Tesla Motors Inc CEO Elon Musk spoke to the Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio on the topic of climate change while taking a personal tour of the Gigafactory in the National Geographic documentary “Before the Flood.” Musk told DiCaprio that the fossil fuel industry is the largest industry in the world, and they have more influence and more money than any other sector.
“The more that there can be a sort of popular uprising against that, the better, but I think the scientific fact of the matter is we are unavoidably headed towards some level of harm,” Musk told the famous actor.
Tesla Gigafactory not just for manufacturing batteries
What Musk finds particularly appealing about electrical storage is the ability to bring electrical power to places which have no access to an organized energy grid. Musk envisions villages in the developing nations that are not connected to the electrical grid yet being able to jump straight to battery and solar system.
Musk says batteries are critical to a sustainable energy future. “We actually did the calculations to figure out what it would take to transition the whole world to sustainable energy. You’d need 100 Gigafactories,” He told DiCaprio. Musk also said that Tesla Motors Inc is not planning to build 100 Gigafactories itself.
Musk tells DiCaprio that the Gigafactory is designed to not just manufacture batteries but to do more. The Gigafactory is also intended to serve as a template for how other companies could contribute to convert the whole world to renewable, clean solar power. The factory is not only making batteries to store solar energy for use in the future, but it is also designed to be a net zero and zero emissions operation.
How Musk plans to make 100 Gigafactories?
Musk said the thing that is actually going to make a difference is if companies – much larger than the electric carmaker – do the same thing. He said that they can collectively accelerate the transition to sustainable energy if the big industrial companies in Europe, the U.S. and China and the big automakers do this as well. He added that a fast transition to clean and renewable energy relies on government policies as well that favor renewables like a carbon tax. Previously also, Musk has argued for Carbon tax.
Musk took the same approach with his design for a futuristic Hyperloop transport system. Musk would open sourced the design of the Hyperloop for others to build instead of building it himself.
However, building 100 Gigafactories to supply the entire world with the batteries it needs to run off the sun is clearly not a simple task. The EV firm will have the largest footprint of any building worldwide when Tesla Motors Inc ’s massive facility is complete. As per Musk, the facility is as much as 15 million square feet. So, you can image the kind of efforts it will take to build 100 of such things.