Ironically, he mentions that when talking about Tesla and other EV producers.
Marques Brownlee manages to do incredible interviews with really relevant people. Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Elon Musk… The video above is his second interview with Bill Gates. Although Brownlee probably did not want to talk specifically about electric vehicles, the conversation drifted there when they were discussing global warming. That was when Gates said he just bought his first EV: a Porsche Taycan. Ironically, when he was praising Tesla for the prominent role it had in promoting these cars.
Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, was talking about the Bill And Melinda Gates Foundation's work. It has been a remarkable force in finding solutions to world problems with technology. If you are not aware of the foundation's work, watch "Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates" on Netflix.
They are reinventing toilets. That may seem unworthy of their efforts only to the ones that do not know most people have no access to public sanitation. They defecate on the same rivers they use for drinking and taking a bath. Millions of children die every year due to that. Reinventing the toilet will save them.
They are reinventing nuclear energy with TerraPower. This company aims to provide a safer and cleaner solution that is yet to be tested. If it works, power generation may no longer be a concern, especially in poor areas.
That is the sort of thing that made Warren Buffet donate a big chunk of his fortune to the foundation with only one demand: that Bill and Melinda Gates "swing for the fences." And they are doing that.
The foundation is not fighting global warming solely with that. When discussing with Brownlee why "tackling climate change is going to take historic levels of global cooperation," Gates mentioned that passenger cars are among the most promising to cut emissions. Yet, that alone will not be enough, especially because going green will cost more in the beginning. Not only for passenger cars – as we are seeing with EVs – but as a whole. Gates states that the challenge is proving it is worth the cost.
That is especially important for the ones that insist on saying that personal transportation is the core of global warming. It is not: cars are way behind other CO2 emission sources. Their main concern is being concentrated in big cities, polluting the air millions of people breathe every day. EVs solve that immediately, as China and California are well aware.
That is when Brownlee mentions Tesla and the extra cost going green currently represents. Gates praises the company for promoting electric passenger cars, but, as you already know, he went for the new German EV.
It is a pity Brownlee did not ask Gates why the Taycan and not a Model S, for example. Was it a matter of customer loyalty? Was it a concern about the known issues a Tesla has? What made Gates choose a Porsche over a Tesla? It is all probably down to personal taste, but that could lead to a fascinating discussion.
When Brownlee asks what he misses in his experience with the Taycan, Gates says that range is still a big deal. And that he does not like the "pervasiveness of charging" compared to filing a gas tank. And he agrees with Jason Fenske that energy density is still an issue.
The whole conversation is worth watching, but this part is undoubtedly the most interesting for us. Why do you think Gates chose a Taycan and not a Model S? Is the foundation after any solution for more energy-dense batteries? Tell us what you think on the comments below.