Elon Musk has been revolutionizing the tech industry for years now. Even with his insanely successful businesses, Musk hasn’t let money blind the importance of helping the earth and environment.
To emphasize this, when Elon Musk graduated university, he had the opportunity to pursue a successful career in video game development. However, he chose to set out after a calling that would benefit the rest of the world and leave a lasting impression.
To fully appreciate some of the things he’s done; let’s check out the top accomplishments of Elon Musk.
Elon Musk has been vehemently against the use of fossil fuels, so it only makes sense that he created his own electric vehicle manufacturing company in 2003. Musk has always wanted to change how the world sees energy, and making electric cars that are accessible to most average people.
Starting out, his vehicles were only affordable for the upper class with the lowest prices sitting at $80k. However, Elon Musk knew that the more people had access to his electric cars, the better it would be for the world as a whole. As of now, the cheapest Tesla car you can purchase is the Model 3, which starts at just $31k which is much more affordable for the middle class.
For those who drive Tesla’s in the United States, each car gets about 650 pounds of greenhouse gas savings. The accumulative savings of the 90,000 Tesla cars that have been sold in the U.S., is about 33 million pounds in greenhouse gas prevention!
Another effort to encourage the world towards the direction of sustainable energy comes in the form of his gigafactories. These factories are designed to be entirely self-sufficient, running off of both solar and wind energy.
The first gigafactory spans across almost 10-million square miles in the desert just outside of Reno, Nevada. The purpose of designing these factories is for the mass production of lithium ion batteries needed for the equally energy effective Tesla vehicles. Designing these factories cut the cost of assembly for Tesla batteries by 30%.
The benefit of mass-production of these battery packs, is that is also helps in the mass production of the Tesla cars. Doing this drops the costs vastly, and makes them available to more people, which in turn helps the environment!
While the first gigafactory opened in Nevada, there is another operational gigafacory in New York, and plans to open more across the world.
With the looming threat of global warming, Elon Musk set out to create an alternative fallback just in case we reach the point of worldwide disaster. And so, SpaceX was born in in 2002 with the end goal of furthering humans towards becoming a multi-planet species. One of Musk’s biggest aspirations has always been to be able to send people in to space and successfully colonize Mars.
After failing a few times to launch the Falcon 1 rocket into orbit, the SpaceX team finally succeeded with the fourth launch. After this success, the near-bankrupt company gained attention and support, which kept the company from going under.
The next big feat occurred in 2012 by being the first ever private company to deliver cargo to and from the International Space Station. Before, this was only something ever completed by governments.
SpaceX priorities include improving accessibility and commercialization of space travel, which they are well on their way to accomplishing.
The Boring Company
Although this started out as a side hobby, Elon Musk’s venture, The Boring Company, has big aspirations. Focused around new methods of transportation, The Boring Company has set out to improve gridlock in major cities by creating underground alternatives.
Rather than envisioning a future with flying cars which would encounter problems like weather, noise, and safety of pedestrians, Musk argues that tunnels are a better solution. Taking this route would mean that construction will not affect communities because it’s all underground. Additionally, it won’t have much impact on current city structures.
Part of this dream includes connecting major cities that are relatively near to each other, like Los Angeles and San Francisco. This brings us to the Hyperloop. Some scientists have said it’s an unrealistic goal; however Elon Musk has proven doubters wrong before, time and again.
The Hyperloop would be a high-speed and long-distance method of transport, consisting of pods zooming through tubes at 700 mph. On top of this, Musk intends the Hyperloop to be solar powered. This would dramatically lower the cost of transportation between major cities while being environmentally more effective than flying.
The best part is that the Hyperloop would cost only $6 billion dollars, while a high-speed rail would cost around $68 billion.
On top of everything, Elon Musk has his own foundation. While it isn’t the most well-known of his subsidiaries, it still does what it can to help the world. With modest annual donations ranging from $200k to $600k per year, many of the donations tends to go towards disaster relief.
Of course, in typical Musk fashion, many other donations go towards helping clean-energy, such as solar-powered systems donated around the world, and the development of science education.
In order to be as efficient and cost-effective as possible, the company website is simply a plain, non-flashy page with a list of where the grant money goes to:
- Renewable energy research and advocacy
- Human space exploration research and advocacy
- Pediatric research
- Science and engineering education
- Development of safe artificial intelligence to benefit humanity
With a point blank mission statement, there’s no left wondering where your donation would go.
Even with a demanding schedule between running multiple companies, it’s impressive to see Elon Musk successful with each one. On top of that, Musk has refused his Tesla salary in order to have as much money as possible going to forward the advancement of electric cars.
While it’s great to have someone leading the rally against global warming, there’s still a long way to go before we’re on course for a sustainable future. But we can take the efforts of someone like Elon Musk to use as inspiration for where the right direction is!