Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors (AP/Mark Lennihan)

Elon Musk: "Maybe we'll make a flying car, just for fun"

The SpaceX, Tesla, PayPal billionaire tells the Independent the future of transportation


Sarah Gray
June 10, 2014 2:55AM (UTC)

Last weekend, Elon Musk -- the storied man behind SpaceX, PayPal, SolarCity and Tesla -- handed Tesla Model S keys to the first five British owners of the car. While in London he spoke to the Independent about the future of Tesla, transportation.

The plans included installing "supercharger" sites throughout the United Kingdom, while others were a bit more James Bond meets The Jetsons.

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"Maybe we'll make a flying car, just for fun," Musk said to the Independent.

"I've thought about it quite a lot," he explained, according to the Independent. "We could definitely make a flying car – but that's not the hard part. The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that's super safe and quiet? Because if it's a howler, you're going to make people very unhappy."

But that's not all he wants to do.

"We will be making a submarine car," he said to the Independent. "It can transition from being a submarine to a car that drives up on the beach. Maybe we'll make two or three, but it wouldn't be more than that. It's not like we'd sell it, because I think the market for submarine cars is quite small."

Of course, as of now, this is all just talk. (But who knows, coming from the man whose SpaceX projects include engineering a reusable rocket booster?)

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However cool a flying car or submarine car is, the electric cars Musk currently creates are by no means any less innovative than the aforementioned sci-fi plans.

The Model S is the only electric car that is EPA rated to go 265 miles on one charge. And just because it is electric doesn't mean this car doesn't pack a punch (or hefty price tag): It can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in a little more than four seconds.

And while it may not be perfect -- it requires supercharging stations, which as the Independent points out may not run on the greenest electricity -- this car doesn't rely on an engine burning fossil fuels. (And if you're curious about what the car is like in a test run, MIT Technology Review has an interesting piece here.)

Tesla, is also not the only auto company thinking about flying cars. Today at Bloomberg's Next Best Thing summit in San Francisco, Toyota said that the company was researching cars that could hover above the ground.

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h/t the Independent


Sarah Gray

Sarah Gray is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on innovation. Follow @sarahhhgray or email sgray@salon.com.

MORE FROM Sarah Gray

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Elon Musk Flying Cars Innovation Silicon Valley Technology Toyota Transportation

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