Date
27 July 2017
Elon Musk outlines his plans to colonize Mars. Musk's business interests span from Tesla to solar power and space exploration.  Photo: Bloomberg
Elon Musk outlines his plans to colonize Mars. Musk's business interests span from Tesla to solar power and space exploration. Photo: Bloomberg

Young Hongkongers should dream big

Many people have rushed to buy Tesla’s newly released Model X before the first registration tax waiver for e-cars ends in March.

Tesla chief executive Elon Musk once described Hong Kong as a “beacon city for electric vehicles” with booming sales of Tesla.

The US automaker already controls 70 to 80 percent of Hong Kong’s electric car market. Hong Kong has the world’s highest number of Tesla sedans per capita.

Musk outlined his “master plan” a decade ago and is about to reach its final stages.

He used the money from the sale of Paypal to invest in high-end but low-volume electric cars such as the Model S and Model X.

Then he moved to develop a medium-volume car at a lower price range before shifting to an affordable, high volume car — the Model 3.

Providing solar power is the next step.

Musk has acquired Solar City to build a solar power system. Musk also plans to steer Tesla toward autonomous driving and car sharing. The car sharing network will allow Tesla car owners to make extra money by renting out their vehicles when they don’t need them.

Also, Musk has put forward a super-fast rail line dubbed “hyperloop”, which would move passenger pods through special tubes at incredibly high speeds. Musk has joined US President Donald Trump’s business advisory council and is involved in a US$1 trillion fiscal spending plan.

Public-private partnership is likely to become a new business model in the US public transport as it moves closer to the debt limit. That also fits Trump’s two core commitments — buying American products and hiring American workers.

Musk also revealed an ambitious plan to get one million people to Mars. The company earlier disclosed a private mission around the moon, tentatively set for launch in 2018. It also aims to commercialize private trips to Mars, which would take about one month at a cost of less than US$200,000 per passenger.

Meanwhile, Intel Corp, the world’s largest computer chipmaker, has agreed to buy Israeli autonomous vehicle technology firm Mobileye for US$15.3 billion.

Intel intends to capitalize on Mobileye’s Roadbook, which identifies and maps drivable routes in real-time using crowdsourced data.

SF Express soars

SF Express, the Shenzhen-based express delivery company, saw its share price soar after listing in Shenzhen. DJI, the world’s largest drone company, also started up in Hong Kong but achieved explosive growth in Shenzhen.

Hong Kong dubs itself as one of the world’s leading financial hubs but it has yet to create any big tech company like Tesla or SpaceX.

Hong Kong parents are obsessed with the idea that their children should strive to be doctors or professionals instead of being entrepreneurs or technology pioneers.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 15

Translation by Julie Zhu

[Chinese version 中文版]

– Contact us at [email protected]

JZ/AC/RA

General Manager, Head of Investment, Investment Management, Bank of China (Hong Kong)

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