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Tesla confirms plans for VW-style minibus, on heels of its master plan

On Saturday, July 30th Elon Musk confirmed via Twitter that the new Tesla Minibus to be unveiled next year will be built atop the Model X chassis.

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla Motors Inc., introduces the Model X car at the company's headquarters in Fremont, Calif, in September 2015. The company confirmed that its upcoming minibus will be constructed on the Model X chassis.

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP/File

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Tesla founder and CEO Elon Musk confirmed through Twitter that the upcoming Tesla Minibus, scheduled to debut next year, will be constructed on the existing Model X chassis. This update comes just over one week after Musk published his most recent manifesto, Master Plan Part Deux, on Tesla’s website, in which he announced the impending development of a high-capacity urban transport vehicle.

When Musk published his first Master Plan in August of 2006, he sought to demonstrate to the public the overarching concept behind his creation of Tesla Motors. As he describes in this most recent edition, his goal was to defend himself and his company against the inevitable allegations that its sole purpose was to create high-priced sports cars for the rich. The latest iteration of the plan, however lays out the next steps for the car company.

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Master Plan Part Deux comes at another trying time for his automotive company. Tesla is currently in the process of attempting a $2.8 billion merger with Solar City, which Musk also founded, the automaker has missed its target delivery numbers for the second quarter in a row, and the company is dealing with the first known fatality, one thought to have involved their the car's autopilot system.

Nevertheless, the second Master Plan optimistically details what is in store for the future. The merger between Tesla and Solar City – Musk’s company specializing in manufacturing solar technology, including batteries – is described as being necessary to seamlessly “integrate solar energy and storage,” through the creation of a “solar roof-with-battery” product.

Musk describes how through the Model 3, a future compact SUV and a pick-up truck, Tesla will address the primary needs of the entire consumer market. Musk then goes on to describe the two upcoming vehicles currently in development that are most presently needed, a heavy-duty truck and then the high-capacity transport vehicle. Thus the Minibus and a forthcoming Tesla Semi.

Musk believes the Tesla Semi will significantly reduce the cost of cargo shipping and he believes the originative design for the Minibus will improve traffic congestion and improve riding quality for urban transportation.

As confirmed on Saturday, the Minibus will utilize the same chassis in production for the Model X and will be inspired by some of the original Volkswagen California Custom design art


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