Elon Musk wants to move humanity away from fossil fuels

How society could transition all its energy usage toward sustainable sources

The plan, outlined at the company’s Battery Day on September 22, involves massively increasing battery production. More batteries mean more places to store electricity. That also means more ways to use electricity from intermittent sources like solar and wind. When a solar panel generates electricity during sunshine, or a wind turbine on a gusty day, a battery can help provide that clean energy 24 hours a day. It can then be used in homes and businesses – or even transferred to other batteries, like in electric cars.

“To accelerate the transition to sustainable energy, we need to produce more [electric vehicles], they need to be affordable,” Musk said during the on-stage presentation at the Tesla Design Studio. “And a lot more energy storage, while building factories faster and with far less investment.”

Declaring that “tera is the new giga,” Musk explained how society needs to produce batteries on the order of Terawatt-hours per year. Battery production in 2019, according to Musk, measured 0.1 Terawatt-hours for electric cars and 0.006 Terawatt-hours for other uses. The sources for these figures were electric vehicle database EV-Volumes and analysis firm IHS Markit.

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