- Daily Zen
Elon Musk’s remarks seem to have excited Russian governors’ who have eagerly tweeted invitations to build a Tesla factory in their regions.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, while addressing an event in Russia, said that his electric vehicle company was looking at the possibility of opening factories in the country. The 49-year-old SpaceX boss’ talk follows top-level meetings between the United States and Russia’s diplomats, suggesting a softening in relations between the two.
Musk further said that his company is also keen on opening business in other neighboring countries like Kazakhstan and the CIS countries soon.
During the conversation via video link at a forum on Russian education in Moscow, Elon Musk said that the US and Russia needed to come out of the Cold War hangover and hold mutually beneficial dialogues.
“There is a lot of talent and energy in Russia and I think there should be more dialogue and communication between Russia and the United States,” Musk said.
In his address of nearly 45 minutes at the event, Musk said that Russia could be a possible location for its second Gigafactory, the supply hub to fuel its European continent.
“I think we will soon be present in Russia. I think it will be amazing. We also need to look more broadly at Kazakhstan and other CIS countries. This is important to us,” he said.
Elon Musk also said that all transport will be electric in the future, with the exception of rockets. He said in another interview, “Driving a gasoline sports car is going to feel like a steam engine with a side of quiche.”
Tesla is the world’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer and has one gigafactory outside the United States based in Shanghai, China.
Russia is a major oil producing nation and less than 5,300 used and 700 new electric vehicles were purchased in the country last year, according to industry researcher Autostat. Less than 0.2 % cars are electric in Russia.
Musk’s remarks seem to have excited Russian governors’ who have eagerly tweeted invitations to build a factory in their regions.
Tesla is also busy building another gigafactory outside Berlin in Germany. Musk has plans to move base from California to Texas, where a second auto plant is ready to begin production soon.
Tesla is planning a manufacturing facility in Asia, but outside China, to expand its market in the sub-continent region. India is the most likely next destination for another plant. It has already announced plans to start selling Tesla cars in India.
Musk’s SpaceX displaced Russia as the only country able to ferry crew to the International Space Station when it sent two US astronauts into orbit in May of last year. It is also competing in the space tourism market with Russia’s space agency Roscosmos.
Earlier, Musk had invited President Putin to join him in a chat-room app Clubhouse, but the invitation is yet to be accepted.