In an interview he gave to Bloomberg Businessweek, Bill Gates, among other things, talks about climate change, renewable energy, and Elon Musk. This interview published on September 18, was the first time Bill Gates addressed these issues after Elon Musk had said “He has no clue." Referring to Bill Gates’s Knowledge about electric vehicles.
He has no clue— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) September 12, 2020
This tweet from Elon Musk came after Bill Gates had cast doubt on the viability of electric propulsion for long-haul transportation. In a blog post titled “How do we move around in a zero-carbon world?” Bill Gates wrote. “Even with big breakthroughs in battery technology, electric vehicles will probably never be a practical solution for things like 18-wheelers, cargo ships, and passenger jets”
This seems to have particularly irked Elon Musk, who has announced an 18-wheeler that can go over 500mile on a charge. And this feat is achieved carrying a combined vehicle and cargo weight of 80,000lbs. Tesla currently has started building the powertrain production lines for the Tesla Semi in its Nevada Gigafactory. The vehicle is expected to come to market in early 2021.
But, in the Bloomberg interview, Bill Gates seemed to have only kind words in return to Elon musk. When asked about Tesla and the value of electric car companies in general, Bill Gates said “The fact that Elon Musk and others did a great electric car is a huge contribution to the climate change effort.” Continuing referring to Elon, Bill Gates said, “He did it with quality. It’s still a little premium-priced, but he’s got that initial market, and that market’s going to grow”
But, this wasn’t the end to his praise, asked to compare Elon Musk with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Bill said “Elon’s more of a hands-on engineer. Steve was a genius at design and picking people and marketing. You wouldn’t walk into a room and confuse them with each other.”
Still, unlike Musk, Bill Gates believes we’re yet to find a breakthrough before we can move all our energy production to renewable sources “The breakthroughs are all going to be high-risk. I’ve lost a lot of money on battery companies.”.
Rather, Bill seems to think the answer lies in next-generation nuclear power plants and Fusion Energy, the technology that mimics our sun to give us, practically unlimited source of energy, with its only byproduct being a completely harmless Helium molecule.
Whoever ends up being right in the end, this interview has at least put an end to what could have been an unfortunate saga between two individuals, both in their own right, working hard to fight climate change.
For more information check out: All the groundbreaking things we expect to be announced on Tesla’s Battery Day also check out what Tesla needs to do to reach more mainstream buyers
Tinsae Aregay has been following Tesla and The evolution of the EV space on a daily basis for several years. He covers everything about Tesla from the cars to Elon Musk, the energy business, and autonomy. Follow Tinsae on Twitter at @TinsaeAregay for daily Tesla news.