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Tesla’s Car-Sharing Service Is About Adding Value for Its Car Owners

October 27, 2016, 12:37 AM UTC
A Tesla Model S P85D is seen at Tesla's headquarters in Palo Alto, California on April 30, 2015 during the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The Prime Minister took a test drive in the vehicle with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

When CEO Elon Musk revealed his plans for Tesla’s future in July, he revealed the ability for car owners to share their vehicles through a network. On Wednesday, during a call with analysts, he shared more details about this vision.

In short, Tesla Network won’t be a significant new revenue generating business for the company. Instead, it will allow Tesla car owners to make extra money by renting out their vehicles when they don’t need them. While Tesla will earn some additional revenue through this initiative, most of it will go to the car owners. It’s really a way to make owning a Tesla car more worthwhile for customers.

“This would be something that would be a significant offset on the cost of ownership for a car, and a revenue generator for Tesla as well, but the majority of the revenue would go to owners,” said Musk.

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Musk also clarified that, unlike a common misconception of the Tesla Network, “it’s not Tesla versus Uber, it’s the people versus Uber.” Last week, in a note posted on its website about its upcoming Tesla Network, the company warned that customers won’t be able to use self-driving Tesla cars to drive for ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft—they’ll only be able to do so as part of Tesla’s service.

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Interestingly, Musk’s comments also subtly paint Uber—currently valued at $68 billion and with 40 million monthly active riders worldwide—as “the establishment” in this new era of transportation models. Tesla Network, presumably, will give car owners greater control over their car, time, and earnings.

With that said, there are still no details about the service’s pricing and how exactly it will operate.