Elon Musk spoke to thousands of Tesla fans gathered to celebrate the opening of the EV company’s (TSLA) – Get Tesla Inc Report newest “gigafactory” near Austin, Texas on April 7.
And as usual Musk had a lot to say about a lot of things.
Here’s a look at five of the most interesting ones.
1. The New Factory is Really Big
Musk told the audience that the factory is the largest manufacturing plant in the history of the world by volume. “You could fit 194 billion hamsters in this building,” he joked. For another point of comparison, he said you could fit 3 Pentagon buildings inside.
2. Half a Million Vehicles
Tesla will begin by making its Model Y vehicles at the plant and that annual production is designed to reach 500,000 vehicles. That’s necessary “in order to make a big difference to transition the world to sustainable technology as quickly as possible.”
3. New Products
Musk said the long-delayed cybertruck will begin production at the Texas factory next year. “I can’t wait to have this baby in production, it’s going to be epic,” Musk told the crowd, adding “sorry for the delay.”
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4. Full Self Driving Beta
Musk said Tesla’s full self driving software will be expanding its beta testing. “We’re aiming to go to wide beta this year in North America,” Musk said, Those who have tried it “get a feel for how much full self driving is going to transform society…[it] just completely revolutionizes the world,”
5. An Age of Abundance
Musk’s utopian views of the future are anchored in the transition to electric vehicles and development of useful robots, which is another Tesla initiative. He said first production models of its robots will “hopefully [be] in production next year.” He added that “it’s going to be an age of abundance” because anything people don’t want to do, the robots will do.
Of course, Musk has his finger in a lot of different pies, the newest being Twitter (TWTR) – Get Twitter, Inc. Report. Musk disclosed a 9.2% stake in the social media company earlier this week and was promptly named to its board of directors.
Controversy quickly followed as it became clear that Musk had ignored an SEC. requirement that investors with a 5% stake in a company must promptly disclose their holdings. Musk also reported his stake as a passive investor, one who would not attempt to shape company policy, even though he immediately tweeted about adding an edit button to Twitter and was named to a board seat within a day. He subsequently amended his filing to acknowledge that he would indeed be an active investor.
And on Friday, Musk’s SpaceX is slated to launch a private 4-person crew to the Space Station for an 8-day stay.
Musk’s Starlink satellite broadband service is also getting a workout since Musk donated scores of antennas to Ukraine to guarantee communications for the military in its fight against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.