Austin-based Tesla CEO Elon Musk is no stranger to electrification and the power needed to charge a vehicle battery or power a home.
As the electric transportation and other green industries grow, the billionaire predicted that the demand for more energy will increase “exponentially” and urged the energy industry to prepare accordingly, during a keynote address Thursday in Austin at a conference focused on energy.
Musk spoke at an annual conference for the Edison Electric Institute, or EEI, the association of US shareholder-owned power companies and was interviewed by Pedro Pizarro of electricity giant Edison International.
The keynote covered a wide range of topics largely related to the electric industry, including how Musk sees Tesla entering the sustainable energy economy, what he thinks electric companies should do now to prepare for the future, and fears by Musk on artificial intelligence.
Keys to the future of sustainable energy
Musk has outlined several things he considers critical to the future of energy starting with sustainable energy such as solar, wind, hydro and nuclear power. He also said that stationary batteries and electric transportation will be increasingly critical over the next decade. Tesla has existing products for both of these areas.
His comments also included a call for the energy industry to grow massively in the coming years as energy demand increases.
“I can’t stress enough, we need more electricity,” Musk said. I assure you that we need more.”
The billionaire said that the demand for electricity will be exponential and predicted that in 2035 there will be three times the demand for energy generated than today.
How Austin-based Tesla products fit:
The Tesla CEO said that the production and demand for EVs is also growing exponentially, and he expects the electrification of transportation in general, especially passenger vehicles, to come quickly.
“I think we’re moving fast to the point where half of all new vehicles produced will be electric,” Musk said. This is likely to happen before the end of the decade.
The billionaire also spoke about the trucking industry, saying that while it won’t go electric overnight, it will move in that direction over the next few years.
For Tesla’s part, Musk said the vehicles use large batteries and Tesla needs a sufficient supply of batteries to produce large-scale production of its semi-trucks. The Austin-based automaker launched its first trailers last year in Nevada for the Frito Lay company after years of anticipation. Musk said he expects broad production of the vehicle starting next year.
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The CEO also spoke about Tesla’s lesser-known products related to battery storage and solar energy, which Musk said he sees as helping to reduce energy demand when usage is high.
This included Tesla’s Powerwall, an energy storage product typically used with solar energy systems for residential properties. The company also has a Megapack product designed for large and industrial buildings, designed to help stabilize the grid and prevent outages.
Moreover:Texas EV owners face a new tax. Find out why and how much it will cost drivers here
Also Artificial Intelligence will need more power:
With the rise of more public-facing AI tools making technology more mainstream, it seems like emerging technology is emerging in every industry, and Musks’ keynote speech was no exception.
The billionaire has spoken several times about the technology, including how the energy industry will need to supply more energy as more artificial intelligence is produced, and said one of the limitations in scaling the technology will be the demand for energy.
The billionaire also called for more regulation, government oversight to make sure companies don’t do dangerous things, break rules or cut corners
“I think we need to be preemptive,” Musk said, adding that he’s had conversations with world leaders, including in China, about artificial intelligence.
“It’s kind of like nuclear (energy) technology,” Musk said. It’s clearly powerful but it could get out of hand.”
Despite his reservations about the technology, he also said he plans to develop his own “anti-wakeup” AI software. The billionaire also spoke extensively about AI in May at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting, including Tesla’s AI-based humanoid robot Optimus, which isn’t out yet. The robot was designed with the same software as Tesla’s controversial “Full Self Driving” vehicle software, a technology that industry insiders and the company still don’t consider fully self-driving.
Moreover:AI Robots, Cybertrucks & More: 6 Takeaways from Tesla’s Shareholders’ Meeting
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