I have often said and written that now is the best time to be a technology leader. It’s especially gratifying to know that our sector is driving the rest of the economy by providing a continuous and unparalleled torrent of innovation, talent, vision, productivity and leadership. In these difficult times, we have risen to meet the challenge. Our collective sense of optimism and confidence are critical to the continuing resilience of the larger economy.
There are many heroes in this unfolding story, and one of them is Elon Musk. Tomorrow, Musk will make an announcement via live webcast for Tesla “Battery Day,” which coincides with the company’s 2020 annual shareholders meeting. Speculation over what exactly Musk will say is rampant. But analysts believe that Musk’s announcement will center on the newest developments in Tesla’s unrivaled battery technology.
“There is only one message to be gleaned: that he intends to make a dramatic assertion that the newest Teslas will achieve cost parity with similar combustion vehicles. That is, Tesla buyers will no longer pay a large premium over gasoline-driven models with more or less the same features,” writes Steve LeVine, editor at large at Medium. “If that is Musk’s headline announcement — and he provides validating data that passes muster with experts — he may rattle the whole of the auto industry.”
Here is a clear case in which technology is accelerating industrial progress and creating new consumer markets. Moreover, the transition from internal combustion to battery-powered engines will significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and potentially slow the pace of climate change.
“Last year, the company filed for a patent on a battery that will last a million miles in an electric car, enough for the average driver to keep going for 76 years,” writes LeVine. “Why would anyone want a car with that kind of capability? The best answer is that when you add up Musk’s various moves in the electric vehicle space, you get an intention not only to challenge his rivals but to make combustion socially obsolete.”
From my perspective, Tesla’s steadfast commitment to innovative technology is a beacon of hope and inspiration for the world. It also serves as a reminder that technology leaders matter, especially now. Together, we are making a difference and we can be proud of our collective efforts.
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