Trucks and buses glide into view under electric car-maker Tesla’s masterplan

Electric car maker Tesla Motors is planning to build heavy trucks and buses which could be unveiled as early as next year. The company’s CEO, Elon Musk, said it also planned a compact SUV and “a new kind of pick-up truck” to complement its existing fleet. The heavy-duty truck will be called called the Tesla Semi, while Mr Musk described a shrunken bus he called a “high passenger density urban transport” vehicle. It would be designed without a centre aisle, with seats close to the entrances and would be able to automatically pace itself with traffic. The bus driver would become a “fleet manager".

We must at some point achieve a sustainable energy economy or we will run out of fossil fuels to burn and civilization will collapse.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk

Mr Musk put forward the products in his much-anticipated master plan for the company - his second such manifesto. He released the first in 2006, when Tesla was first starting out and hadn’t yet sold its first car, the Tesla Roadster. It already plans to release a lower-priced car, the Model 3, next year to add to its Model S sedan and luxury crossover Model X. Mr Musk also defended Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot system, which is under investigation after a driver was killed while using it in Florida in May. He said it was safer than a person driving by themselves, adding: “It would therefore be morally reprehensible to delay release simply for fear of bad press or some mercantile calculation of legal liability.”

The list of successful car company startups is short. As of 2016, the number of American car companies that haven’t gone bankrupt is a grand total of two: Ford and Tesla. Starting a car company is idiotic and an electric car company is idiocy squared.

Mr Musk