In a recent captivating episode of The Joe Rogan Experience, Tesla CEO Elon Musk delved into a range of topics, showcasing his innovative mind and vision for the future. For the purpose of this article, we have chosen to focus solely on the automotive aspects discussed during the podcast, leaving other subjects aside to hone in on Musk’s insights and revelations about Tesla’s advancements, challenges, and the future of electric vehicles.
The Indomitable Cybertruck
The episode kicked off with a moment of awe as Musk arrived at the studio in Tesla’s much-anticipated Cybertruck. Joe Rogan, ever the enthusiast for cool stuff, couldn’t hide his excitement and engaged Musk in a conversation about the vehicle’s durability. Musk revealed that they had tested the Cybertruck’s strength by shooting a Tommy gun at it, showcasing its resilience. To put this to the test, Rogan proposed shooting at the Cybertruck with a compound bow, to which Musk agreed. The result? The arrow broke upon impact, leaving only a small dent on the Cybertruck, further proving its robustness.
Solar-Powered Cars: A Distant Dream
The conversation took a turn towards sustainable energy, with Rogan inquiring about the possibility of a car running entirely on solar power. Musk explained that this is currently unfeasible due to the limited surface area on a car, stating that even with 100% efficiency in converting solar power to electricity, a lot more than the current 20-25%, it wouldn’t be enough to power a vehicle.
Battery Breakthroughs and Efficiency
When Joe Rogan asked if there were any recent breakthroughs in car battery technology in terms of efficiency or range, Musk highlighted that battery range is not a constraint for Tesla vehicles, with models like the Model S and Model Y boasting ranges of 400 and 300 miles respectively. He emphasized that the cost of batteries is a more significant issue, as it impacts the affordability of electric cars. Musk also shared insights into the battery charging process, explaining that the rate of charging decreases after the battery reaches 80% capacity.
He used the following analogy to explain: “When charging a battery, the ions (the electricity) in Lithium-Ion batteries are like cars looking for a parking space. When the parking lot is empty, it’s easy to find a spot. When it’s almost full, it gets more difficult and slower to find a spot”. That’s why the charging of a car battery gets slower when it reaches around 80%. He said that it takes around the same amount of time to charge the battery from 0-80% as it takes to charge it from 80-100%.
Musk recommended charging up to 80% for long trips and driving until there is about 10% battery left to optimize travel time and charging efficiency.
The Challenges of Manufacturing
When asked about the production of the Cybertruck, Musk revealed that they aim to manufacture just over 200,000 units per year. He stressed the complexity of manufacturing, stating that it is much harder than designing and is often underestimated by the public, in his view because there are no popular movies that highlight the difficulties of manufacturing, while there are plenty of movies that cover inventions or designers.
Musk also underscored the importance of manufacturing in job creation, estimating that each manufacturing job leads to an additional five jobs, like electricians and plumbers, highlighting its significance for local economies and politicians.
Elon Musk’s appearance on The Joe Rogan Experience provided some good information on Tesla’s automotive advancements, the challenges of manufacturing, and the future of sustainable transportation. The episode not only showcased the impressive durability of the Cybertruck but also delved into the intricacies of battery technology and the economic impact of manufacturing. As Tesla continues to push the boundaries of automotive technology, the insights shared by Musk offer a glimpse into the exciting future that lies ahead.