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Elon Musk says Tesla’s next-gen Model 4 will be affordable for everyone

Lucas Mearian | April 28, 2016
Tesla’s Autopilot software reduces the possibility of accidents by 50 percent over human drivers.

Additionally, Musk said, the oil and gas industries and the internal combustion car industry takes an enormous toll on the environment, which translates into yet another subsidy for them.

"Whenever you have an unpriced externality, where the use of a product causes long-term damage to the environment, that's a true cost. If that cost is not incorporated into the price of petroleum, effectively it's a subsidy," he said.

"It's really important to appreciate this because I think a lot of people just don't know the level of subsidies oil and gas get. It's a figure so large that it's difficult to comprehend," Musk added.

Musk called for the elimination of those "incentives" for oil and gas companies in order for EVs to "just compete on a level playing field."

EV and self-driving vehicle adoption will be fast

Tesla is also trying to help other manufacturers as much as possible to develop their own EV technology.

For example, he said,  Tesla last year released patents for Supercharging station technology to the market. The company also has performed pilot programs with Mercedes and Toyota "to get them educated on electric vehicles.

"So we're doing our best to be good sportsmen and to facilitate the advancement of sustainable transport," he said.

Key to the adoption of environmentally friendly vehicles will be autonomous driving technology, and Musk said people will trust self-driving cars surprisingly quickly. Not only do self-driving cars use less gas, brake less and produce less wear and tear on mechanical equipment, they also reduce accidents, he said.

To date, the feedback that Tesla has received regarding its first version of Autopilot, which Tesla released last year, has been "extremely positive."

"When we look at the data ... of cars where Autopilot is turned on or off, the probability of having an accident is 50% lower if you have autopilot on - even with our first version," Musk said.

"Even with this early version, it's almost twice as good as with a person," he added.

 

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