Tesla Co-Founder Unsure if Production Can Keep Up With Projected Surge in Electric Vehicle Sales

by Samantha Whidden
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

The popularity of electric vehicles continues growing quickly. Tesla co-founder JB Straubel believes there could be some drawbacks to the high interest in avoiding the gas pump. 

During a recent interview with CNBC, the Tesla co-founder explained that while the demand for electric vehicles is definitely picking up, the auto industry isn’t quite ready and isn’t moving fast enough to ensure that production is able to keep up. “This is catching people a bit off-guard,” he admitted. “It’s a really strong shift. All the way from internal combustion sales dropping to EV sales increasing by almost 100% in different regions.”

Straubel revealed the auto industry’s sale states predict electric vehicles will account for 12.7% of all U.S. auto sales by 2025, which may actually be too low. “If you look at how fast adoption is growing in parts of Europe and other parts of the world, I think it points a path to potentially even higher percentage than that by mid-decade.”

The Tesla co-founder, who is also the founder and CEO of battery recycling firm Redwood Materials, said the new demand in electric vehicles is why Redwood Materials is spending $1 billion to build a brand new plant. It will be located in McCarran, Nevada. 

Straubel said that once the planet is complete, it will produce anode copper foil that Panasonic uses. The anode copper foil will manufacture battery cells that go into battery packs. The packs are created at the Tesla Gigafactory in Nevada. The new plant will employ more than 500 people and will produce enough anode copper foil to supply one million electric vehicles every year. 

As Electric Vehicle Interest Increases, Tesla Announces Raises Prices For ‘Full Driving’ Feature 

As previously reported, Tesla’s Elon Musk announced on Twitter earlier this month that the electric vehicle company will be increasing the price amount for its Full Self-Driving (FDS) feature from $10,000 to $12,000. The price will only increase in the U.S. “FSD price will rise as we get closer to the FDS production code release,” Musk stated in the tweet. 

Although the electric vehicle’s feature is actually quite interesting, it’s been criticized. The National Transportation and Safety Board’s Jennifer Homendy, previously spoke about the feature. She described its name as being misleading and irresponsible. 

Homendy declared a couple of months ago, “It’s clear that if you’re marketing something as full self-driving and it’s not full self-driving. People are misusing the vehicles and the technology. But you have a design flaw and you have to prevent that misuse. And part of that is how you talk about your technology. It is not full self-driving… it’s misleading.”

Homendy went on to declare that her biggest concern is that the electric vehicle company is rolling out the self-driving technology on city streets. With untrained drivers at the wheel. “And they have not addressed out recommendations that we’ve issued as a result of numerous investigations of Tesla crashes.”