In Elon Musk’s second Master Plan for Tesla, the chief executive revealed that the company will build some form of “high passenger-density urban transport” in the future.
While most believed that meant Tesla will build a large electric bus for public transport systems around the world, Jalopnik has actually discovered that it is referencing a Minibus, inspired by the famed Volkswagen Microbuses of yesteryear.
In their initial article, Jalopnik suggested that this model would be built around the chassis of the Model X. Musk then confirmed this in a tweet saying “The Tesla Minibus will be built on a Model X chassis. People density potential is surprisingly high”.
The automaker’s Master Plan Part Duex revealed that these buses will be semi-autonomous or fully autonomous. Musk believes that because Tesla’s Minibuses will be so much smaller than current buses, they’ll improve traffic congestion by accelerating and braking just like a normal car, rather than holding up traffic as normal buses so often do.
As Tesla’s Minibus will have its batteries installed in the floor and just a small electric motor at the front or rear (or both), cabin space should be better than a normal Minibus, helping to validate Musk’s belief that multiple units could fill the place of a larger traditional bus.
It’s currently unclear when Tesla plans on launching such a vehicle but expect to see it on the roads within the next decade.
Render via Jason Torchinsky/Jalopnik