The main news Elon Musk gave the Financial Times (FT) at his Future of the Car summit had nothing to do with cars. Former President Donald Trump was permanently banned from Twitter by the billionaire who plans to take over the platform.
Tesla’s CEO, on the other hand, made a number of newsworthy remarks regarding the world’s most valuable automaker. Musk said he’ll continue at Tesla “as long as I can be useful,” allaying fears that a foray into social media would detract from the amount of time he devotes to his electric car company. Tesla has long made it apparent that it is completely reliant on Musk, the company’s CEO since 2008.
Musk’s nearly 40-minute interview with the Financial Times covered a wide range of issues, including Tesla’s China business and metal mining.
Here are some of the highlights:
Expansion in Asia
In the long run, Musk estimates that China will account for 25% to 30% of Tesla’s revenue. He dismissed the concept that Tesla’s acquisition of Twitter could pose political problems in the country, as rival Jeff Bezos said a few weeks ago.
Tesla will expand its existing Shanghai facility, but Musk said the firm does not intend to construct any new factories in China anytime soon because it is focused on launching manufacturing near Berlin and in Austin, Texas. Due to Covid lockdowns, Tesla’s Shanghai facility was closed for much of last month, but CEO Elon Musk expressed optimism that the worst is behind them.
The Tesla Gigafactory in Shanghai may be threatened next year, as the carmaker’s dominance in China is threatened. Bloomberg/Bloomberg was the photographer.
“I spoke with the Chinese government recently, and it’s evident that the restrictions are being lifted quickly,” Musk added.
Musk declined to say whether Tesla will develop a facility in Indonesia when questioned at the occasion.
Musk has talked about forming a trio of holding companies to help him buy Twitter.
He dismissed the idea of uniting Tesla, SpaceX, and his other businesses, claiming that there is “no tonne of merit” in doing so. Tesla’s goal is to hasten the shift to renewable energy sources. With Starlink, SpaceX hopes to extend life beyond Earth by bringing connectivity to underserved areas of the globe. Those are two distinct objectives.
Musk was less bombastic than usual when it came to the route to fully autonomous driving, which has taken far longer than many in the industry anticipated. He has perhaps overpromised more than anybody else, causing concern among US regulators.
“Obviously, I could be wrong,” Musk continued, “but I believe we are very near to achieving self-driving at a level of safety that is better than human, and my best prediction is that we will get there this year.”
Musk also stated that Tesla is open to purchasing a mining company.
The world’s major automakers are rushing to obtain the metals required to create electric vehicle batteries. Tesla has long aimed to be vertically integrated, owning various phases of the manufacturing process, and has lately secured multiple deals for raw materials, including nickel.
“We don’t want to buy mining firms,” Musk added, “but if that’s the only way to hasten the transition, we’ll do it.”