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Batteries

Published on November 2nd, 2018 | by Steve Hanley

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Tesla + Panasonic Producing ~60% Of World’s EV Batteries, & Tesla Service Coming Soon To A Continent Near You!

November 2nd, 2018 by  


For those who thought Elon Musk’s recent troubles with the SEC would have a negative effect on his use of Twitter, fear not. Elon’s Twitter account seems to be as active as ever. On Friday, November 2, he offered us some gems that show just how forward thinking he and Tesla are. If you thought the good news from Q3 was something special, you ain’t seen nothing yet!

First up, in response to a recent article by Teslarati, Elon tweeted that Tesla and Panasonic are together the largest producer of EV batteries in the world, and not by a small amount. Musk indicated that they are producing ~60% of the world’s EV batteries.

That claim needs some context. When we first saw it here at CleanTechnica world headquarters, we were deep into our traditional Friday afternoon sushi and sake ritual. How could those numbers be accurate? Surely LG Chem + Samsung SDI + CATL + BYD together make more EV batteries than Tesla, right? Did the Gigafactory just open a new section without telling anyone about it?

Elon didn’t show up for our Friday confab (he has a standing invitation), so we couldn’t ask him for clarification. Nonetheless, as best as we can figure it, his tweet refers specifically to the total GWh of EV batteries expected to be produced in Q4. Those other companies are making lots of batteries but many of them are going in to plug-in hybrids that have relatively puny battery packs. Even fully electric cars often have much smaller batteries than Tesla vehicles. We also suspect Musk’s numbers don’t include batteries for trucks and buses, which China produces and buys a lot of.

Responding to a question on Twitter from our friend Vincent, Musk had some news about the Chinese factory that was just recently announced.

That is the first time we’ve gotten a conclusive answer that Tesla will use battery cells from multiple companies for its battery pack production in China.

But Elon wasn’t done. He also dropped hints about how Tesla intends to expand service centers in Tesla service deserts and how it intends to expand its overall market beyond North America, Europe, and China. “To clarify further, the long-term goal for Tesla mass market products is local production for local markets (at least at the continent level). This is critical to make pricing as affordable as possible,” he started off. Then he added this bit of news:

The message is that Tesla is not slowing down. It intends to bring its world class electric automobiles to more markets, ramp up its service team, and add more factories in strategic locations, all while continuing to build out its Supercharger network.

If other manufacturers were hoping Tesla might pause to take a breath any time soon so they can catch up, their hopes and prayers were in vain. Tesla is eating their lunch, and when the Model Y electric SUV/CUV gets here (probably in 2020), Tesla’s sales are likely to explode — all around the world. And Tesla’s battery production total will be much, much higher. Let’s just hope it’s not still >50% of the global total.


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About the Author

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Rhode Island and anywhere else the Singularity may take him. His muse is Charles Kuralt -- "I see the road ahead is turning. I wonder what's around the bend?" You can follow him on Google + and on Twitter.



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