This week, Tesla had an earnings call to report their Q2 2021 earnings, revealing a USD 1.1 billion profit (about RM4.65 billion) after delivering more than 200,000 cars. This net income is up tenfold from a year ago.
Musk was asked about opening Tesla’s Supercharging network to third-parties and responded by saying this.
“I think we want to emphasize that our goal is to support the advent of sustainable energy. It is not to create a walled garden and use that to bludgeon our competitors which is used by some companies.”
He then quietly said “Apple” behind a fake cough. Musk calling the App Store a “walled garden” is a metaphor used before by some people to describe how Apple is policing apps on the App Store. Companies like Epic Games have taken Apple to court over disagreeable fees and policies. This started because Apple takes 30% of all in-app purchases.
The second criticism was about batteries, as Musk explained that Apple uses 100% cobalt in their batteries, while Tesla uses much less.
He explains, “On a weighted-average basis we might use 2% cobalt compared to say, Apple’s 100% cobalt.“
This isn’t the first time Apple has gotten negative comments on their cobalt usage. In 2019 and 2016, reports came out on Apple aiding and abetting the use of forced child labour in cobalt mines.
Apple responded to these reports by saying that all of the cobalt refiners they use participate in third-party audits, and get removed if they fail or refuse. They also aim to eliminate mining altogether by using only recycled materials, but that does not seem very viable anytime soon.
Interestingly, Apple is soon going to compete with Tesla in their own game as their plans to make an electric car are moving forward. Apple has hired ex-employees from BMW and Tesla over the years. We will see how events unfold as this rivalry progresses.