Elon Musk, the Chief executive of Tesla ,and SpaceX spoke to the Financial Times at the Future of the Car conference expressing confidence in the manufacturing industry, and also noted that there will be some strong EV companies coming out of China.
FULL INTERVIEW VIDEO
Get ready for doing business with the China market
The interview started with a bit of overlap with Elon Musk and Co-Founder of Tesla JB Straubel both talking together. JB mentioned that it’s “tougher now for EV startups because what are they going to do that Tesla hasn’t or won’t do. What is their niche?”
Elon added “Companies are jumping in at the deep end, trying to make a high volume vehicle without having ever made a vehicle before. Start small and make mistakes at a small scale with a lot of reserve capital.”
Elon was asked who he views as the most impressive EV startup and he answered “Volkswagen is making the most progress aside from Tesla.” He also noted that there will be some strong EV companies coming out of China.
When asked about supply constraints, Elon said that he sees constraints in lithium coming in about three years, in large part due to the difficulty of converting the ore into battery-grade material.
Elon said that Tesla may have to get involved in mining/refining raw materials. When discussing supply constraints, Elon also iterated that the 20 million vehicle target for 2030 is simply an aspiration; “We may achieve it, but we may not.”
When asked about the current situation in China, Elon stated that he has had recent conversations with government officials. From these conversations he believes that it is clear that the lockdowns are being lifted rapidly, adding “I would not expect this to be a significant issue in the coming weeks.” This statement is optimistic as the lockdowns have posed huge supply chain challenges for Tesla and the broader economy.
When asked about demand, Elon said “now its demand is exceeding production to a ridiculous degree. We’re probably gonna just stop taking orders for anything beyond a certain period of time because some of that timing is like a year away.
Elon stated that there is some probability that Tesla would make a car smaller than the Model 3. Tesla has alluded to increasing efficiency when discussing the Robotaxi, so it would make sense that it would be smaller than the Model 3.
This would be an interesting move for the automaker. Tesla has previously alluded to the idea on their Q1 earnings call where they discussed the difficulty of setting their prices so far out because they don’t know what their future costs will be.
When asked about how long he would stay at Tesla, Elon responded: “as long as I can be useful.”
Gearing up for increased business relations with China and other Chinese speaking region, it’s never too early to start learning!
Founded in Hong Kong, Mandarin Connection has become one of the designated corporate language training provider for well-known international companies and organizations since 1995. Led by trainers from Beijing Foreign Language University.
+852 2540 2117