Tesla does the math to transition the world to sustainable energy

Tesla has done the math to better understand what it takes to transition the world to sustainable energy and released it during its Investor Day.

When on stage during the event, CEO Elon Musk said that it was about hope:

This event is about hope and optimism that is based on physics. Earth will move to a sustainable energy economy, and it will do so in your lifetime.

The CEO and Drew Baglino, Tesla’s top engineer, explained how they see the path to achieving this sustainability as mostly straightforward.

To explain it, they did the math and highlighted it in a series of slides:

That’s all Tesla believes the world needs for the energy economy to be fully sustainable.

Here’s the breakdown of all the related industries:

The company is making it sound relatively reasonable, and it has some good points to support its calculations.

First off, electric vehicles and renewable energy are so much more efficient than fossil fuels that you need to deploy a lot less capacity of the former to replace the latter:

That’s a great starting point and highlights just how much more efficient of a solution electrification is than burning fossil fuels.

The two biggest industries to address are energy and transport. Tesla broke down the needed energy and energy storage capacity to make the transition:

Tesla also highlighted heat pumps as a massive opportunity and the “‘lowest hanging fruit” to reduce fossil fuel use:

Another important thing that Musk and Baglino tried to highlight throughout the presentation is that for the biggest industries – energy and transport – we are already well underway, and that’s where Tesla plans to have the biggest impact:

For those worried about the cost of making that transition, Tesla isn’t worried about its own impact, which it plans to support through its own operations.

On a worldwide scale, Tesla’s math came to an investment over 20 years that is 40% lower than the investment in fossil fuels over 20 years based on the rate of investment in fossil fuels in 2022.

As for mining, when accounting for oil extraction, Tesla argues that the transition to sustainable energy through electrification will result in lower overall resource extraction from the earth:

In short, Tesla’s calculations come to the conclusion that a transition to a sustainable energy economy through renewable energy and electric vehicles is not only feasible, but it is going to be cheaper than what we currently invest in fossil fuels.

While that was more of an overview, Musk said that Tesla will release the math and sources for people to challenge its view.

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