Elon Musk talks about new Gigafactories and State Policies to ensure sustainability
Jul 17, 2017 | by Iqtidar Ali
National Governor’s Association (NGA) invited Elon Musk as a keynote speaker at the Association’s 2017 Summer meeting to talk about many things related to Tesla, Spacex, AI and the future of mobility and Elon Musk answered all of the questions in detail (video below). The event also provided a chance for Governors of 30+ states to convince Elon Musk to build his next Gigafactory in their home state.
Governor Brian Sandoval of Nevada welcomed Elon Musk by reading a passage from Nikola Tesla’s book ‘My Inventions’:
The progressive development of Man is vitally dependent on invention, it's the most important product of his creative brain, it's ultimate purpose is to complete mastery of mind over the material world, the hardest seen of the forces of nature to the human needs, this is the difficult task of the inventor who is often misunderstood and unrewarded, but he finds ample compensation in pleasing exercises of his powers and in the knowledge of being one of that exceptionally privileged class without whom the race would have long ago perished against the pitiless elements.
Elon Musk said during the conversation that Tesla plans to build 2 or 3 more Gigafactories in the United States in next several years and a couple overseas. This is great news as a single Gigafactory when fully functional would create about 6,500 direct jobs and for each job 2 more jobs are created in the supply chain.
Elon Musk also explained in detail the $1.3 billion incentive that Tesla received for building the Nevada Gigafactory, he said it’s not like the state has written him a $1.3 billion check, it’s a tax incentive that will be realized over a 20 years time period.
He expressed his grief over how media/press presented the incentive news causing misinformation and criticism about his company getting some extraordinary compensation helping him win over the competition somehow.
In reality this is a Sales and Use Tax Abatement when put into proper context is only 1% helpful over a 20 year period because Tesla will need to generate $100 billion in sales to achieve the full incentive of $1.3 billion and initial capital cost of setting up a Gigafactory alone is $5 billion.
Elon Musk also thinks that state policies should favor innovation and sustainability as the Governors were presented and listening attentively, only time will tell which state is going to get the next Gigafactory, CNBC believes California, Texas and New Mexico will be heavy contenders for the bid in their report below:
This surely was a pre-bid warm-up session with Elon Musk that will lead to a proper competition between eager states that believe in a sustainable future and want to create some clean jobs for their citizens.
Talking about EV and Sustainable energy policies Musk praised the role of the Chinese Government, as he thinks China is way ahead of U.S in terms of electric vehicle and sustainable energy policy making and implementation, this is what he said:
My Guess is probably in 10 years more than half of new vehicle production is electric in the United States and China's gonna be probably ahead of that because China's been super pro-EV, I don't thinka lot of people know this but I mean China's environmental policies are way ahead of U.S like their mandate for renewable energy far exceeds the U.S & I think as soon as we were under the impression that China is the dragon that feed or somehow behind the U.S in terms of sustainable energy promotion but they are by far the most aggressive on earth, it's crazy, infact the coalition of Chinese car manufacturers wrote to the Chinese government to beg for them to slow down the mandate, it's like too much, they need to make 8% Electric Vehicles I think by next year or two years or something, they're stuck, they can't physically do it, so China is by far the most aggressive on Electric Vehicles & Solar, so that's a common misperception that they're not.
Elon Musk thinks that after 10 years about half of all vehicle production will be electric in the U.S and China will still be ahead of the United States. His statement will hold true if the U.S Government does not take more serious actions in the direction of sustainable energy policy development.
Let’s listen to Elon Musk answer Governors questioning him on different topics in the video below (video starts when Elon Musk is called upon the stage @23:00):