Elon Musk may soon have a lot of time on his hands. The Tesla CEO is being sued by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for allegedly issuing misleading statements in a failed effort to take the electric carmaker private. As punishment, the SEC wants to ban Musk from serving as an officer or executive of any publicly traded company. He has reportedly (paywall) rejected a settlement with the SEC, and is preparing a legal team to fight the charge.
No matter what happens, Musk has a lot to keep him busy. Over the years, he has developed quite a long list of ideas to bestow upon the world, from a definitive fix for LA’s traffic problem to a plan for retirement on Mars.
Musk’s fans see his laundry list of goals as ambition at its best. The Tesla and SpaceX founder is disrupting a world languishing in corporate mediocrity and middling expectations. Who cares if they don’t all succeed? Musk is making the future exciting.
His critics, on the other hand, say Musk is merely a charlatan whose house of cards will collapse as soon as the money runs out. All those promises? Just a distraction.
Whatever you think (and most have strongly held opinions), we’ve assembled all the hopes and dreams Musk has expressed in recent years. He’ll need to balance his aspirations of running an electric car and solar energy company, a space business, a tunneling startup, a bionic-implant firm, and many other things with being a dad to five kids, and presumably sleeping and eating. That’s on top of fending off investigations and inquiries by the Department of Justice (criminal) and the SEC (paywall). Who knows—Musk has pulled off the seemingly impossible before.
Here are all the things Musk is working on next:
🚀 Launch Japanese retail billionaire Yusaku Maezawaon (with eight artists) around the moon on the yet-to-be-built BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket. Musk promises that won’t be too much of a distraction: Only 5% of SpaceX’s resources will reportedly be dedicated to the $5 billion rocket. This was originally scheduled for the end of 2018, then mid-2019….or later.
🔋 Build the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery in 100 days for Australia or money back. Tesla did it.
🌞 Supply “zero-emission electric power generation” as part of Tesla’s Master Plan to wean the world off fossil fuels. Tesla does have a booming battery business, and a solar-panel manufacturing division after acquiring SolarCity (although new orders are months late, and some customers have been told new orders are “halted indefinitely”).
🏝 Finish 11,000 energy projects to help repower Puerto Rico after Hurricane Katrina. Ongoing.
🚘 Build a full line-up of luxury and electric vehicles: an electric sports car (the $109,00 Roadster), more affordable passenger cars (the Model S sedan and Model X SUV), and the even cheaper $35,000 Model 3, the basic version of which we’re still waiting for.
🚙 Make 500,000 cars per year. Musk originally promised to hit that production rate by 2020. Now, Tesla says it can do it by the end of this year despite severe production delays.
💸Achieve profitability at Tesla. Tesla insists it can do it this year. Big banks and credit rating agencies are skeptical.
🏡 Roofs with solar-panel tiles, now suffering “serious delays.”
😬 Take Tesla private. That did not end well. Two US federal investigations are underway.
🤑 Have Tesla hit a $700 billion valuation compare to today’s $50.6 billion market cap.
☭ Build “pravduh,” a riff on the Soviet-era pravda, the Russian word for “truth” and the former Soviet state propaganda publication.
👽 Spend his golden years on Mars. “It would be a good place to retire,” Musk said in 2010.
🏭 Open Gigafactories for batteries in China and Europe. That will be an expensive proposition without a clear source of financing.
💦 Funding replacement of lead pipes in Flint, Michigan.
🧠 Bionic interfaces for artificial intelligence to enhance the human brain by 2027 or so.
🚚 Build an electric Semi truck with performance specifications critics say defy the laws of physics
🤖 Dispatch a self-driving Tesla to travel from New York to Los Angeles using Autopilot. Tesla is now more than a full year late with “full self-driving capability,” and the original 2017 deadline for the drive is now on hold.
🕳 End LA’s “soul-crushing traffic” with a network of underground tunnels. The first Boring Company tunnel under LA was “almost done“ in May and it plans to start a Los Angeles to San Francisco route in 2019 with “pressurized pods in near vacuum tunnels & faster than jetliner.”
📶 Launch global broadband with a network of SpaceX test satellites. A network of 10,000 satellites should be in orbit by 2024 (pdf).
🌎 Leave Earth and land humans on Mars by 2025 on board a SpaceX rocket. Follow up with a Mars colony ship carrying hundreds of people a few years later.
🌳Terraform Mars (or at least prove it’s possible).
🐉Build a cyborg dragon