Elon Musk is putting some important Tesla business on hold to help restore power to Puerto Rico

 
Rebecca Smith
The entrepreneur has turned his attentions to hurricane-hit Puerto Rico
The entrepreneur has turned his attentions to hurricane-hit Puerto Rico (Source: Getty)

Elon Musk has said he is delaying the Tesla Semi debut to fix production troubles with Model 3 and focus on helping hurricane-hit Puerto Rico.

The vast majority of the island remains without power after being hit by Hurricane Maria weeks ago, and the entrepreneur said he was focused on increasing battery production for Puerto Rico and other affected areas.

Tesla said it has powered small islands using a solar grid, with Musk saying there is “no scalability limit” so it can be done for Puerto Rico too.

Read more: Elon Musk reckons he can help humans reach Mars and the moon by 2024

Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rossello said he was “exploring opportunities” with the billionaire to help restore the island’s depleted infrastructure using solar energy technology.

Rossello said he had a “great initial conversation” with Musk and that their teams were now talking and exploring opportunities.

In September, Musk had tweeted that Tesla would unveil its all-electric semi truck on 26 October, but has now pushed that back a few weeks due to Model 3 bottlenecks and the Puerto Rico situation.

Tesla had planned to ship around 1,500 Model 3s in the third quarter of this year, but said earlier this week, it had managed around 260.

Elon Musk’s firm, which is well-known for its electric cars but also includes solar panel firm SolarCity, has previously sent hundreds of batteries that can store power generated by solar panels to Puerto Rico.

Tesla is already building the world’s biggest battery in South Australia to store renewable energy, providing a 100 MW/129 MWh powerpack system which is paired with a wind farm. The project is expected to be completed by December, and will provide enough power for more than 30,000 homes.

Read more: Tesla to raise $1.5bn in bond market debut as it revs up Model 3 production

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