The CNBC host says Space-X was chosen as their most disruptive company, and asked Musk what his vision is. (Actually, for the whole interview, which is over twenty minutes, Musk covers a wide range of topics, with precision and poise.)
As far as the Space-X vision is concerned, Musk replies that what Space-X has done so far is ‘relatively minor.’ He said the company hopes to achieve full reusability in rocketry, which has never been done. Compared with what Space-X has done so far, perhaps this goal is relatively huge, but what the company has done so far is quite impressive. His point seems to be that what the company’s accomplished, he doesn’t see in relation to what has been done, rather in terms of a future with tremendous goals. Recovery of the rocket booster for reuse is the goal for the near horizon. He says it might be possible to re-fly the booster next year. He also says that he is hopeful the first people to Mars could do this in ten to twelve years.
After speaking about Mars, he says he is looking forward to producing a mass-market car in about three years. He also says Tesla has daily meetings with their key battery development partner, Panasonic. When asked about a company called Phinergy, which one host says might have a vehicle with an 1,100 mile range, he says that he has seen quite a few claims made that don’t turn out to be accurate, while at the same time not denying that it could be true.
He also mentions that with air batteries, you must have a new one quite frequently. This view is corroborated in a separate article which said the Phinergy air battery has to be changed every several months, but the parts are recyclable.
“There is no grand plan with the sort of open sourcing with the patents. We just thought it would be helpful to the industry.” -Elon Musk
Also, on a Tesla note, but further along in the interview, he says that he will be involved in Tesla until he dies, but that he might not be CEO in five years.
One of the hosts asks him what the point of having electric cars is! She mentions that coal will be used to generate the electricity so some people question why electrics are necessary. Musk answers that with solar, ‘You combine sustainable electricity generation with electric cars and you have an overall system that works, and that can scale to worldwide capability.
He remarked before that about Solar City acquiring Solevo, a solar panel manufacturer. The host asks him about the proliferation of solar panels and there may be too many of them. He makes a point about how many solar panels are low efficiency, but there aren’t enough high-efficiency panels. ‘The high-efficiency panels allow you to have a smaller footprint of the solar panel. You need fewer panels in order to generate the same amount of electricity, and the labor costs, and installation costs and the wiring and all that are proportionate to the surface area.
He says that some people think that the point of the gigafactory is to try to squeeze incentives out of the states. To the contrary, he explains that the gigafactory should come online when the third-generation car is ready.
When asked about what is happening with it, he says there are some companies that might interested in trying to make it, but that personally he is occupied with Tesla, Space-X and Solar City right now. He said that later he might pursue it, if it hasn’t been done by someone else.
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