Elon Musk, founding father of SpaceX and chief govt officer of Tesla Inc., arrives on the Axel Springer Award ceremony in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020.
Liesa Johannssen-Koppitz | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Tesla CEO Elon Musk stated Wednesday that his electrical car and photo voltaic enterprise might assist bitcoin miners swap to renewable vitality, however is presently restricted by tight provide of battery cells.
He additionally acknowledged that Tesla remains to be not manufacturing its custom-designed 4680 cells for business use in electrical vehicles or vitality storage methods but.
The feedback got here throughout an look at The B Word Conference, which was centered on bitcoin and different cryptocurrencies. During a panel, Square Crypto lead Steve Lee requested Musk what the energy-intensive bitcoin trade can do “to accelerate the transition to renewable energy” and “could Tesla Energy play a role?”
Musk replied, “Well, I think Tesla can play a role.”
Then, the 50-year-old CEO broke right into a reflective second, implying that Tesla’s complete purpose for existence was to transition the world to scrub vitality.
“I would say I’ve had some pretty tough life experiences and Tesla’s probably responsible for two-thirds of all personal and professional pain combined to give you a sense of perspective there.”
Tesla has been promoting business and residential photo voltaic installations since buying SolarCity in 2016 for round $2.6 billion, a deal that landed Musk in a Delaware court this month.
But earlier than it received into the photo voltaic enterprise, Tesla created and commenced promoting vitality storage merchandise in 2015, together with a backup battery for properties referred to as the Powerwall, and bigger batteries that may retailer photo voltaic or wind vitality generated intermittently so it’s obtainable to be used at any time when utilities want it.
Tesla has put in a variety of these utility-scale vitality storage methods, Musk reminded his viewers on Wednesday, which have helped utilities with “load-leveling the grid,” together with in South Australia and elsewhere. But he famous that battery manufacturing was presently constraining produciton.
“In fact the limiting factor for us right now is cell production. So we need to both internally get our Tesla internal battery cells produced as well as increase supply from suppliers.”
Musk additionally repeated that even as soon as Tesla could make its personal battery cells, it can nonetheless depend on different battery cell makers. Its present cell suppliers embrace Panasonic, LG and CATL.
“Generally when I talk to our suppliers and they say ‘how many cells would you like?’ I say ‘how many cells can you make?’ you know ’cause sometimes they’re concerned, is Tesla gonna compete with them on cells? I’m like no no, if you want to make the cells be our guest. It’s just that we need a crazy number of batteries.”
In a Twitter exchange with followers after the bitcoin convention, Musk wrote that Tesla remains to be “not quite done” attending to “volume production” of its custom-designed 4680 battery cells.
He additionally acknowledged that Tesla bought Maxwell Technologies’ ultra-capacitor enterprise and different belongings to a San Diego-based startup referred to as UCap Power, which is led by Gordon Schenk, preivously Tesla’s VP of gross sales for its Maxwell division.
Tesla initially acquired Maxwell in 2019 in a deal valued over $200 million. The actual phrases of the sale to UCap Power Inc. weren’t disclosed, however could also be mentioned when Tesla holds its second-quarter earnings name on Monday, July 26.
Finally, at The B Word convention, Musk stated vitality storage methods, mixed with photo voltaic and wind weren’t the one methods to transition bitcoin to cleaner vitality. He endorsed current hydropower, geothermal and nuclear vitality to cut back the environmental affect of bitcoin mining.
“My expectation is not like that the energy production must be pure as the driven snow, but it also cannot be using the world’s dirtiest coal which it was for a moment there. So. You know, that’s just difficult for Tesla to support in that situation. I do think long-term renewable energy will actually be the cheapest form of energy, it just doesn’t happen overnight.”