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Tesla’s Elon Musk: most new cars will be electric by 2032, no matter who’s in White House

Twenty years ago, Car and Drive wrote about “the emergence of the minivan as the new family car.” If you believe Elon Musk, twenty years from now will be a lot more fun.

Flush with the success of the first production Model S deliveries, the Tesla Motors founder said most new vehicles will be battery-electric by 2032, and that the age of EV majority rule could come sooner than that, Reuters reports. Specifically, he said, “In 20 years more than half of new cars manufactured will be fully electric.”

Musk, whose company plans to deliver 5,000 of the Model S battery-electric sedans this year, said in a press conference that he feels “quite safe in that bet,” according to the wire service. Earlier this month, Musk forecast Tesla vehicle sales of 20,000 units for next year. The Model S base model starts at about $57,000, or about $50,000 less than the base price of the Tesla Roadster convertible that debuted in 2008. Venture-capital executive and Tesla investor Steve Jurvetson received the first production Model S, while Musk received the second, Reuters said. Nissan, which introduced its battery-electric Leaf to the U.S. in late 2010, has estimated that as many as 10 percent of new cars will be battery electric by 2020.

Meanwhile, speaking to BusinessWeek, Musk said that the advance of the electric vehicles will continue no matter who’s in the White House. “Romney [winning] would have a minor impact. There’s such momentum behind electric vehicles, and Model S is going to ensure that that happens.”

Last week, the EPA give the Model S a miles-per-gallon-equivalent rating of 89, putting it 29 MPGe behind the Honda Fit EV – which has the highest rating among all U.S. cars – and 10 MPGe behind the Leaf. Tesla has estimated the single-charge range of the Model S to be 265 miles, which would be the longest of any production EV.

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Musk reports positive cash flow for Tesla last week

Tesla Model S

According to Bloomberg, Tesla actually earned money last week. CEO Elon Musk sent out a message on Twitter saying his company was “narrowly cash positive.” That’s big news for a company that hasn’t turned a quarterly profit as of yet. Tesla is currently in the middle of stepping up production for its Model S sedan, and has announced the vehicle’s MSRP will jump by $2,500, presumably to help fund that expansion.

So far, Tesla says it has built will build around 20,000 Model S units at its California production facility next year, though analysts say the ability to repeatedly generate a positive cash flow would go a long way toward the company’s evolution into a “sustainable operating entry.” So far, the Model S has garnered substantive praise, earning the Motor Trend Car of the Year Award among others. Tesla shares are up 19 percent this year over the same time period in 2011.

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