RIYADH: Tesla chief Elon Musk stressed the need to simultaneously invest in the oil and gas sector and sustainable energy sources for the survival of human civilization.
Speaking at an energy conference on Aug. 29 in Norway, Musk criticized the demonization of oil and gas. “This is not necessary. I do think, we actually need more oil and gas simultaneously as fast as we can to reach a sustainable energy economy,” he said.
Musk said that the pillars of sustainable energy generation in the future are hydro, geothermal, wind, solar, and nuclear power. He added that there is a massive untapped potential to generate power using ocean waves.
Talking about the potential of nuclear power, the Tesla chief said: “I am also pro-nuclear. I think we should really keep going with the nuclear plants. Maybe not popular in some quarters, but if you have a well-designed nuclear power plant, you should not shut it down.”
Musk added that his firm has plans for sustainably producing rocket propellants.
“We do have a plan for sustainably producing rocket propellants, which is actually almost 80 percent liquid oxygen — liquid oxygen you can see in the atmosphere. And then we’re going with methane fuel, which is 20 percent of that (sustainable rocket propellant),” he added.
The South African born billionaire further said that half of the new cars will run on electricity by 2030, and it could hit 80 percent by 2035.
Musk added that there is no scarcity of raw materials to make batteries for electric vehicles, but it is the process that consumes much time in the transition.
“There is actually no raw material constraint. There is actually a tremendous amount of lithium everywhere. So, it is iron, so it is carbon. And on the iron, you should usually combine phosphorus, that’s iron phosphate. So it’s not so much on the raw materials but it is converting raw materials into the highly purified form that can be used in batteries,” he further noted.
Musk added that he is planning to get Tesla’s self-driving technology car ready by year end and made it clear that it could be in wide release in the US and possibly in Europe, depending on regulatory approval.
“The two technologies I am focused on, trying to ideally get done before the end of the year, are getting our Starship into orbit which I think is important for expanding consciousness and then having Tesla cars to be able to do self-driving,” he said.