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Tesla Gigafactory: Here’s The Plan

Originally published on The ECO Report.

Tesla has released some preliminary plans. The rumours about it looking at sites in New Mexico and Nevada were correct. There are also potential locations in Arizona and Texas. Tesla is making a final site selection and hopes to start construction on the Gigafactory this year. By 2020, it hopes to be producing 500,000 vehicles a year, with its batteries coming from its Gigafactory.

Tentatibe Schedule – Courtesy Tesla Motors

Tesla estimates it will need $4 billion to $5 billion to do this. It intends to raise $1.6 billion by selling bonds, but has also been looking for partners. That may explain meetings with high-profile companies like Apple. (As Bloomberg puts it, Apple has $158 billion burning a hole in its pocket and “could do worse than to become synonymous with the current ‘it’ company in tech and automaking.”) Rumour has it that Panasonic and Sanyo may each put in a billion.

By 2020 Tesla hopes to br producing as many lithium Ion batteries as the entire world does now - Courtesy Tesla Motors

In its press release, Tesla says:

As we at Tesla reach for our goal of producing a mass market electric car in approximately three years, we have an opportunity to leverage our projected demand for lithium ion batteries to reduce their cost faster than previously thought possible. In cooperation with strategic battery manufacturing partners, we’re planning to build a large scale factory that will allow us to achieve economies of scale and minimize costs through innovative manufacturing, reduction of logistics waste, optimization of co-located processes and reduced overhead.

The Gigafactory is designed to reduce cell costs much faster than the status quo and, by 2020, produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013. By the end of the first year of volume production of our mass market vehicle, we expect the Gigafactory will have driven down the per kWh cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent.

Battery Production flow chart – Courtesy Tesla Motors

After the batteries are finished, they will be shipped back to Fremont, where Tesla will continue to assemble finished vehicles.

This is all speculation, of course, but is anyone willing to bet Elon Musk won’t do it?

 
 
 
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Written By

is the President of Cortes Community Radio , CKTZ 89.5 FM, where he has hosted a half hour program since 2014, and editor of the Cortes Currents (formerly the ECOreport), a website dedicated to exploring how our lifestyle choices and technologies affect the West Coast of British Columbia. He writes for both writes for both Clean Technica and PlanetSave on Important Media. He is a research junkie who has written over 2,000 articles since he was first published in 1982. Roy lives on Cortes Island, BC, Canada.

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