A Tesla Electric Plane? Elon Musk Hints It’s Not Far Away
By Sissi Cao
Elon Musk once said that one day, “all transportation will be electric, except for rockets.” Yes, that even includes airplanes, which have long been on his list of things to electrify.
The Tesla CEO first floated the idea in an interview in September 2018. The plane he envisioned was a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) vehicle capable of flying at supersonic speeds at high altitudes.
The idea has largely remained a far-fetched dream because in order for Musk’s design to work, the plane would require a battery with an energy density higher than 400 Wh/kg. Tesla’s newest batteries, Panasonic’s “2170” batteries used in Model 3 cars, can only achieve an energy density of around 260Wh/kg.
But Tesla is working to increase that capacity at unprecedented speed right now. In a new exchange with ARK Investment analyst Sam Korus on Twitter, Musk said Tesla may be able to achieve volume production of 400wh/kg batteries in just three to four years.