Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk at the wheel of a Tesla RoadsterEnlarge Photo
If you had a mediocre superpower, what would it be?
If you're Tesla CEO Elon Musk, "always beating the traffic" would be your power of choice, though given Elon's ideas past, present and future, some would argue that it's a long way off what he's actually capable of.
Musk sat down for a "fireside chat" with Pando Daily, and revealed some fascinating insight into both his worth with PayPal, Tesla and SpaceX, and also some of his plans for revolutionising the future.
You might already be aware of his desire to built an electric aircraft, a plan wryly alluded to in the film Iron Man 2, in which Musk cameos--but in the interview he spoke of his thoughts behind the idea, too.
It was inspired by the retirement of supersonic airliner Concorde, which Musk rues he never got to ride. He notes that it's possible to go faster and longer at high altitude, though there's a limit for combustion aircraft due to low levels of oxygen higher in the atmosphere.
No such issues for electric aircraft, which Elon describes as being potentially "super efficient and super fast". And, as Musk notes, "With SpaceX and Tesla I kind of have the ingredients..."
At the moment, there are essentially four methods of transport--aircraft, boats, cars and trains. Musk wants a fifth, which he dubs "Hyperloop".
He doesn't reveal a great deal, but the concept seems similar to the citywide tube system in the cartoon Futurama, where people can be whisked great distances very quickly and easily. Musk says he'd aim for a journey time of less than thirty minutes between downtown L.A. and downtown San Francisco, with a lower cost than any current journey option--thanks to inexpensive and clean solar power.
He doesn't stop there--among his other hopes for the future are cold fusion and a pre-fabricated, raised lane down the center divider of freeways for mass transit, speeding up journey times.
Elon also touches on other subjects, such as hydrogen fuel cells ("People at Tesla call them fool cells") and his retirement, which he wants to do on Mars.
We'd certainly encourage you to watch the whole video (just over an hour of it), even if it's not really about the subject most familiar to GreenCarReports readers, Tesla Motors. What it is, is a fascinating insight into the mind of a real entrepreneur--and one with even bigger ideas on the horizon.