Gerber Kawasaki

Tesmanian Exclusive Part 2.5: Tesla's Distant Future


Hello, again. We hope you’ve had ample time for Part 2.5 of Tesmanian’s exclusive interview with Ross Gerber, the CEO of Gerber Kawasaki, Sofiaan Fraval from the Third Row Podcast, and Galileo Russell from HyperChange. For for your reference, here are the questions we asked again: 

  1. When it comes to the Cybertruck, there’s talk that it will create its own niche. What kind of people do you think are in that niche? Based on your answer, how will that type of customer effect the Cybertruck’s sales?
  2. If there were a Phase 3 of Elon Musk’s Master Plan, what do you think it would entail? What will Tesla do after the Model Y and Cybertruck?
  3. Tesla Energy is one aspect of the company that doesn’t get much love or attention. In terms of the company’s growth, how significant is Tesla Energy? 
  4. Where do you think the next Gigafactory will be, and why? How will it contribute to Tesla’s growth?
  5. What do you think needs to happen for Tesla to shake off the majority of its short sellers? How soon do you think Tesla will join the S&P 500?
  6. Wild Card: When humans go to Mars, what type of societal structure do you think we should set up?

In this article, we will tackle Gerber, Fraval, and Russell’s answers for questions #3 and #4 which relate to Tesla Energy and Gigafactory 5--if the automaker plans to build one in the future. Without further ado, let’s get started. 


Credit: Tesla Energy

Tesla Energy

 Australia is one country in particular where Tesla Energy seems to be expanding. In mid-November, the South Australian government announced that Elon Musk’s Big Battery in Hornsdale was set to get a 50 percent expansion. Coincidentally, Gali from HyperChange broke that news. There was also new that Tesla’s Virtual Power Plant rescued a South Australian grid after a coal peaker plant failed. 

Tesla Energy is one part of the company that gets very little attention, partly because the company's all-electric vehicle business are fighting such a tough battle. However, Tesla Energy is making its own headways in the sustainable energy segment, as shown by its progress in Australia alone. Let’s hear what our interviewees think of the less-talked-about segment of the company.

Question: Tesla Energy is one aspect of the company that doesn’t get much love or attention. In terms of the company’s growth, how significant is Tesla Energy? 

Ross Gerber from Gerber Kawasaki: “Tesla Energy, solar and batteries, could be a huge business for them that’s too big to quantify. As the world moves to renewable energy, Tesla Energy solutions make so much sense. I personally think it might double the value of Tesla over time.” 

Sofiaan Fraval from Third Row Podcast: “Very significant. There’s a backlog of customers waiting for their Solarglass Roofs and Powerwalls, like me! And now, Tesla has rolled out the solar subscription service, with zero downpayment(s) and no risk if you want to remove it later. That’s why I installed solar panels on my rental property, which will save my tenants money. This is a huge win!”

Gali Russell from HyperChange: “I don’t think Tesla Energy’s success is priced in at all. They don’t need it to become huge, but I think that business will come into its own right in 2020 with rapid growth and solid gross margins.”

Currently, Tesla seems to be finding unique ways to integrate its Energy sector with its electric car business. For example, during thanksgiving this year, Tesla deployed mobile Superchargers using its Megapacks in San Luis Obispo to reduce the wait time for its valued customers. Just recently, a Supercharger V3 station in China was announced, and it's solar-powered. 

So Tesla seems to be coming up with innovative ways to integrate the two facets of its overall business. It will be interesting to see how Tesla Energy develops further in the future.


Credit: @Gf4Tesla/Twitter

Gigafactory 5

Elon Musk announced Gigafactory 4’s location while accepting the Golden Steering Wheel Award for the Model 3 in Germany. The news shocked the Tesla community. Gigafactory 3 is still in its early stages with the completion of Phase 1, and Tesla already picked a place to establish Gigafactory 4. 

However, it makes sense for the company to build another factory considering the fact that Tesla continues to develop as an automaker, and demand for its electric vehicles continues to rise. Brandenburg’s government has been working hard to approve all the necessary requirements and paperwork for Gigafactory 4 as soon as possible. Just recently, Brandenburg signed the purchase contract for GF4 and is waiting for the Tesla Board’s response.

If the Gigafactory in Europe is built as fast as the Shanghai factory, Gigafactory 5 could be right around the corner. Gerber, Fraval, and Russell shared their thoughts on GF5’s location and how it could contribute to Tesla.

Question: Where do you think the next Gigafactory will be, and why? How will it contribute to Tesla’s growth?

Ross Gerber from Gerber Kawasaki: “G4 Berlin covers EU, China, and N. America are covered. What makes sense might be in S. America, like Brazil. But I don’t think that needs to be worried about right now. Lots already to do.”

Sofiaan Fraval from the Third Row Podcast: “I’d love to see a Gigafactory in Australia. Having lived Down Under for 12 years, it’s close to my heart. Australia is one of the highest polluters per capita in the world, unfortunately. 

The Aussie GF could support all of Australasia, including Indonesia, Japan, and we’ve already seen the first industrial use of Tesla’s batteries in South Australia (now being expanded) and how much money it saved in the first year.” 

Gali Russell from HyperChange: “Maybe another one in North America? Or India? This could be a 2024/2025 growth driver.”

Based on our interviewees' answers, GF5 would have to be placed in a strategic spot. The next Gigafactory would have to be located in a place where demand was high, and the other Tesla facilities would need help to accommodate. At the same time, however, GF5 may be in the far distant future based on Gerber and Russell’s responses.

We hope you enjoyed Part 2.5 of our interview with Ross Gerber, the CEO of Gerber Kawasaki, Sofia Fraval from the Third Row Podcast, and Galileo Russel from HyperChange. For Part 3 of the interview, we will be leaving Earth for a bit and imagining life on Mars. 

If you have an answer for question #6, our wild card, please feel free to share them with the Tesmanian team! And stay tuned for Part 3 of the interview. 

Relevant Info: 

Ross Gerber/Gerber Kawasaki 

Sofiaan Fraval/Third Row Podcast

Galileo Russell/HyperChange

About the Author

Claribelle Deveza

Claribelle Deveza

Longtime writer and news/book editor. Writing about Tesla allows me to contribute something good to the world, while doing something I love.

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