Elon Musk wants to make supersonic vertical-takeoff electric jet but says his 'head would explode'

Tesla founder touts impact of company's array of new vehicles

Tom Embury-Dennis
Saturday 03 November 2018 13:32
Elon Musk wants to create supersonic vertical-takeoff electric jet but his 'head would explode'

Elon Musk has said he wants Tesla to make a supersonic vertical-takeoff-and-landing electric jet, but that his head “would definitely explode” if he were to commit to the project.

In an interview with Recode, the Tesla founder revealed he had been thinking about the design for what he called the “VTOL jet” for nearly a decade.

Mr Musk’s discussion of the plane comes two years after he told an audience he was “tempted” to build an electric jet that would revolutionise the air transport industry by cutting costs and potentially ditching the need for huge runways.

The 47-year-old also touted the impact of the Tesla Semi, a new type of electric semi-trailer lorry, and the company’s Roadster sports vehicle.

“Semis are in constant use and use a tremendous amount of fuel, so the Tesla Semi, I think, can have a huge effect,” Mr Musk said.

“We’ve got the next-generation Roadster,” he continued. “Which will be the fastest sports car on every dimension. Fastest acceleration, fastest top speed, best handling.

Elon Musk smokes marijuana live on web show and talks about dead horses

“The goal with the Tesla Roadster is to show that an electric car can be the best sports car on every dimension. I think that’s very important to kind of get rid of this, like, halo effect that gasoline cars, sports cars, have.”

He added: “It’s important to have an electric sports car that’s faster than the fastest gasoline sports car.”

Mr Musk said he was “most excited” about Tesla’s plans for a pick-up truck, which the inventor said would be a “like a really futuristic cyberpunk, Blade Runner pickup truck”.

“This will be heart-stopping. It stops my heart. It’s like, oh, it’s great,” he said, adding that he did not know who would buy it, “but I don’t care”.

Mr Musk’s plugging of his Tesla products comes two weeks after he announced a two-mile tunnel capable of transporting people at up to 155 mph under the city of Los Angeles is set to open in December.

The tunnel is the first major project of The Boring Company, a startup born out of Mr Musk's frustration with LA traffic.

When asked if this date represented "real time or Elon time" – referencing his notoriously over-ambitious schedules – he replied "I think real."

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