Tesla CEO Elon Musk has a lot to be happy about this year, and the good news keeps coming in. SpaceX—one of two companies Musk heads—just successfully resupplied the International Space Station. His other company, electric automaker Tesla, isn’t doing too badly either. The Tesla Model S was just named the Motor Trend Car of the Year (Automotive.com is part of the Motor Trend Automotive Group).
“Winning the Motor Trend Car of the Year award, I think, is actually incredibly powerful. Certainly, it’s going to be a huge shot in the arm to the whole Tesla team. It was a huge team effort, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, to create this car. It should symbolize the transition to electric,” said Musk. It’s a transition that Musk believes can be taken much further. The Tesla CEO had said the Model S was never meant to be the best electric car; it was about making the best car, period. Detractors will persist, but that has yet to stop Tesla, and if Musk’s plans are any indication, this is only the beginning.
Musk says a Model X is in the pipeline, and will “apply some major innovation to the SUV and minivan segment.” An electric supercar, perhaps along the lines of the Fisker Karma, is something the Tesla boss says the automaker would like to do. But what the electric outfit is most excited about is the third-generation Tesla, a mass-market EV. “That’s really the one that I’m most keen to bring to the market.” Musk says an electric truck that could advance truck technology is also a possibility, as well as a potential collaboration with Larry Page and Sergey Brin—Google’s co-founders—to work on a self-driving car.
Last night at the award presentation, Musk said in an interview with Reuters that he expects momentum to increase with the push towards the electrification of cars under a second term of President Barack Obama, and that he’d support a federal tax credit of $10,000 towards the purchase of an electric vehicle. Currently, the federal government offers a tax credit of $7,500.