Welcome to Tesla Motors Club
Discuss Tesla's Model S, Model 3, Model X, Model Y, Cybertruck, Roadster and More.

Elon's trip to Europe Sep 2015

This site may earn commission on affiliate links.


Active Member
Feb 11, 2013
There was some discussion in the investor´s short term thread, as Elon will be here in Europe for a couple of days I think it might be worth giving this trip its own thread. Things he will likely attend while he is here:

Last edited:
Musk joins Informal Meeting of European Ministers for Energy in Luxembourg (tweet):

Elon Musk talking together with Bertrand Piccard in Session 2 about “The upcoming clean disruption” (pdf):

Directly from the web page of Presidency of the Council of the European Union / Luxembourg 2015 (link):
Transport, Telecommmunications and Energy
Informal Ministerial Meeting

Informal meeting of Ministers for Energy – A meeting devoted to new energy technologies as a driving force for economic growth and job creation

Entitled "New energy technologies as business and investment opportunities for Europe", the Informal meeting of Ministers for Energy to be held on Wednesday 23 September 2015 at the European Convention Centre Luxembourg will be devoted, in particular, to new energy technologies as a driving force for economic growth and job creation. In order to encourage an open and constructive discussion, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of the Economy Étienne Schneider has invited several leaders from European and global technological companies who are seeking innovation in the energy sector.
These industry leaders include Elon Musk, Co-Founder of PayPal and CEO of SpaceX, the satellite launch company. With his company Tesla, Elon Musk has become a global benchmark in the construction of high-end electric cars and in the production of so-called stationary batteries which store electricity generated by solar panels for use by private dwellings or small businesses. Other speakers include the American economist and sociologist, Jeremy Rifkin, and Bertrand Piccard, a Swiss pilot and co-founder of "Solar Impulse", a project which seeks to promote renewable energy by travelling around the world in a solar-powered aircraft.
The Ministers for Energy and Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the European Commission, will also address the potential of the "Juncker Plan" to increase low carbon investments in the EU. In the presence of the Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias Cañete, and the former French Minister, Jean-Louis Borloo, who makes electrification in Africa a key priority, there will be a discussion on possible synergies between energy and development aid.
Press release issued by the Ministry of the Economy

Here is the video section for the Informal meeting of Ministers for Energy, press conference video should be published there this evening.
BTW funny to watch the 15 min arrival video of all European Ministers for Energy, there are quite a lot of em;)

Family photos:


Musk's thoughts: Hmm, that Europe is kind of a bit weird;)
Last edited:
Yeah, Musk really looks a bit uncomfortable - but I guess that´s normal as all the ministers must know each other from many meetings and he´s the new guy there. Wonder how he feels about the meeting, whether he´s honored or rather bored. I would guess even to him that´s a pretty big thing.

Looked through the video gallery but up to now only reception, family photo and random shots of everyone. Hope they will have something with more substance (the talks and discussions) later on.
Thank you both for the links, information and pictures.

The "family photo" was taken right after the ministers' reactions to Elon's speech. He was not amused by those reactions, so it seems. :D

Looking closer to his face, it says: "We will disrupt your economies of the past. Resistance is futile."
Despite @ev-enthusiast's insult of referring to the Dutch language as a form of 'encrypted' communication - in a dutch thread - :wink:, I'll reply to his request for some info on Belgian and Dutch stops on Elon's European trip:

1) Antwerp, Belgium, Hilton Hotel, sep 25th:
Elon is a prime candidate to be the 'very special guest' at the Tesla World event. He is scheduled to speak from 16:40 - 17:20 CEST (UTC+2). Some tickets for this great event may still be available.

2) Tilburg, The Netherlands, Tesla Factory, sep 25th
Elon will speak at the opening event of the new Tesla Factory in Tilburg. (time not confirmed, but my guess would be around 20:00 CEST (UTC+2) ) This event is by invitation only (and no photo's/filming is allowed)
First "result" of Elon´s talk with German minister of Economic affairs:

Germany needs incentives to promote sales of electric vehicles, Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Thursday after meeting the head of U.S. electric car pioneer Tesla Motors Inc.

Germany needs incentives for electric vehicles, says Economy Minister - Yahoo Finance

- - - Updated - - -

The CEO of volkswagen stepped down yesterday and today Musk is in Germany laying out the future :) livestream: BMWi - Videos und Audiobeiträge

The same link now has the recording. Here is the video without the German translation of Elon (but Sigmar Gabriel still speaks German):
BMWi - Videos und Audiobeiträge

After watching about half of it, I think that is Elon at his best, he has the time to even venture in philosophical things and applying first principles thinking to how today´s political systems work (around 27:00). Take some time and watch it (gets better towards the end)!

- - - Updated - - -

Here are some parts translated:

Introduction (0:00 to 2:00):
- Host quotes someone saying it is rare to have 200m lines of people in front of the department of economics, more like as if a pop star was there (see pic below)
- There is a keynote by Sigmar Gabriel first, followed by Elon´s. After that questions by the audience and discussion.

Sigmar Gabriel´s opening remarks (2:00 to 8:52):

- Compares Germany and US economies regarding innovation and how they are affected by digital revolution
- Gives his respect to Elon for having started to think about global warming a long time before it became mainstream and his courage and determination to do something about it
- Notes that Elon is quite a bit younger than typical German economic leaders, "that´s why maybe here sometimes the competence to judge what is coming is not quite strong enough"
- Notes he is coming from IAA and Elon/Tesla is being watched closely there
- His questions to Elon: "Someone has called you the Da Vinci of modern times - how do you keep your feet on the ground hearing such comments?" "I hope the idea to drop atomic bombs on Mars was not all serious, doesn´t really make sense to me - like your other innovations much better."

Elon´s opening remarks (8:52-17:00):

Watch it your self ;)

My Comments:
- Like his note that the refugee challenge of today might be just a small taste of what is to come with global warming
- Like it that Elon mentions the VW scandal but says CO2 reduction is more important than nitrous-oxides, doesn´t walk all over VW
- "Do you want me to talk about space, too?...O.k., by popular acclaim..." :) That outcome was pretty obvious.
- Elon time: "We hope to launch again in a couple of months, like 6-8 weeks."
- Will try to land "the rocket" again
- Favourite quote (15:07): "This will be a great source of security for life as we know it - but for me, personally, trying to install a self-sustaining civilization on Mars would be a great adventure, it would be really fun and exciting - there need to be things that are inspring and exciting, because life cannot be just about solving problems, if it´s just about solving one miserable problem after another, why get up in the morning?! But if there are things that are inspiring and exciting, that make you want the future to happen, I mean, that - that´s.. I love that!"
This is quite philosophical and somewhat critical of the current culture I think, but also gives a good look into what makes Elon get up every morning.

Interview (17:00-22:00)

I'll just translate the the German parts, you can listen to Elon´s answers yourself:
Q1 "What differences do you see between the US and Germany with regard to the introduction
electric mobility and how do you assess the German car industry in this regard at the moment?"
A1 (Elon)
Q2 "Mr. Gabriel, for the implementation of the change to renewable energies, which role does electric mobility play?"
A2 "Obviously that is a great opportunity because BEVs and batteries used in households allow to store energy when there is too much and to return it when it is needed, .., it reduces the need to upgrade the power grid, ... it is the connection between the change to renewable energies and digitalization. So it is not only about the change in transportation itself, but can lead a way to a complete new energy system. That is an enormous chance for us, but it requires us to get more EVs on the road and that is due to that there are no incentives right now for cars which are still relatively expensive. We are not in an economy of scale... There have to be incentives and an agreement of the German authorities that a certain percentage of newly purchased cars in their fleets have to be EVs. That are the two things we need in addtion to charging infrastructure. ...

Q&A with audience (22:00-end)

That´s the best part, Elon talks about all kinds of things (direct democracy, laws that expire automatically, CO2 regulation vs EV incentives, AI...

24:22 "A European car company (no German car company) has recently approached us (on using super charger network) and we are super supportive..."

52:00 Gabriel: "Honesty requires to say that we do have a conflict with Tesla on charging infrastructure, there has been an agreement in Europe that we want to set up a standard charging infrastructure ... but Tesla already has its own system..."

57:11 Elon: 2-2.5 years to get Model 3 out

58:15 Q: "When are going to build a new electric airliner?"
Elon: "Oh man <intrigued>... I go a lot of fish frying right now..." :)

Was planning to do a complete translation and writeup but that would have been too much. Watch the second half, Elon seems to really be enjoying himself discussing and the questions are pretty good I think for a random audience. One takeaway is definitely that I am quite sure that Germany will have EV incentives within a year.


Picture by Friedhelm Greis: Elon Musk in Berlin: Das Startup-Idol als Klimaapostel - Screenshots
Last edited:
Yeah, like yesterday, he´s been very diplomatic about dieselgate - others might have ridiculed Volkswagen, he just stayed on topic and made his point.

Btw, has anyone watched the live stream from Tesla World I posted below? Anything interesting? It was geoblocked for Germany :(.

Just turned it on, some guy talking about goodie bags with Belgian chocolates for attendees right now...