Elon Musk: Tesla Will Make Millions of Electric Cars

DETROIT (Detroit Free Press/TNS) -

Silicon Valley automaker Tesla Motors will be making “a few million cars” by 2025, CEO Elon Musk said in Detroit Tuesday.

That would make the company about the size of BMW today.

Musk, speaking at the Automotive News World Congress event, also left the door open to eventually establishing franchised dealerships.

The automaker in 2014 made about 33,000 units of the Model S luxury electric car, its only vehicle, and expects 50 percent growth this year.

The Model S units are all sold through company-owned stores, but several states have taken steps to block the automaker from selling cars directly to consumers through its own stores. Instead, Tesla would have to set up dealerships to sell in Michigan.

Musk said the company must first “establish a solid base with our own stores,” but he would eventually consider dealerships.

He said the dealerships would have to focus on giving customers “an awesome experience.”

His appearance in Detroit, the first time he’s been here in two years, came as several automakers introduced plug-in electric vehicles at the Detroit auto show this week.

That included General Motors, which unveiled the Chevrolet Bolt, a 200-mile electric-vehicle concept priced at $30,000 after federal tax credit. The company is expected to introduce a production model of the Bolt in 2017.

“I think that’s great. I hope to see a lot more of that,” Musk said.

Tesla is developing its own version of an affordable electric car, called the Model 3, and targeted at the same time frame.

But Musk said he’s concerned about the effect of fracking on carbon emissions. The fracking boom in the U.S. has helped spark a global collapse in oil prices, making gasoline cheap and creating less incentive to buy electric vehicles.