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Thursday, March 2, 2023

Tesla Master Plan 3 is About Moving to Earth 2.0

Earth 2.0 by Dall-e2

Tesla recently held their Investors' Day event. This is where they unveiled Master Plan 3. 

Master Plan 3 was not laid out as simply as the few lines of text that Master Plan 1 and Part Deux, but there were a few clear messages: 
  1. A sustainably powered world can be a world of abundance 
  2. Electricity gets more done with less
  3. Battery energy storage enables a renewable energy economy 

One, A World of Energy Abundance 

Many people think that a sustainable energy future requires a future of energy austerity and deprivation. This is the opposite of the truth, as we've covered previously. When you have a finite energy source, such as fossil fuels, this is when you must ration it, because by definition, you have a limited amount of it and it will eventually run out. 

Two, Meet All Your Energy Needs More Efficiently

Today, only about one third of the energy that we use actually does what we want it to. The rest is waste. This is as if you had a car with a big hole in the gas tank. You would get the tank fixed if you were spilling two thirds of the gasoline as you drive. Well, if you drive a gas car, you are spilling 2/3rds of the energy as waste heat. Electric vehicles are the solution. An EV with a 75kWh battery pack is about the energy equivalent to about 2 gallons of gas. Yet it can drive you around about the same as 8 to 10 gallons of gas. Given this efficiency all transportation will move to electrification.  

Similar, ratios exist for home and building heating as well. Heat pumps are the answer there. 

 Three, Big Batteries 

Batteries enable renewable energy. They absorb the surplus and supply power when you need it; all at a rate far faster than any generator could spin-up. This makes the grid more stable, more reliable, and more affordable. Much more on the benefits of big batteries coming to this blog later this month.

Four: No Miracles Required

All of this can be done today and with less mining than our current fossil fuel economy. We have more than enough raw materials available. As lithium prices increased, the amount of reserves increased significantly based on new prospecting. This transition can be done with less (yes, less) investment than we are currently spending on the fossil fuel economy. 

Master Plan 3 is one small step for our planet on the Kardashev Scale.

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