Posted on October 11, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Tesla Co-Founder and Chief Technology Officer, JB Straubel, gave a keynote presentation on "Inspired Process" at the HIVE* (Housing, Innovation, Vision & Economics) conference in Los Angeles, California on September 28th. The conference, put on by Hanley Wood Media, is described as bringing together, "the best and brightest construction and design professionals, academics, and thought leaders from an array of industries... HIVE immerses you into all that is new and necessary in housing—single-family, multi-family, and affordable, urban and suburban–transformation."
Above: Tesla Co-Founder and CTO JB Straubel giving keynote presentation at HIVE (Photo: Courtesy of Hanley Wood)
It's reasonable to assume that Straubel's presence at this conference may foreshadow upcoming synergies with the Tesla + SolarCity merger, Powerwall home battery, and forthcoming Tesla product announcement related to solar roofs. As reported by Contractors*, "the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of Tesla, JB Straubel, gave a remarkable Keynote speech... he spoke about the intuition behind the company’s decision-making... as well as the future of the company as they attempt to take their innovation into the housing industry."
Above: Tesla Model S parked in garage with Powerwall on wall and solar panels on roof (Image: HIVE via Tesla from slide presentation*)
“He’s the kind of talent we need in housing,” said Editorial Director of Hanley Wood Media as he introduced Straubel. “He’s excited by these things that cause us fear and this sense of risk. He’s excited by these great challenges that he faces, and excited about the prospect that disruption is something he is doing not just because he can, but because he feels like he should.”
Above: Tesla's JB Straubel talks to HIVE attendees (Photo: Courtesy of Hanley Wood)
During his keynote, Straubel noted that disrupting the automotive industry wasn’t exactly what Tesla set out to do: "We never intended to go out and disrupt a bunch of things, we just really wanted to make things better, we wanted to make better cars and we wanted to follow technology and see what it could do."
Above: Tesla Model S (Instagram: drtimpearce)
Addressing some of Tesla's early challenges, Straubel noted: "In the early 2000’s, starting an electric vehicle company in Silicon Valley was pretty crazy… something that pretty much everyone told us was a bad idea. We had to change the stigma on electric vehicles... You know, as an engineer I think I’m lucky to be alive... to reinvent the whole infrastructure of our society. That’s a fun challenge and a fun problem in engineering."
Above: Tesla's JB Straubel on stage at HIVE (Photo: Contractors*)
There was discussion about the Tesla Model 3, launched earlier this year (for $35,000 with a range of 215 miles per charge) which resulted in the most successful product launch in history. Tesla took in around $10 billion of backlog for the Model 3 in just one week, and, Straubel emphasized, "Our vision is to figure out how to get all cars electric. The key to that is reducing the cost."
Above: Tesla Model 3 (Instagram: tesla_model_3)
Regarding Tesla Energy, at this time, Contractor* reports: "the Powerwall can only be installed with SolarCity solar panels, though Straubel says Tesla is working on solving that [issue] so it’s compatible with any type of solar panel installation. Currently most Powerwall batteries have been installed in Germany and Australia... [and] while it may seem far off now, the potential behind the [solar + battery + EV] idea makes Tesla’s ideal world of complete sustainable energy just one step closer." To that end, Straubel reiterated, "This was our mission: to accelerate the transition to sustainable energy.”
To check out Tesla's complete slide presentation from Straubel's keynote speech at HIVE, see below...