Tesla’s 2021 Impact Report — Exiting The Fossil Fuel Era

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Tesla released its 2021 Impact Report yesterday and shared details about the environment, supply chain, and how it’s leading the exit from the fossil fuel era. Last year alone, Tesla customers avoided 8.4 million metric tons of CO2e. This statement by itself is an incredible milestone.

Here are some key highlights from Tesla’s 2021 Impact Report.

Tesla Is Providing Thousands Of Jobs

Elon Musk recently tweeted that Tesla is providing over 110,000 direct jobs and 500,000 indirect jobs, which I covered in another article. However, Tesla’s Impact Report shares more details:

“Our employee count has grown ~70 fold over the past decade and, in just over ten years, Tesla has created nearly 100,000 direct jobs. While many companies in the automotive industry have been trimming the number of employees and launching early retirement programs, we plan to grow our employee base for years to come.

“As we are aiming to produce over 20x more cars by 2030 than we did in 2021, we will need to continue to build new factories and hire for those new locations. Gigafactories in Texas and Berlin will recruit extensively starting this year, which means that our job creation will continue to expand for quite some time.”

Graph courtesy of Tesla

Tesla had over three million applicants worldwide last year and it’s continuing to expand access to hiring opportunities with a focus on underrepresented communities. Tesla is doing this by building community partnerships. According to Universum 2021 rankings, both Tesla and SpaceX are the top places that engineering students want to work.

Tesla has several programs that are dedicated to hiring employees:

  • Manufacturing Development Program.
  • Tool & Die Apprenticeship.
  • Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day & National Manufacturing Day.
  • Tesla’s Internship Program.

Tesla has also been investing $37.5 million in to K-12 education in Nevada since 2018 as part of its agreement to build Gigafactory Nevada and get government support.

Tesla also listed its employee benefits, noting that it wants them to exceed standards in the industry. Along with the usual medical, dental, and vision that many corporations offer, Tesla offers employer-paid life insurance, short-term and long-term disability, counseling services, employee assistance programs, voluntary benefits programs, student loan and debt consolidation services, free shuttles, back-up child care, and other tools and resources to support growing families.

One critical benefit that Tesla has been offering employees is SafetyNet, which provides limited financial assistance for employees who may find themselves homeless, dealing with an emergency or natural disaster, and even helping with expenses related to a sudden loss of a family member.

Tesla’s Progress On Its Diversity Roadmap

Last year, when Tesla released its Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Impact Report, Tesla laid out a roadmap to better represent underrepresented communities. Tesla shared that it had a lot of work to do to represent the evolving US population and was committed to implementing the plans it has developed to get there.

Tesla is now a majority–minority company, with 62% of its workforce made up of underrepresented groups. The chart below further breaks down the numbers.

Graph courtesy of Tesla

The company stated:

“We are proud to be a majority-minority company with a large representation of employees from communities that have long struggled to break through the historic roadblocks to equal opportunity in the U.S. As of December 31, 2020, 34% of our directors and vice presidents were non-white. This is a large percentage, considering that just 0.3% of our employees are director level and above at Tesla.

“We are working to increase minority representation in professional and management categories through our intentional recruiting efforts with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic Serving Institutions, activations at the National Society of Black Engineers, the Society of Hispanic Engineers, AfroTech, as well as community partnerships with organizations like College Track and Black Girls Code. We are also working to ensure that the diversity in our entry-level roles will, over time and because of internal movement, be reflected in our leadership roles.”

Along with focusing on diversifying its workforce, Tesla is also focusing on hiring US veterans and providing a safe and fair workplace for anyone who is LGBTQ+. The latter is reflected in Tesla’s seventh-consecutive 100% Corporate Equality Index with the Human Rights Campaign.

Tesla Generates More Energy Than It Consumes

Tesla announced that its solar panels generated more electricity than has been consumed by its vehicles and factories between 2012 and 2021. Tesla’s cumulative net energy impact between 2012 and 2021 in terawatt-hours is shown in the graph below.

Graph courtesy of Tesla

Tesla Is Using Less Water Per Vehicle Compared With Most ICE Vehicle Manufacturers

Tesla is using less water per vehicle than almost any gas-car manufacturer and plans to beat that while accounting for in-house cell manufacturing. In its Impact Report, Tesla addressed the misconception that producing EVs requires more water than producing a gas-powered vehicle.

“There is a misconception that producing an EV requires more water than producing an ICE vehicle. Our data shows this is not the case. While each automaker may draw their boundaries slightly differently (depending on how vertically integrated they are), according to the latest publicly available figures, Tesla withdrew less water at facilities dedicated to vehicle manufacturing per vehicle produced than the majority of established carmakers.

“Furthermore, the efficient manufacturing design we are implementing at our new factories in Texas and Berlin-Brandenburg will result in further reductions in our water usage per vehicle. Our goal is to have industry-leading low water usage per vehicle, even when accounting for cell manufacturing. The below chart includes our latest estimates for water usage per vehicle at those facilities.”

Tesla added that the impact of power generation on water consumption is less appreciated.

“Power generation is one of the leading causes of water withdrawal in the U.S., as water for thermoelectric power is used to generate electricity with steam-driven turbine generators and to cool power-producing equipment. This means that every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of clean solar energy produced not only lowers GHG emissions, but also lowers water consumption.”

The graph below shows a comparison between Tesla’s factories and an estimate of Giga Texas and Berlin with several automakers and the industry average. Tesla and BMW use the least amount of water per vehicle manufactured compared with the industry average. Tesla noted that these estimates are based on the design of the factories.

You can read Tesla’s Impact Report here.

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Johnna Crider

Johnna owns less than one share of $TSLA currently and supports Tesla's mission. She also gardens, collects interesting minerals and can be found on TikTok

Johnna Crider has 1996 posts and counting. See all posts by Johnna Crider