Musk is 'finishing up' master plan, and listening to movie soundtracks

Robert Redford leaning against luxurious car in a scene from the film 'The Great Gatsby', 1974.
Paramount | Getty Images
Robert Redford leaning against luxurious car in a scene from the film 'The Great Gatsby', 1974.

Elon Musk is promising an 8 p.m., EDT, reveal for his much anticipated Tesla master plan.

Musk first teased the upcoming revised plan on July 10, on Twitter, saying that he hoped to have something published later that week. When the week passed, Musk attributed the delay to his focus on Monday's launch of the SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station.

The report has been subject of much speculation. The Wall Street Journal reported that Musk said the plan will discuss how Tesla will transition into becoming a broader energy company that specializes in batteries.

He also said the plan will discuss the proposed acquisition of SolarCity, a company in which Musk owns a significant stake, and counts members of his own family among senior executives. Musk said he expects the merger to gain approval from the majority of investors.

Tesla recently changed its web address from teslamotors.com to simply tesla.com, and speculation followed that the company is moving beyond cars to becoming a more broad-based sustainable energy company.

The company's Gigafactory manufacturing facility, currently under construction in the Nevada desert, is also thought to be among those topics Musk could address. The company expects the factory to start producing battery cells in 2017, and be at full capacity by 2020.

Among other issues is also the company's Autopilot technology. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been investigating Tesla over the role the technology may have played in a fatal accident in May. Musk did not discuss anything resembling an autonomous car technology in his first master plan, written back in 2006.

Earlier on Wednesday, Musk tweeted that he is finishing the plan and he apparently likes to listen to the "Gatsby" soundtrack while writing.

The master plan is meant to be a sequel to a blog post published in 2006. In the first plan Musk explained that his primary reason for starting Tesla Motors was "to help expedite the move from a mine-and-burn hydrocarbon economy towards a solar electric economy, which I believe to be the primary, but not exclusive, sustainable solution."

He also outlined why he wanted to produce high-end electric sports cars before offering lower-cost models, and how electric vehicles can be combined with solar power to make a truly "zero emission" form of transportation.

As usual, his latest, and cryptic, tweet raised a few eyebrows on Twitter.

Musk is presumably referring to the soundtrack from one of the film adaptations of "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald, widely considered one of the greatest American novels of all time.

Though it has nothing to do with Tesla Motors, cars actually do figure largely in the novel, and Fitzgerald himself was "fascinated" by cars, said Maureen Corrigan, Georgetown University professor of English, in an interview with CNBC.

One of the main characters, Jordan Baker, was named after two brands of car popular in the 1920s. Another character, Tom Buchanan, meets his future mistress, the wife of an auto mechanic, when Buchanan stops to have his car fixed. The characters spend a lot of time in the novel racing between Manhattan and the fictional towns of East and West Egg.

In the novel, Jay Gatsby is a man of modest means who makes millions illegally bootlegging liquor, then poses as a legitimate tycoon, all to impress an old girlfriend named Daisy Buchanan. It works, until Daisy's own philandering husband Tom ends her affair with Gatsby. The climax of the novel comes when Daisy runs over Tom's mistress with Gatsby's car. It was originally seen as a dark novel, almost a mystery story, and Corrigan said it might be the most important novel about class in America.

"It's kind of ominous actually," that Musk would be listening to the soundtrack, Corrigan said, laughing.

So it is not at all obvious why it "seems appropriate" to listen to such a soundtrack while drafting the widely anticipated plan for Tesla Motors.

But lest the internet make too much out of a simple tweet, Elon then added: