Self-Motivation
David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
Career Development
Bryan Cranston
Actor
Critical Thinking
Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
Emotional Intelligence
Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
Management
Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
Learn
from the world's big
thinkers
Start Learning

What’s Holding Electric Cars Back? The Cost of Batteries. And Tesla’s About to Fix That.

Self-described Tesla fanboy Vivek Wadhwa predicts that Elon Musk's car company will re-invent the battery industry by the end of the decade.

Vivek Wadhwa: I call myself a Tesla fanboy. I've been driving a Tesla for a year. It's to the point that I can't drive regular vehicles anymore. If you recall the first time you got an iPod, it was amazing wasn't it? You went from a cassette player to this amazing little device on which everything was "solid state.” You remember solid-state electronics and so on? But this amazing advance we saw in technology, that's what it feels like to drive a Tesla.

I call it a spaceship that travels on land. No gears, no bumps; you step on the accelerator, the car literally flies and it flies so fast that when my wife is sitting with me, she complains, “Vivek, we just had dinner. Please, I'm going to throw up if you go like that.” Because it feels like you're getting into warp speed. The car literally, seamlessly picks up torque like you wont believe and flies. This is the future of the transportation industry that we're going to have clean vehicles that fly. That's the magic of electric.

Now what's holding back this industry is the cost of batteries. Knowing Elon Musk, he's going to far exceed his anticipated 30 percent savings by 2017. I wouldn't be surprised if by the end of this decade we're talking about batteries costing a fifth as much as they do today; if not a fifth, maybe a third, which means that it becomes more economical to produce electric, clean vehicles which are like spaceships then to deal with the filthy internal combustion engines that we're dealing with right now — these machines that we put that horrible liquid into, that explosive liquid called petroleum, and then you have to load them up with that black viscous liquid called oil, pollute the environment. These cars are as clunky as hell. 

Those internal combustion engines, it's time for them to go. We need to replace them with electric engines, and this is why I've become such a Tesla fanboy because it's the first real electric vehicle that is better than anything else ever made.

 

Why does self-described Tesla fanboy Vivek Wadhwa like Elon Musk's car company so much? Because it's not just a car company. As we explored last week, Tesla is gearing to make a major announcement this week that could spark a reinvention of the battery industry. The reason Wadhwa loves Tesla so much is because its technology blows away everything we've ever seen before.

LIVE ON MONDAY | "Lights, camera, activism!" with Judith Light

Join multiple Tony and Emmy Award-winning actress Judith Light live on Big Think at 2 pm ET on Monday.

Big Think LIVE

Add event to calendar

AppleGoogleOffice 365OutlookOutlook.comYahoo

Keep reading Show less

Study details the negative environmental impact of online shopping

Frequent shopping for single items adds to our carbon footprint.

Photo by George Frey/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study shows e-commerce sites like Amazon leave larger greenhouse gas footprints than retail stores.
  • Ordering online from retail stores has an even smaller footprint than going to the store yourself.
  • Greening efforts by major e-commerce sites won't curb wasteful consumer habits. Consolidating online orders can make a difference.
Keep reading Show less

The key to better quality education? Make students feel valued.

Building a personal connection with students can counteract some negative side effects of remote learning.

Future of Learning
  • Not being able to engage with students in-person due to the pandemic has presented several new challenges for educators, both technical and social. Digital tools have changed the way we all think about learning, but George Couros argues that more needs to be done to make up for what has been lost during "emergency remote teaching."
  • One interesting way he has seen to bridge that gap and strengthen teacher-student and student-student relationships is through an event called Identity Day. Giving students the opportunity to share something they are passionate about makes them feel more connected and gets them involved in their education.
  • "My hope is that we take these skills and these abilities we're developing through this process and we actually become so much better for our kids when we get back to our face-to-face setting," Couros says. He adds that while no one can predict the future, we can all do our part to adapt to it.
Keep reading Show less

Neom, Saudi Arabia's $500 billion megacity, reaches its next phase

Construction of the $500 billion dollar tech city-state of the future is moving ahead.

Credit: Neom
Technology & Innovation
  • The futuristic megacity Neom is being built in Saudi Arabia.
  • The city will be fully automated, leading in health, education and quality of life.
  • It will feature an artificial moon, cloud seeding, robotic gladiators and flying taxis.
Keep reading Show less

Childhood sleeping problems may signal mental disorders later in life

Chronic irregular sleep in children was associated with psychotic experiences in adolescence, according to a recent study out of the University of Birmingham's School of Psychology.

Personal Growth
  • We spend 40 percent of our childhoods asleep, a time for cognitive growth and development.
  • A recent study found an association between irregular sleep patterns in childhood and either psychotic experiences or borderline personality disorder during teenage years.
  • The researchers hope their findings can help identify at-risk youth to improve early intervention.
  • Keep reading Show less
    Quantcast