Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Joby air taxi


Elon Musk Expounds On Electric Airplanes & Exceptional Engineers

Elon Musk told the hosts of a Third Row Tesla and HyperChange podcast recently that he has no plans to develop an electric airplane — yet.

During a recent Third Row Tesla and HyperChange podcast, the hosts asked Elon Musk if he has any plans to build electric airplanes — if not passenger jets, then maybe electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicles like those coming from Joby, E-Hang, or Wisk. After all, any electric aircraft will need the most energy efficient batteries available. Since Tesla is presumed to be the world leader in manufacturing efficient batteries, it just makes sense it would be considering a move into the production of electric airplanes, right?

Actually, “no,” said Musk. Making airplanes is completely different than making cars or trucks, solar panels, or storage batteries. “I think it’s incredibly difficult to bring an aircraft to production and meet all the regulatory requirements worldwide. It’s a very difficult thing.” Then he added, “There aren’t any car companies that are also aircraft companies.”

Fossbytes reports, though, that he didn’t completely take making electric airplanes off the table. He simply said it would require skipping over a lot of other things he thinks are more important, like pushing the EV revolution forward, building the Hyperloop, ramping up production of the Solar Roof and Powerwall residential storage system, and maybe bringing a new lower-priced electric car to market. He said an eVTOL aircraft could come in the future after all those other items on his to-do list are taken care of. “All transport will be electric, except for rockets,” he said.

Finding Exceptional Engineers

The hosts then suggested Tesla’s newfound financial success and stratospheric stock price should make it possible to spend more on research and development. “That’s not how it works,” Elon said. “It’s not like if we just had more money you could spend it effectively on R&D. But if there was a factory producing excellent engineers, that would be true.”

Musk has recently reiterated his comments from 2014 that a person does not need a college degree to work for Tesla. He prefers people with “exceptional ability” rather than a degree from a prestigious school, according to a tweet on December 22, 2019. In an interview with AutoBild in 2014, Musk said, “There’s no need even to have a college degree at all, or even high school. If somebody graduated from a great university, that may be an indication that they will be capable of great things, but it’s not necessarily the case. If you look at, say, people like Bill Gates or Larry Ellison, Steve Jobs, these guys didn’t graduate from college, but if you had a chance to hire them, of course that would be a good idea.”

So, you 12 year old prodigies out there, there’s still hope. If you have what it takes, there could be a place for you within Tesla in a few years, maybe in the electric airplane division!

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica member, supporter, or ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

New Podcast: How NVIDIA Is Bringing Autonomy To Automakers

Written By

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his homes in Florida and Connecticut or anywhere else the Singularity may lead him. You can follow him on Twitter but not on any social media platforms run by evil overlords like Facebook.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats

EV Press Releases


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like


Originally published on EV Annex. by: Charles Morris There’s a lot of denial and wishful thinking in the oil and auto fields these days, but...


By Kathy Harris  As the future of transportation relies more on electricity, customers will soon have to ask themselves — “will I be able...

Autonomous Vehicles

In a reply to Whole Mars Catalog about when Tesla’s Full Self-Driving (FSD) subscriptions are launching, Tesla’s CEO, Elon Musk, said yesterday that they...

Autonomous Vehicles

For several years, the overall debate about self-driving cars and who’s in the lead in that arena has hardly changed. To start this piece,...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.