Visionary and entrepreneur Elon Musk knows how to get things done. As CEO of Tesla Motors, he fought conventional wisdom and now has one very popular electric vehicle [EV], which is sold out. In the end, we’ll have to see whether he won that fight or not, but so far it looks promising.
Musk also chairs for the solar energy company SolarCity, helping home- and business-owners with solar installations. Additionally, Musk is CEO of SpaceX, founder of PayPal, and Zip2.com.
Even with so many pots to stir, Musk still found time to give a speech at the University of Oxford, titled The Future of Energy and Transport. “Dealing with the greatest challenges of the 21st Century, it is an enormous pleasure to bring great minds together,” mentioned Professor Ian Golden, director of the Martin School, “and we have Elon Musk, who is focusing on transport and energy, who builds and operates companies to solve global environmental, economic, and social challenges.”
During the hour-plus speech and question-and-answer session that followed, Elon Musk talked a bit about Tesla and the future of transport about thirty minutes into the recording. On Tesla, “the goal is to try to create electric vehicles that are more compelling than gasoline vehicles as a product.” Step One was high-priced low volume production – to prove EVs could be marketable.
“We have achieved that goal with the Model S,” winning Automobile Magazine’s Automobile of the Year as well as Motor Trend’s Car of the Year awards, against a field of more popular gasoline-powered vehicles.
The problem, as Musk explains, is that there is so much money invested in petroleum that there is little impetus to consider EVs as viable transport, at least on the side of government and big business. On the other hand, the public is so used to the ease of gasoline and diesel fuel, that they forget the consequences for the environment.
Marketing EV technology has a lot to fight against, so Tesla is working on “refining the technology, increasing the scale of production, to make a mass-market electric car that almost anyone can afford.”