Elon Musk suggested on Thursday during a Twitter Space with Ford CEO Jim Farley Tesla may open up some of its automotive operating system code to other automakers.
“In the same way Android can be helpful as a common standard for the phone industry, such that we can potentially open source more code,” Musk said. If Tesla makes the leap, it will compete with Google, which has developed Android as well as an automotive operating system based on Apple.
Musk was responding to Farley’s note that making a “fully software updatable vehicle” is “super hard”. The billionaire executive said Tesla would be happy to be “helpful on the software front.”
Musk made the remarks during a Twitter space that was used to announce a milestone agreement between Tesla and Ford. Under the deal announced Thursday, Ford’s EV customers will get access to the Tesla Supercharging network America and Canada. More importantly, Ford agreed to incorporate Tesla’s charging ports into its second generation of EVs, which includes a truck and three-row SUV, from 2025.
Musk often spitballs ideas to Tesla at live events, some of which are successful and some of which are not. If Tesla tries to commercialize its over-the-air updateable software in other vehicles, it would put the automaker in direct competition with Google and Apple.
Google offers automakers android automotive os, modeled on its open source mobile operating system, which runs on Linux and has been modified for use in cars. Apple also jumped into the OS game last June when it was announced that its Next-Gen CarPlay Its purpose is to power the entire instrument cluster of the vehicle. Both tech companies also offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a middleware product that connects a user’s phone to a car’s infotainment system.
supply chain partnership
Musk and Farley also hinted Thursday at other possible future partnerships, including in the supply chain.
Ford CEO questions Musk about Tesla’s new Corpus Christi Lithium Refining Plant, Ford has made several deals recentlyTo ensure automakers have access to lithium, including Albemarle and SQM.
Musk reiterated the previous woes that there aren’t enough entrepreneurs in the US digging into the mining and processing of raw materials, and he wished Tesla didn’t have to pick up the slack. He said the company has a nickel-based cathode refinery in Austin, and may also be involved in anode manufacturing, but “hopefully not.”
Musk said there is going to be a huge market for synthetic graphite (graphite is the main material in most lithium-ion anodes).
Despite this the two CEOs have remained friendly at times compete against each other, Musk has praised the automaker in the past, noting on several occasions that only Tesla and Ford have saved from bankruptcy.
Ford, like other legacy automakers, is still aiming to unseat Tesla as the No. 1 seller of EVs in the United States. Ford has a ways to go.
In 2022, Ford to sell 61,575 electric vehicles in the US, Tesla to sell 1.3 million EVs globally. The company does not break down sales by country. In the last two years, Ford said that about $3 billion in damage On its EV and digital services business, a unit now known as the Model E. The company doesn’t expect the Model E to be profitable until late 2026 with an 8% operating profit margin. Ford’s conventional gas-powered engine units were profitable enough to offset those losses, however.
In terms of production, Ford aims to reach 600,000 EV units by the end of 2023 and 2 million EVs by the end of 2026.
Tesla said it wants to achieve a 50% compound annual growth rate in 2023, which should see the automaker produce 1.8 million cars.