the rendering seen above to help visualize what it could look like.

In his ‘Master Plan’, Musk referenced the vehicle as a” high passenger-density urban transport vehicle” and specifically talked about it being enabled by autonomous driving:

“With the advent of autonomy, it will probably make sense to shrink the size of buses and transition the role of bus driver to that of fleet manager. Traffic congestion would improve due to increased passenger areal density by eliminating the center aisle and putting seats where there are currently entryways, and matching acceleration and braking to other vehicles, thus avoiding the inertial impedance to smooth traffic flow of traditional heavy buses. It would also take people all the way to their destination. Fixed summon buttons at existing bus stops would serve those who don’t have a phone. Design accommodates wheelchairs, strollers and bikes.”

The CEO referred to the same timeline for unveiling and production as the other vehicles confirmed in his ‘Master Plan’: an unveiling of the concept in “6 to 9 months”, which should mean in early to mid-2017. It is expected to be in production within the next 3 to 4 years (2019-2020).

Tesla Minibus Stories May 4, 2017

During a conference call with analysts following Tesla’s first quarter financial results yesterday, CEO Elon Musk gave several updates on Tesla’s new vehicle programs, like Tesla Semi and Model Y, but he also made it sound like the company could let go of its minibus program.

He said that after “having given a bit more thought to it”, he is not sure “if that’s actually going to be something that makes sense in the shared, fully autonomous environment.” expand full story

Tesla Minibus Stories April 14, 2017

Tesla’s automotive business is expanding quickly and we are not only talking about the Model 3. The Model 3 program will significantly increase its overall production capacity from roughly 2,000 vehicles per week to ~7,000 vehicles per week by the end of the year if all goes well, but Tesla is also expanding its automotive offering with now 8 vehicle programs at different stages of development.

CEO Elon Musk’s update yesterday gives us a better idea – albeit still vague – of the timeline for those programs. expand full story

Tesla Minibus Stories October 23, 2016

model 3 wild

Tesla has long been a 1-car company. From when it first started production of the Roadster in 2008 to the end of the program and the start of Model S production in 2012 — and finally to last year when Tesla started delivering the Model X. The automaker has only been really producing two different models in volume for the past few months and it’s a significant accomplishment for a new automaker.

Other most recent American auto startups, like Fisker Automotive and DeLorean, all folded before they could bring a second car to market. Now Tesla plans to go from being a two-car company to have over half a dozen vehicles on the market by the end of the decade. expand full story

Tesla Minibus Stories August 3, 2016

Tesla Type 11

In a conference call with analysts today, Elon Musk gave more details on the expected timeline for two major programs he announced last month: ‘Tesla Minibus‘ and ‘Tesla Semi‘.  The CEO originally said that we should expect an unveiling of these products next year, but now he clarified and said that we should expect the events to happen in the next 6 to 9 months. expand full story

Tesla Minibus Stories July 30, 2016

Tesla SEXY 2

Elon Musk has been on a quest to bring ‘S3XY’ back with Tesla’s vehicle naming convention. First with the Model S, ‘S’ for sedan, and Model X, ‘X’ for the look of the Falcon Wing doors, and now with the upcoming Model 3 and Y.

But now it looks like Telsa might drop the ‘Model’ plus ‘letter’ naming scheme after the Model Y completes the ‘S3XY’ vehicle lineup, according to Elon Musk. expand full story

Tesla Minibus Stories July 29, 2016

Tesla Type 11

Following last week’s announcement that Tesla will bring to market a self-driving ‘minibus’, CEO Elon Musk now confirmed that the vehicle will be built on the Model X chassis – hinting at the vehicle potentially coming to market sooner than anticipated by leveraging the work already done for the automaker’s SUV.

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