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Shit Elon Says - Transcript - Elon Musk at MIT's Aero/Astro Centennial (part 6 of 6)

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.. all of them will either have solar panels or otherwise get their power from renewable sources, and in the long term I expect it to be solar panels to a stationary battery pack, so that the solar panels can charge the stationary battery pack over the course of the week and then that stationary battery pack and buffer the energy and release it during peak times. What we see with Superchargers is huge differences in usage. You can imagine, when people go away for the weekend, like Friday nights and Saturday nights - Friday nights and Sunday nights, huge peak usage. People are going somewhere, like a family trip for the weekend, but say, Wednesday at 11am, low usage. So, you want to have a stationary battery pack, solar panels and then it could work even if the power grid goes down. That'd be cool I think, to have something like even post-apocalypse you can still drive around.

[Audience question about advice to new EV companies.] Well, I think, given that we open sourced our patents earlier this year, I think we're - ya know [audience applause.] I think that suggests that we're trying to be helpful. If there's anything that Tesla can do that's helpful and doesn't distract us from making cars, then we're happy to do that. We've also done battery packs and power trains for Mercedes and for Toyota. Right now, the fundamental constraint is on battery production. So, we have to solve that constraint in order for there to be any scaling up of electric cars and that's why we've got the Gigafactory, and things have to be affordable. "Basically, people need a compelling and affordable electric vehicle. That is the holy grail, and we're trying to get there as fast as we can."

[Audience question about sci-fi/art that inspired Elon.] Yeah sure. I mean, I love technology and particular when I was a kid I would just consume all the science fiction and fantasy, movies, books, anything at all. Even if it was just really shonky. In terms of key influences, I certainly liked Star Trek because that actually shows more of a Utopian future. It's not like things are horrible in the future - there's so many bloody post-apocalyptic futures, okay, can we have one that's nice? Just a few. So I like that about Star Trek. In terms of some key books and movies, obviously Star Wars - "Star Wars was the first movie I ever saw, so it was going to be fairly influential." I'd never seen a movie in a theater before, it was like super great. In terms of books, Lord Of The Rings is probably my favorite book, but it's not really sci-fi, in fact oddly enough J.R. Tolkien is almost anti-technology. It's funny. Lord Of The Rings was a book but it's kind of anti-technology but it's still great. I think the Foundation series from Asimov is like one of the best ever, and the books of Arthur C. Clarke and Heinlein, those are like probably the three best sci-fi authors. Recently someone was recommending to me the Ian Banks novels as being fairly good. Yeah, what do you think is good? [The Moon is a Harsh Mistress.] Yeah, it's funny you should mention that. I think that's Heinlein's best book, honestly.

[Audience question about NASA SLS.] Haha. Well, I don't think that - well, our behavior is just - we're just going to keep trying to make rocket technology better and better. I mean, I think the time frame for the SLS sending people to Mars is pretty far out there - and if it does that's great, but it's really - what we need is a technology system that's capable of sending large numbers of people and cargo to Mars. It's cool to send one mission, sure, but that's not the thing that changes humanity's future. The thing that really matters is being able to establish a self-sustaining civilization on Mars, and for that I don't see anything being done except SpaceX, honestly. That's not to say SpaceX will be successful but I don't see anyone even trying.

Thank you.

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