Elon Musk can’t stop. Tesla can’t stop. The cleantech revolution can’t stop.
As if mass-market electric & autonomous cars, record-low battery prices & record-low rooftop solar prices, dozens of gigafactories, jaw-dropping & jaw-deforming acceleration, electric semi trucks & cybertrucks, reusable rockets, tunnel-boring machines, Starlink satellites, and a mission to Mars weren’t enough, Elon Musk has now decided to build entire cleantech cities. Well, he’s starting with one, but if all goes well, he says that could leads to hundreds more.
As you might have guessed, these “Tesla Cities” have several unique features.
First of all, when it comes to the buildings, they will all have solar roofs (natch). For remaining power needs, electricity will come from community solar farms and wind farms built in the region. In certain cases, geothermal power, hydropower, and rainbow power might be used — more on the latter another day. Some amount of battery storage (Tesla Powerpacks and Powerwalls) will be installed as well in order to always match electricity supply with electricity demand, but no details on the total figures have been indicated so far.
City residents who choose to drive will have to drive fully electric cars — it’s built into the HOA rules. No pollution permitted. Though, residents can choose non-Tesla models if they like. Self-driving electric minibuses (one of Tesla’s planned products), trams, and subways will be implemented for certain routes as well. Naturally, though, after living with Los Angeles traffic for longer than anyone should be forced to, Elon is intent to make these #TeslaCities walkable and bikeable, with nice urban cores that mix land uses (residential, commercial, governmental, etc.). There will also be a variety of aesthetic guidelines, which is unsurprising since Elon has been super focused on good aesthetics at Tesla, SpaceX, on Twitter, and beyond. (Think: New Urbanism with an Elon flavor).
Industrial hubs will need to focus on matters that help to solve critical human/societal challenges. Though, it’s unclear how the evaluation or permitting for such uses will be implemented. One can assume there will be minimal red tape, and that the process will be as streamlined as practical.
For last-mile deliveries, robots will be used in order to save on costs and to further test and develop hardware and software that Elon wants to use for other applications at Tesla and SpaceX. Conventional shippers such as FedEx and UPS will simply deliver their packages to central shipping hubs where #TeslaCities robots take over.
You may be wondering, will #TeslaCities use hyperloops? It seems like some of them would, but we don’t have any details on that yet, including with regards to the first city. There are plans for tunnels for autonomous Teslas, though, of course.
Tesla is likely to have no shortage of enthusiasts eager to sign up ASAP to join one of these #TeslaCities, but that doesn’t mean Tesla’s leaving incentives off the table. Early reservation holders* will get priority delivery of the Tesla Cybertruck and a future Tesla model that has not been revealed. Early reservation holders will also be entered into a lottery/raffle to win a Tesla Powerwall 3 or next-gen Solar Roof. (*By the way, it’s $420,000 to reserve a lot in the first #TeslaCity — no joke.)
Steve Jurvetson, Kimbal Musk, and Elon Musk, unsurprisingly, already have their reservations in. Rumor is that Akon, Jon Favreau, Stephen Colbert, Don Cheadle, Morgan Freeman, Morgan Freeman’s former driver (Robert Gaskill, founder of MOTEV), Oprah, Beyonce + Jay-Z, Jaden Smith, Matt & Roger Pressman, and Anthony Kiedis have put down reservations as well.
The location for TeslaCity #1 is somewhere in the vicinity of Cambridge, England. That’s in honor of Douglas Noel Adams (who I just discovered had the same birthday as me), author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
If you have more info on Tesla Cities than we’ve shared here, please pass it along! Also, please note today’s date.