Posted on July 18, 2017 by Matt Pressman
This weekend, Tesla CEO Elon Musk sat down with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval for an interview in front of around 30 U.S. governors at the National Governors Association meeting. Musk teased the possibility of two or three more Tesla Gigafactories in front of the governors — many of whom have auto-manufacturing plants in their states. In a comprehensive interview that ranged from his vision for personal transport to the existential threat from Artificial Intelligence, Musk espoused his view of the future.
Above: Tesla Model X (Instagram: probablynotkasia)
As reported in Inverse*, Musk envisions a bright future for all-electric, autonomous vehicles. Musk explained, "If you were to say, go out twenty years, overwhelmingly, things are electric or autonomous, overwhelmingly... fully autonomous. There will not be a steering wheel. Twenty years? It will be like having a horse. People have horses, which is cool. There will be people who have non-autonomous cars, like people have horses. It would just be unusual to use that as a mode of transport."
Above: A look at the ever-evolving modes of personal transport (Instagram: clubtesla)
How will changes unfold in the next decade? "In ten years half of all production will be EV [electric vehicle]. I think almost all cars produced will be autonomous in ten years, almost all. It will be rare to find one that is not, in ten years. That’s going to be a huge transformation. The thing to bear in mind though is that new vehicle production is only about 5 percent of the vehicle fleet... Even when new vehicle production switches over to electric or autonomous, that still means the vast majority of the fleet on the roads is not. It will take another five to ten years before that becomes the majority, EV or autonomous."
Above: Tesla Model S (Instagram: pdespati)
In addition, Musk spoke highly of China's commitment to electric vehicles: "Probably in ten years, more than a half of new vehicle production is electric in the United States. China’s probably going to be ahead of that because China’s been super-pro EV. I don’t think a lot of people know this but China’s environmental policies are way ahead of the U.S. Their mandate for renewable energy far exceeds the U.S. Sometimes people are under the impression that China is either dragging their feet or somehow behind the U.S. in terms of sustainable energy promotion, but they are by far the most aggressive on Earth; it’s crazy."
Above: Elon Musk speaks at the National Governors Association (Source: National Governors Association)
Musk expands on China's pro-EV policies: "In fact, the coalition of Chinese car manufacturers just wrote the Chinese government to beg them to slow down the mandate, because it’s too much. They need to make 8 percent electric vehicles in the next year or in two years or something; they can’t physically do it. China’s by far the most aggressive on electric vehicles and solar." Hmmm... perhaps this is yet another hint that a Tesla Gigafactory will soon be announced in China.