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  • Hello.

  • My name is Azizi Tucker.

  • And welcome to TEDxTaipei 2013, “Living Together”.

  • I am not such a good environmentalist.

  • I don't always recycle

  • when I at home.

  • I never unplug my electronic devices like I should.

  • I race cars through the Mexican desert for fun.

  • And I used to build spaceships which punch

  • holes in the ozone layer with every launch.

  • I have a few redeeming environmental qualities.

  • I don't own a car,

  • but that makes me just like

  • most people here in Taipei City.

  • Sometimes, when I go to MOS Burger,

  • I can figure out where the paper,

  • plastic waste goes.

  • My carbon footprint is approximately

  • 3 times the average American

  • at 80 tons of CO2 per year.

  • Much higher than the average Taiwanese also.

  • In short, I am not an environmentalist.

  • I am actually very far from it.

  • However, I do care about the environment

  • and want things to be better.

  • I think in many ways

  • I'm like many of you here,

  • where I want things to be better,

  • but my actions don't neccessarily

  • live up to my words.

  • Why am I here?

  • I was born in Oakland, California.

  • And grew up as the mountain bike was

  • just being developed in the San Francisco Bay Area.

  • I began mountain biking when

  • I was just 8 years old,

  • and before the term was even common place.

  • In my teens,

  • I began to race mountain bikes down hill

  • and did very well in the high speed races.

  • While growing up and riding bicycles

  • I've always had a love of cars

  • and dreamed of racing cars in the future.

  • My love of cars led me away from the

  • San Francisco Bay area

  • once I finished high school and to Detroit, Michigan,

  • the motor city.

  • I studied engineering at University of Michigan,

  • and hoped to work in the car industry.

  • I was lucky enough to get a job

  • at a large automotive supplier,

  • in the automotive industry.

  • My company manufactured complete engines

  • and engine parts for Ford, GM, and Chrysler.

  • At the time,

  • we produced over a thousand gas guzzling

  • V8 engines every day.

  • These engines were made for the very large SUVs

  • that were popular in 1990s and early 2000s.

  • While working in Detroit,

  • I began to race cars.

  • I was finally fulfilling one of my dreams.

  • I raced almost every weekend,

  • and me and my friends would drive all

  • over the US to attend races.

  • While working in the automotive industry,

  • I worked on many innovative projects

  • that made it through testing,

  • a little bit development,

  • but were cancelled before production started.

  • There were several high efficiency diesel engines

  • that were perfect for the large SUVs of the time

  • that were cancelled due to lack of customer demand.

  • The project that intrigued me the most

  • was the Chrysler Patriot.

  • It was a natural gas, electric hybrid race car

  • which was designed and partially tested

  • before it was cancelled in the 1990s.

  • At the time I was very suprised

  • and very interested.

  • I had no idea something powered

  • by electricity, an electric car

  • could reach speeds of 300 kilometers per hour.

  • The project was eventually cancelled by

  • Chrysler management in 1996.

  • One year later, 1997,

  • Toyota unveiled the first production hybrid car:

  • the Toyota Prius.

  • I saw the approach of the decline of the

  • American automotive industry and

  • became frustrated with the lack of innovation.

  • I moved from the automotive industry

  • to the aerospace industry

  • to get a chance to work with the very

  • best and learn from the very best.

  • Working at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center,

  • I was exposed to some of the very best

  • cutting edge technology.

  • However, the pace of the development was

  • just far too slow for my taste.

  • I was bored.

  • I moved back to the San Francisco Bay Area

  • after 3 years at NASA Goddard.

  • My love of cars lead me to become one of

  • the early employees at Tesla Motors.

  • When I moved back to the San Francisco bay area,

  • there are only two choices to work

  • in automotive industries.

  • I could work for Tesla Motors,

  • a small start-up with fewer than 100 employees,

  • or I can go work for NUMMI.

  • It was a huge GM and Toyota joint venture

  • with more than 6000 employees.

  • The cars from Tesla Motors were fast;

  • the cars from GM and Toyota were slow and boring.

  • My decision was made.

  • My parents were a bit worried,

  • but the job at Telsa turned out to be

  • a wonderful accident.

  • The work that I'd loved all my life

  • have finally begun to help,

  • instead of hurt the environment.

  • A flip had happened for myself.

  • I was able to do more racing and also

  • some long distance racing in the desert.

  • Early in my racing career,

  • I began to produce my own parts.

  • This allowed me to keep up with

  • the more wealthy competitors.

  • That more wealthy competitors...

  • Through racing, I've honed my

  • engineering skills with real life successes

  • and many many failures.

  • TED, stands for Technology,

  • Entertainment, and Design.

  • Technologists build the building blocks

  • for the things in our world.

  • Entertainers bring ideas and products

  • to the masses.

  • Designers make the products that

  • we love and not always

  • because of how they function.

  • My answer here is,

  • don't be an environmentalist because

  • it's good for the planet.

  • Be an environmentalist because

  • it can make you rich.

  • Be an environmentalist because

  • it's more fun.

  • Be an environmentalist because

  • it's convenient.

  • Be a environmentalist because

  • it simply looks good.

  • And finally,

  • Be an environmentalist just because

  • it's what everyone else is doing.

  • Accidental Environmentalism

  • Money, you can make money

  • from selling green products.

  • When I started at Tesla Motors

  • in 2006, there were less than 100 employees.

  • There had not been a successful US car company

  • in the previous 81 years.

  • That company by the way was

  • Chrysler, which has been bailed out by

  • US government twice

  • and has once declared bankruptcy.

  • There were 780 failed car companies in

  • the United States.

  • The odds were certainly against us and our team at Tesla.

  • During the time I was with the company,

  • we grew to over 3000 employees.

  • We designed and built and tested our first car,

  • the Tesla Roadster in just 3 years

  • and sold out production run of 2500 cars.

  • The cost of each car was more than

  • 100 thousand US dollars.

  • The Tesla Roadster was the fastest,

  • longest range electric vehicle ever made.

  • Top speed was 210 kilometers per hour