Moscow (CNN Business)Elon Musk said on Friday Tesla may soon come to Russia.
“I think we’re close to establishing Tesla presence in Russia and that would be great. And more broadly, also in Kazakhstan and neighboring regions. It’s important for us to support Tesla supporters like yourself,” Musk said via video-link for an event for Russian students called “New Knowledge,” addressing a student fan who asked the question.
Musk said in addition to its already existing Tesla factories in California, Nevada and Shanghai, and plants under construction in Germany and Texas, Tesla will potentially open factories in Russia.
“Over time we’ll look to have factories in other parts of the world, potentially Russia at some point,” he said.
Musk said he participated in the “New Knowledge” forum at the invitation of Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov. He answered questions from Russian students for around 40 minutes. Among other topics, he spoke about how he sees the future, proposed to build a base on the moon and a city on Mars, and said he doesn’t rule out the existence of alien life.
“50 years is hard to predict,” he said, answering a question about what the next 50 years will look like. “Safe to say that 50 years from now will not be what we think it will be. There are fundamental size makeshifts in technology, artificial intelligence, space travel, neurocomputer interfaces, synthetic RNA and DNA. Those are the big ones.”
The Tesla (TSLA) and SpaceX CEO also spoke about plans to travel beyond the solar system, saying that humans would need antimatter ships to reach at least 10% to 20% of the speed of light.
“Before going beyond the solar system we need to be able to go to the Moon and to Mars to establish a self-sustaining base on the moon and on Mars. This is a critical next step,” Musk said.
“I think it’s important for the future of civilization that we become a multi-planet civilization. I’m optimistic about the future but history shows that civilizations do not rise continuously. They rise, they reach some apex and then they fall. And at some point we will be in that boat. Before that happens we need to make life multi-planetary. This is the first time in the 4.5-billion-year-old history of Earth that it’s possible to extend life and I think we should take advantage of that window while it is open.”
When asked if he believes in God, Musk said, “I’m not religious in a traditional sense, because you know I was raised in a scientific school of thought. But at the same time I do wonder — where does all of this come from? What’s the meaning of life? How did we get to be here? What are even the right questions to ask? I would say that … philosophy is to expand the scope and scale of our mind so that we are able to ask the right questions about the universe.”
Toward the end of his online Q&A session, Musk told the students to “stay positive for the future and fight a good future with high energy.”