Elon: I mean that fossil fuel industry is the biggest industry in the world that they have more money and more influence than any other sector. So I mean to do it the more that they can be sort of popular uprising against that for the better. But I think the scientific fact of the matter is we are unavoidably headed towards some level of harm so the sooner we can take action the less harm will result in.
Leonardo DiCaprio: What is your grand vision for all of this?
Elon: Quite a Giga factory is to get the cost of batteries down to the point where it’s affordable but batteries are critical to a sustainable energy future. The Sun doesn’t shine all the time, so going to store it in a battery.
Leonardo DiCaprio: How is this going to help developing nations that have massive populations that need to have power?
Elon: So, the advantage of solar and batteries is that you can avoid building electricity plants at all so you could be a remote village and have solar panels that charge a battery pack that then supplies power to the whole village without ever having to run thousands of miles from the high voltage cable over the place. It’s like what happened with landline phones versus cellular phones. We did the calculations, say, like, what would it take to transition the whole world to its sustainable energy. What kind of throughput would you need and you need 100 Giga factories.
Leonardo DiCaprio: So, hundred of these?
Elon: A hundred of these yes.
Leonardo DiCaprio: That would make for the United States
Elon: No, the whole world.
Leonardo DiCaprio: The whole world?
Elon: The whole world all energy.
Leonardo DiCaprio: That’s it?
Leonardo DiCaprio: That sounds …
Leonardo DiCaprio: That sounds manageable.
Elon: A Giga factory when it’s complete I’ll have the largest footprint of any building in the world counting multiple levels that could be as much as 15 million square feet. So Tesla can’t build a hundred Giga factories. The thing that’s going to make difference is if companies that are much bigger than Tesla do the same thing, if the big industrial companies in China and the US and Europe, the big car companies, if they also do this, then collectively we can accelerate the transition to sustainable energy and if the government sets the rules to favor sustainable energy we can get there really quickly. But it’s fundamental unless there’s a price put on carbon.
Leonardo DiCaprio: We’re never going to be able to make the transition that we need to in time, correct?
Elon: Yeah, the only way to do that is basically with a carbon tax.
Charina Silva is a full time project manager and a part time content editor.