SpaceX Chief Engineer Elon Musk answers a question from the press in front of the Crew Dragon that is being prepared for the Demo-2 mission, at SpaceX Headquarters, Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019 in Hawthorne, CA. Photo credit: (NASA/Aubrey Gemignani)

Can power producers keep up with the demand for electricity if supporters of electric vehicles get their wish and transition the American fleet to electrical power? Elon Musk told utility executives they’ll need to triple power production by 2045 to handle the buildup in demand for electricity. The Wall Street Journal’s Rebecca Elliott reports:

AUSTIN, Texas—Tesla TSLA 0.46%increase; green up pointing triangle Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company doesn’t expect to begin producing its new electric semitrailer truck in larger volumes until the end of next year, citing battery-supply constraints.

Tesla began delivering its first trucks in December, five years after it revealed the model. The semi, originally due out in 2019, is the first new model Tesla has put in customers’ hands since early 2020.

Speaking Tuesday at an energy conference in Austin, Texas, Musk didn’t elaborate on how he defines higher-volume production. While a niche product for Tesla, the semitrailer truck is crucial to accelerating the company’s transition to more sustainable energy, Musk has said while noting that heavy trucks account for an outsize share of vehicle emissions.

Musk, on stage before a room of utility executives, also called on the nation’s largest energy providers to invest in more power generation, forecasting electricity demand would triple by around 2045 as more drivers turn to electric vehicles.

“The future is not like the past. The future is a massive increase in electricity demand, and it’s going to take everything that we’ve got to just keep up with it,” Musk said.

His comments come as Tesla is pushing to boost sales of its own EVs and expand access of its Supercharger network to non-Tesla drivers. By 2030, Tesla aims to sell 20 million EVs annually, up from 1.3 million last year.

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