Yes, Elon Musk is planning to build a teensy bus

old vw bus ad
Promo image Volkswagen ad

When Elon Musk unveiled his grand master plan, he talked a bit about transit, autonomous buses, and why they would be much smaller: "With the advent of autonomy, it will probably make sense to shrink the size of buses and transition the role of bus driver to that of fleet manager." And while transportation experts are not sure about all of his ideas, the idea of a tiny bus is interesting for a number of reasons.

volkswagen bus adMy favorite Volkswagen bus ad (click for larger version)/Promo image

Over on Jalopnik, Jason Torchinsky speculated that it might be built on the Model X platform, and might be very much like the old Volkswagen bus. It was a wonderful design that could hold huge amounts of stuff and people for a vehicle its size, (smaller than most SUVs today) and other than the fact that it was a total deathtrap in a crash, was just about perfect. Because you can get so much more in a box:

get a boxVolkswagen ad/Promo image

Torchinsky thinks there would be a big market for it among the baby boomers:

There’s a strong initial market of now-wealthy Boomers who would pay ex recto [a lot] for a modern, safe, eco-friendly electric bus, and that vehicle, designed with the right balance of old and new, could leverage nostalgia and established character to get a new generation of people—specifically the allegedly less-traditional-car-interested-millenials—excited about buying a hypothetical (and, appropriately priced) modern Microbus.

tesla bus© Jason Torchinsky/ Jalopnik

And apparently Musk concurred about the platform. And while this TreeHugger is no fan of the heavy Model X with the crappy wing doors, the not-so-wealthy baby boomer in me loves the idea of the bus, both for autonomous public transit and for personal use. I am ready for my road trip! I do hope they make a camper version just like this:

camper bus photoVolkswagen ad/Promo image

Tags: Tesla Motors | Transportation


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