Elon Musk is predicting that the cars he is building to compete in the next decade could reach the moon in 2023, but they will be even faster than the fastest jet.
He says a “hybrid” electric car called Tesla’s Supercharger network would go from 1km to 100km/h in just two minutes.
That’s faster than a Formula One car, or a Formula E car, but faster than other cars on the road.
“We’re talking about a 10-20 per cent speed increase,” Musk told the BBC.
Elon Musk: We’re talking a 10 to 20 per cent increase in range by 2023.
Source: BBC News article Musk said Tesla’s supercharger system would go to 100 km/h by 2026.
That will give Tesla a “tremendous advantage” over rivals including Mercedes-Benz and Audi, he said.
Musk also said the system would be much more reliable than the existing superchargers and would be able to bring up to 40 per cent more electricity to the grid.
Musk told Sky News that if the system were to be built on the UK’s roads, it would only be used for “a couple of years”.
He said Tesla is currently building its superchargering network in the UK.
What does Tesla want to build?
Musk said that Tesla would build a “huge” battery for its vehicles, which could be 20,000kg.
That is bigger than the batteries used in the biggest supercar of all time, the Mercedes-AMG GLC 500 supercar, and it would be cheaper than the battery used by Tesla’s competitors, Musk said.
But Tesla has also said that it will make a “small” electric vehicle.
“It’s the smallest car that we have in the world right now,” Musk said on Sky News.
He said Tesla was not planning to build a car with the capacity to reach the Moon.
“I don’t know what we will do with it,” he said, referring to the Moon, saying that if it were built, it might be able “to reach Mars in the first half of 2023.”
What do other car makers want to do?
While Tesla has set its sights on a “large scale”, others are working on building smaller vehicles that would compete with Tesla.
Ford has unveiled a small SUV called the Ford Fusion, which has a range of about 500km.
Nissan is making a small crossover SUV called NISMO, which Musk said was “about the size of a small car”.
A new supercar that is expected to be unveiled next year by Jaguar Land Rover is a “sub-compact” SUV that Musk said would “be the first car to go to space”.
Musk said the vehicle would be “bigger than a Ferrari”, and that it would have a “lot more space”.