Maybe the flying car in the 1968 musical "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" isn't quite so far-fetched after all. At least, Tesla Motors CEO and 42-year-old billionaire Elon Musk doesn't think so.
"Maybe we'll make a flying car, just for fun," Musk, who also heads commercial space venture SpaceX, told . "I've thought about it quite a lot. We could definitely make a flying car--but that's not the hard part. The hard part is, how do you make a flying car that's super safe and quiet? Because if it's a howler, you're going to make people very unhappy."
Visiting London to launch the electric Model S in England, Musk talked about his future plans for the company, which include releasing a less expensive model in three years and covering the U.K. with charging stations in the next 18 months. Critics say the latter goal is almost impossible.
Musk also opened up about his inspiration for the Model S, which has rapidly become popular in the U.S.
"It was very important to create a car that won on the merits of being a car itself--because there's a limited number of people who will suffer for the environment," Musk told The Independent. "We wanted to show that it was possible for an electric car to be one of the best cars in the world. That's necessary in order to change people's minds."
Boasting a range of 300 miles on one battery charge, the Model S is priced between £50,000 and £100,000 in the U.K. and around $70,000 in the U.S.
Whether or not a future car flies, Tesla will keep its emphasis on quality, Musk said.
"We're never going to release an ugly car," he told The Independent. "We want it to look good, to feel good, to have good acceleration, handling, everything."