Tesla’s manufacturing capabilities await significant growth, CEO Elon Musk told a crowd gathered at the company’s Austin, Texas Gigafactory for 2023’s investor day — and AI will be the magic bullet that gets them there. It’s part of what Musk calls part 3 of the master plan.
This is actually Musk’s third master plan, the first two coming in 2006 and 2016 respectively. These have served as a blueprint for the company’s growth and development over the past 17 years as Tesla has grown from a neophyte startup to the world’s leading EV carmaker. “There is a clear path to a sustainable energy Earth by 2050 that does not require destroying natural habitats,” Musk said during the keynote address.
“You can support a civilization much larger than Earth [currently does]. “More than 8 billion people can actually get sustainable support on Earth, and I’m often shocked and surprised how few people realize this,” he continued. He promised that the agency would “publish a detailed white paper with calculations and assumptions.” via Twitter during the event.
Key Tesla lessons are scaled to extremes, which are needed to transition humanity away from fossil fuels and AI.
But I’ll also include sections on SpaceX, Tesla, and The Boring Company.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 21, 2022
The master plan aims to establish a sustainable energy economy by creating 240 terawatt hours (TWH) of energy storage and 30 TWH of renewable power generation, which will require an estimated investment of $10 trillion, roughly 10 percent of global GDP. However, Musk notes that the internal combustion economy is less than half of what we currently spend. In total, he expects we’ll need less than 0.2 percent of the world’s land area to create the necessary solar and wind generation capacity.
Musk declared that “all cars will go fully electric and autonomous,” again arguing that ICE vehicles will soon be viewed with the same indifference as the horse and buggy. He also teased possible plans to electrify aircraft and ships. “As we improve the energy density of batteries, you’ll see all transportation, except for rockets, going fully electric,” he said. No further details were shared about when or how that would be accomplished.
“A sustainable energy economy is within reach, and we must accelerate it,” said Drew Paglino, SVP of Powertrain and Energy Engineering at Tesla.
Following Musk’s opening statement, Tesla executives Lars Morawi and Franz von Holzhausen took the stage to discuss the company’s “manufacturing hell” and the challenges of building the Cybertruck out of stainless steel. However, Morawi argued that the lessons learned from it will help Tesla make its Gen 3 vehicles more efficient. von Holzhausen announced that the Cyberdrug will arrive later this year, a much closer date than Musk’s earlier public estimate that production would not begin until next year.
Unfortunately, van Holzhausen said no new vehicle will be unveiled at the event. That announcement will happen “at a later date.”
The company teased a new video showing the Tesla robot walking independently and without the aid of a support frame. Despite the difficulties in finding suitable off-the-shelf actuators and motors for a humanoid robotic platform, Musk said, “We need to bring real products to market at a useful scale faster than anyone else.”
He further expects the company’s robots to become so successful that we may soon see a day when they outnumber humans. “I think we can exceed a ratio of robots to humans,” he added. “It wasn’t even clear what economics was at the time.”
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