Elon Musk endorses carbon tax at Tesla shareholder meeting

Elon Musk, founding father of SpaceX and chief government officer of Tesla, waves whereas arriving to a dialogue on the Satellite tv for pc 2020 Convention in Washington, D.C., on Monday, March 9, 2020.

Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

Tesla CEO Elon Musk once again endorsed the thought of a federal carbon tax on the firm’s 2021 annual shareholder assembly on Thursday.

He mentioned the three elements of a “sustainable future,” in his view, are photo voltaic and wind energy, batteries for power storage, and electrical autos of each variety together with automobiles, boats and airplanes.

“As we transfer to a sustainable power grid and electrical autos, then clearly we transfer to a completely sustainable power financial system which is the place we wish to get to as rapidly as potential. The earlier the higher! And might there be a carbon tax? I imply like, what the hell,” Musk mentioned Thursday, expressing impatience.

A carbon tax, or tax on greenhouse fuel emissions, has lengthy been proposed as a technique to scale back the emission of gases that trigger local weather change, notably carbon dioxide. Some advocates imagine {that a} carbon tax ought to improve over time to provide business time to find and roll out lower-carbon options to the merchandise and processes they use that do emit CO2.

Greater than 40 governments have adopted some form of value on carbon, in accordance with the New York Times, however america has not.

A carbon tax would assist Tesla by making fuel dearer, which might make its electrical autos extra engaging, and by growing power costs, which might encourage householders to undertake photo voltaic panels from Tesla and different suppliers. Musk acknowledged as a lot, however famous it could harm his re-usable rocket enterprise, SpaceX, a substantial shopper of fossil fuels that plans to drill for pure fuel and to make use of methane in its rocket operations in Boca Chica.

“So how a couple of carbon tax? We simply really want it,” he mentioned.

Musk additionally strongly endorsed the thought of getting extra supplies out of spent batteries by way of improved recycling expertise and processes.

“Battery supplies are positively recyclable. Burning fuel will not be. CO2 is an especially secure molecule. Mars’ environment has been primarily CO2 for I do not know billions of years. It is extraordinarily secure. So, generally individuals fear about methane. Don’t worry an excessive amount of about methane. Methane rapidly breaks down into CO2. Methane will not be a secure molecule. CO2 is extraordinarily secure,” Musk urged his viewers, as if looking for to justify SpaceX’s use of methane.

In keeping with the Environmental Protection Agency, “Methane is greater than 25 instances as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping warmth within the environment.” Methane can also be the second most ample greenhouse fuel emitted by way of human exercise and business, second after carbon dioxide. It accounts for about 20% of worldwide greenhouse fuel emissions.

Austin updates

On the annual shareholder assembly, Musk additionally spoke about Tesla’s purpose to construct automobiles nearer to the place clients get them organized. Doing so can save the corporate transport prices, but additionally scale back its environmental footprint from transport, Musk advised.

“The sheer amount of cash we’re spending on flying elements all over the world will not be nice,” Musk mentioned. “It is smart to have manufacturing on the continent the place the shoppers are.”

At present, Tesla has a brand new manufacturing facility underway close to Austin, Texas, which is predicted to supply batteries on-site, and one other outdoors of Berlin, Germany.

On Thursday, Tesla additionally confirmed that it has moved its headquarters to Austin.

Musk expects the Texas manufacturing facility, dubbed Giga-Austin, to comply with within the footsteps of Tesla’s Shanghai manufacturing facility, which now produces extra electrical automobiles than are made in its unique manufacturing facility in Fremont, California.

A minimum of yr’s annual shareholder assembly, Musk proclaimed that battery and manufacturing advances Tesla is engaged on might quickly result in decrease priced automobiles from the corporate. “About 3 years from now, we’re assured we will make a really compelling $25,000 electrical automobile that is additionally totally autonomous,” he mentioned then. Tesla additionally mentioned final yr that it designed and was producing its personal 4680 battery cells at a facility in Fremont, California.

On Thursday, Musk didn’t give an replace on timing for a $25,000 electrical automobile.

However he did say that Tesla wouldn’t be producing 4680 battery cells in Texas this yr. As a substitute, it could produce these cells at its pilot facility in Fremont, and ship them to Texas to as Mannequin Y manufacturing ramps up there.

Lengthy-term Musk mentioned he believes the crossover utility automobile is more likely to develop into Tesla’s best-seller, surpassing the Mannequin 3 sedan in reputation.

Earlier this month, Tesla mentioned it delivered 241,300 electric vehicles through the third quarter of 2021, and produced 237,823 automobiles in the identical interval.

Deliveries are the closest approximation to gross sales reported by Tesla. The corporate achieved a brand new file as different automakers’ deliveries declined in comparison with the identical time final yr, owing largely to provide chain points together with a worldwide chip scarcity.

Musk does not see international provide chain points resolving totally till 2023, he mentioned Thursday.

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