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Electric Vehicle Market Hits New Milestone

U.S. electric vehicle maker Tesla will be releasing its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta version to a limited number of customers next week, as promised, Elon Musk said on Monday.

“Limited FSD beta releasing on Tuesday next week, as promised. This will, at first, be limited to a small number of people who are expert & careful drivers,” Musk said in a tweet, replying to a news story about the progress in Tesla’s full self-driving capabilities.  

During Tesla’s Battery Day on September 22, Musk said: “I think we’ll hopefully release a private beta of Autopilot, of the full self-driving version of Autopilot in, I think, a month or so, and then people will really understand just the magnitude of the change.” 

The date is now confirmed for October 20, according to Musk’s tweet today.

Last week, commenting on Waymo’s autonomous driving capabilities, Musk said, “Waymo is impressive, but a highly specialized solution. The Tesla approach is a general solution. The latest build is capable of zero intervention drives. Will release limited beta in a few weeks.”

Apart from working on software, Tesla plans to further accelerate production and lead a global EV surge. The U.S. company is reportedly looking to invest in more nickel supply.

Tesla has contacted Indonesia informally about the possibility of an investment in the country, which is a major producer of the battery metal nickel, a senior Indonesian official said last week.

“We need further discussion with Tesla,” Reuters quoted Ayodhia Kalake, a senior official at the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime and Investment, as saying.

Tesla wants to ramp up production of batteries as it increases EV production and models, and Musk has recently pleaded with nickel miners to produce more nickel, which would support the global expansion of batteries and EVs.  

“Tesla will give you a giant contract for a long period of time if you mine nickel efficiently and in an environmentally sensitive way. So hopefully, this message goes out to all mining companies,” Musk said on the Q2 earnings call at the end of July.

By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com

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