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On his 49th birthday, Elon Musk continues to push Tesla to achieve 'fundamental goodness'
Posted on June 28, 2020 by Matt Pressman
With Tesla, Elon Musk set out to accelerate the advent of sustainable energy. With solar, battery storage, and electric cars, Musk is looking (deeply) at practical clean energy solutions for planet Earth. With SpaceX, he's taking humanity to the stars (and Mars). As Musk turns 49 years old today, let's catch up with the birthday boy-genius and his audacious, inspiring vision.
Above: While in Oslo supervising the European Model 3 launch, Musk ran into a Tesla fan (Twitter: Helia Albuquerque)
According to an article in CNBC Make It, Musk admitted that, "The fundamental goodness of Tesla ... so like the 'why' of Tesla, the relevance, what's the point of Tesla, comes down to two things: acceleration of sustainable energy and autonomy."
"The acceleration of sustainable energy is absolutely fundamental, because this is the next potential risk for humanity," Musk said. "So obviously, that is, by far and away, the most important thing."
Above: Tesla solar, Powerwall, and EV/AV strategy are pushing Musk's vision forward (Image: Tesla)
Furthermore, it's reported that, "Between 2035 and 2045, autonomous vehicles could save 585,000 lives 'conservatively,' according to a report from Intel." Musk concurs, noting that self-driving cars are poised to "save millions of lives."
This week, Barron's honored Elon Musk as one of the top CEOs in 2020 explaining, "He not only heads Tesla, the second-most-valuable car company in the world, but also privately held SpaceX." Right now, "every other major automaker, including General Motors and Volkswagen, is trying to emulate Musk's electric-vehicle-first strategy. He has disrupted and altered a massive, century-old industry, and he's not finished yet."
Above: Tesla's Model Y (Source: EVANNEX; Photo by Casey Murphy)
Other luminaries have lauded the Tesla CEO for his relentless pursuit of the company's mission — along with his otherworldly ambitions at SpaceX. Musk was honored among 50 eminent scientists, researchers and engineers and named as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has gone so far as to say that Elon Musk will "transform civilization as we know it."
And it's not just scientists and environmentalists that feel this way. Billionaire business icons also seem to agree. Richard Branson. Mark Cuban. Larry Ellison. Ron Baron. Larry Page. Why? A fascinating Bloomberg documentary, produced a few years back, helps provide insight into why so many revere the Iron Man.
Above: Bloomberg's 'Risk Takers' documentary examines the drive, ambition, and success of Elon Musk (Youtube: Bloomberg)
Gwynn Shotwell, President of SpaceX, explains how Musk pushes boundaries but still inspires others. “First of all, when Elon says something, you have to pause and not immediately blurt out, ‘Well, that’s impossible,’ or, ‘There’s no way we’re going to do that. I don’t know how,’” Shotwell said in a 2018 TED talk. “So you zip it, and you think about it, and you find ways to get that done.”
Perhaps Ashlee Vance, Elon Musk's biographer, sums it up best: "He’s the possessed genius on the grandest quest anyone has ever concocted. He’s less a C.E.O. chasing riches than a general marshaling troops to secure victory. Where Mark Zuckerberg wants to help you share baby photos, Musk wants to ... well ... save the human race from self-imposed or accidental annihilation."
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