The New Frontier: Sustainable Boats and Planes
During the Tesla Investor Day on March 1, 2023, Elon Musk outlined plans to reinvent boats and planes, underscoring the company’s efforts toward a sustainable energy economy. Musk has already disrupted the automotive sector, and his Master Plan now involves a full overhaul of how people use aircraft and boats while lowering toxic emissions.
“A necessary part of the pie is sustainably fueling planes and boats,” Drew Baglino, SVP, Powertrain and Energy Engineering at Tesla, said on the stage. “Shipping accounts for 3% of global CO2. It’s right for electrification, even with lithium ion, phosphate. Long haul ships can be fully battery powered, so that’s a great opportunity to electrify. He acknowledged that energy density is a bit “harder” to have battery powered planes “but short haul is doable today.”
“With some improvements will get long haul underway, but even in the meantime, we can leverage sustainable aviation fuels produced and stored using excess renewable electricity. There’s a lot of work going on in this space,” Musk said.
Musk went on to say that in order to have long-range battery-powered aircrafts and boats, the ship and plane must be completely redesigned.
“Just like with an electric car, you wouldn’t just, you know, take a gasoline car and stick a battery in it. That’s very suboptimal. It’s much more efficient to have the battery beat the structure of the car.” he said, adding that “if that’s done with the aircraft you can get long range aircraft.”
Musk concluded that: “As we improve the energy density of batteries you’ll see all transportation go fully electric, with the exception of rockets.”
How will this affect the future of financing in the marine industry?
The future of boat financing with battery-operated boats is likely to be shaped by several factors, including the availability and cost of batteries, the adoption rate of electric boats by consumers, and the development of new financing models.
As battery technology continues to improve, the cost of batteries is expected to decrease, making electric boats more affordable for consumers. This could lead to an increase in the adoption of electric boats, which would in turn create more demand for boat financing options specifically tailored to electric boats.
In addition, new financing models may emerge that are designed to address the unique needs of electric boats. For example, some lenders may offer financing packages that include the cost of batteries, or they may offer flexible repayment terms that take into account the lower operating costs of electric boats.
Overall, the future of boat financing with battery-operated boats is likely to be characterized by innovation and flexibility, as lenders and boat manufacturers work to meet the changing needs of consumers in a rapidly evolving market.
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