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The Future of the Car Conference in London runs from 9-12 May.
The Financial Times Future of the Car summit brings together visionary OEMs, industry movers, and challenger companies to discuss the technology, consumer, and business model trends that are permanently changing the way vehicles are manufactured and sold.
Elon Musk was interviewed at the live event where he got the chance to discuss Tesla, SpaceX and all his other ventures (which included questions on the pending purchase of Twitter). During the lengthy interview, there were a few key points that stood out:
The challenge with Tesla is not demand, but supply. As Musk stated, demand is exceeding production to a ridiculous degree”. The company has to actually start limiting orders. However, The manufacturer remains committed to producing 20 million cars every year by 2030, a target Musk claims he chose since it represents 1% of the global fleet.
Musk admitted that it is not a guarantee but rather an aspiration although he still feels confident that Tesla has a good chance of getting to those numbers.
In comparison, Tesla manufactured 930,000 vehicles last year, a statistic that was "about equally challenging" to achieve as reaching 20 million.
Musk appeared virtually during the Financial Time interview
Tesla has been making long-term arrangements with mining companies throughout the world to safeguard its supply as EV makers fear a shortage of raw materials to make lithium-ion batteries. However, the automaker is open to expanding its involvement in the earth-moving industry.
However, it is not Tesla’s goal to buy mining companies. Musk said, it is not out of the question if that is the only way to accelerate the transition. He add that there are no arbitrary limitations on what Tesla needs to accelerate. Tesla is determined to tackle whatever set of things are needed to accelerate sustainable energy and doing mining and refining or buying a mining company is possible only if Tesla is sure they can pull it off.
Musk identified Volkswagen as the most amazing EV startup working today, just one day after Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess declared from the same conference platform that Tesla outperformed the German giant.
Musk said, “I think the company making the most progress besides Tesla is actually VW, which is not a startup but can be viewed in some ways as a startup from an electric vehicle standpoint.
He also mentioned that China, which accounts for more than a quarter of Tesla's global sales and where Tesla aims to develop its Shanghai Gigafactory, has several strong enterprises.
He praised the workers in China commenting that there are simply a lot of extremely talented, diligent people in China who are passionate about manufacturing. He joked that they won't just be burning the midnight oil, but the 3 a.m. oil as well. His comments were about their work ethic and how they don’t even leave the factory, whereas in America, he said individuals are attempting to avoid working at all.
Musk reaffirmed his invitation to automakers to use Tesla's patents to improve on its Autopilot technology.
Tesla only patents things in order to prevent others from creating a patent labyrinth that stymies electric vehicle growth. Furthermore, Tesla will never sue anyone who uses their patents. So, anyone can use any Tesla patents for free in the hopes of benefiting others.
Musk feels that traditional car makers will solve electrification. “It’s not fundamentally difficult at this point to make electric cars. The thing that I think they may be interested in licensing is Tesla Autopilot full self-driving, and I think that would save a lot of lives.”
Musk spoke out against the micro mobility gadget when asked if Tesla intended to produce a car smaller and more affordable than the Model 3, such as a scooter.
He said, “Scooters are very dangerous. I don’t recommend anyone drive a scooter. If there’s ever an argument between a scooter and a car, it will lose.”
Note: Elon Musk and JB Straubel are keynote conversation speakers at two sessions between 10-11 May 2022. The event can be watched live by registering.
Image sources: Financial Times