Musk wants EVs to revolutionize the auto industry with or without Tesla.
Since the company was first formed in 2003, Tesla has been on a mission to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. While Tesla will always be renowned for being a major part of the EV revolution, the company is about to face stiff competition from major automakers with more resources, such as German giants Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi. Whatever happens though, Elon Musk wants EVs to suceed and revolutionize the auto industry – even if it means Tesla gets overtaken by the competition and goes bankrupt.
"If somebody comes and makes a better electric car than Tesla, and it's so much better than ours that we can't sell our cars and we go bankrupt, I still think that's a good thing for the world," Musk told CNN in a recent interview. "The whole point of Tesla is to accelerate the advent of electric vehicles and sustainable transport. We're trying to help the environment, we think it's the most serious problem that humanity faces."
Tesla has been edging closer to its goal of reaching the mass market, although we’re still waiting for the $35,000 entry-level Model 3 to arrive. To date, Tesla has sold nearly 500,000 cars worldwide, which accounts for about 20 percent of all fully electric vehicles on the road.
One of Tesla’s biggest threats is Volkswagen Group that plans to launch an onslaught of EVs under the Volkswagen, Audi, and Porsche brands, including mass-market cars that could undercut Tesla's selling prices. Scaling up production has been a huge challenge for Tesla, resulting in the Model 3 suffering significant production and delivery delays.
"It was life or death," Musk said in the interview. "Those betting against the company were right by all conventional standards that we would fail. But they just did not count on this unconventional situation of creating an assembly line in a parking lot in a tent." Musk also hinted that Tesla may expand its footprint in the US and "would be interested" in buying some of the factories GM is closing as part of its restructuring.