Musk said he doesn’t consider Google’s self-driving cars to be a direct competitor with Tesla. “They’re not a car company,” he said, but he sees Apple’s electric car as a direct competitor.
“I think it’s great they’re doing this, and I hope it works out,” Musk said. “It’s just a missed opportunity. It’s a couple years… they’ll make a good car and be successful.”
Musk also said that Tesla Motors Inc would be able to launch Model 3 next year. The company aims to fulfill more than 325,000 pre-orders for its lower-priced model. He noted that engineers would take six weeks to complete the car’s design.
Apple has been working secretly on an electric vehicle car. Previous reports suggested that the company wants to begin production as early as 2020. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been reported to have hired hundreds of engineers from GM, Samsung, A123 Systems, Nvidia, Tesla and Ford, to work on its car project – “Project Titan.” Speaking on the secrecy of Apple’s car project, Musk previously commented that the Apple’s car project is an “open secret.” The iPhone company had been in discussions with a secure Bay Area testing facility, also it had a meeting with the California DMV for reviewing the self-driving vehicle regulations in 2015.
SpaceX Mars Missions
Musk, speaking at the annual Code Conference, said that his company SpaceX plans to start Mars cargo delivery missions as early as 2018. Musk expects SpaceX will be launch a manned mission to the red planet in 2024, arriving there in 2025.
“If things go according to plan, [we] should be able to launch people by 2024 with arrival in 2025,” Musk said.
According to Musk, SpaceX will need to transport larger numbers of people and millions of pounds of hardware to build growing cities on Mars, Mashable reported.
SpaceX is planning to send its Dragon ship next year. The spacecraft is capable of sending cargo and up to 7 astronauts into space. The company is expected to start missions to Mars with the Dragon V2 in 2018, Tech Crunch reported.
“The 2018 mission will be a Dragon V2, I wouldn’t recommend traveling to Mars in that,” Musk said. “It has the interior volume of an SUV. This will be a very big rocket. And it also doesn’t have the capability of getting back to earth. We’ll put that in fine print.”
Tesla Motors broke ground on the Gigafactory in the Nevada desert two years ago. The factory will produce enough batteries to meet the company’s goal of building 500,000 cars annually by 2020. It is expected to start cell production in 2017. Commenting on the increasing size of Tesla’s Li-on cells, Global Equities Research’s Trip Chowdhry said that the Gigafactory is valued at $50 billion, Benzinga reported.