- Elon Musk discussed AI, clean energy, and production headaches on Tesla’s earnings call.
- The Tesla CEO also mentioned fossil-fuel taxes, vampires, and USB cables.
- Scroll down for Musk’s 11 best quotes from the call.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk made several bold predictions, trumpeted the power of clean energy, and bemoaned the difficulty of mass production during the electric-vehicle company’s first-quarter earnings call on Monday.
The self-proclaimed “Technoking of Tesla” also touched on vampires, USB cables, self-driving cars, energy taxes, and World War II, according to a transcript on Sentieo, a financial-research site.
Here are Musk’s 11 best quotes, lightly edited and condensed for clarity:
1. “More likely than not, Model Y will be the best-selling car or truck of any kind in the world in 2022.”
2. “There’s no question in my mind that with a pure-vision solution, we can make a car that is dramatically safer than the average person.” – asserting that a self-driving car, guided by multiple cameras that process images at superhuman speed, will be safer than a human-controlled car.
3. “Long term, people will think of Tesla as much as an AI robotics company as we are a car company, or an energy company.”
4. “I just love that they call it vampires.” – commenting on “vampire drain,” the term for electric batteries losing charge when not in use.
5. “You can actually power the entire United States with roughly a 100-mile grid of solar. It’s entirely possible to power all of Earth with a small percentage of Earth’s area.”
6. “Why don’t we do it? The energy basis of the earth is gigantic, super-mega-insanely gigantic. So you can’t just go and do 1 zillion terawatts overnight. You’ve got to build the production capacity for the battery cells, for the solar cells. You’ve got to put that into vehicles. You’ve got to put that into storage packs. You’ve got to put that into solar panels and Solarglass Roofs, and you’ve got to deploy all this stuff.”
7. “We should tax energy that we think is probably bad and support energy we think is probably good, just like cigarettes and alcohol, versus fruits and vegetables.”
8. “Prototypes are trivial, they’re child’s play. Production at large scale with higher liability and low cost – insanely difficult. Myself and many others at Tesla had to basically have several aneurysms to get this done.”
9. “What Tesla achieved on the automotive side was not to create an electric car. The truly profound thing on the car side is that Tesla was the first American car company to achieve volume production of a car in 100 years and not go bankrupt.”
10. “We’ve had production stop because of carpet in the trunk. We’ve had production stop because of a USB cable. At one point, for Model S, we literally raided every electronics store in the Bay Area. For a few days there, nobody could buy a USB cable in the Bay Area because we went and bought them all to put them in the car.” – describing how a shortage of one minor component out of 10,000 can halt production entirely.
11. “We’re talking millions of cars, a massive global supply chain, 50 countries, dozens of regulatory regimes. Solving those constraints and logistical problems makes World War II look trivial. I’m not kidding.”
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