“If you build it, they will come,” seemed to be the mantra in the early days of electric vehicle manufacturing. With government backing, it seemed that companies like Tesla Motors, Fisker Automotive, and A123 Systems had a bright future.
As we know, even if you do build it, they might not come for years. As a company, how do you survive until that day comes? A123 Systems, the largest lithium-ion battery manufacturing facility in the United States, was built on promises waiting for demand from the Fisker Karma and upcoming models, as well as the Chevy Spark EV. When manufacturing was delayed for these big clients, A123 Systems had no choice, but to fold. On the other hand, Tesla Motors has managed to beat the odds, maintaining production of a low-volume high-profits Tesla Model S.
There’s been plenty of research in rechargeable battery technology, but nothing that has been commercialized successfully, and the United States is far behind in lithium-ion battery manufacturing, which brings us around to Tesla Motors‘ plans to expand production. An upcoming mass-market vehicle, possibly the Tesla Model E, will be produced somewhere on the order of 500,000 per year, which would require more lithium-ion battery cells than are currently produced worldwide.
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk hinted that some kind of mega-plant would have to be built to produce the lithium-ion battery pack for future vehicles in the Tesla Motors lineup, but who’s going to do it? Everyone remembers what happened to A123 Systems, so it’s understandable that there may be some trepidation when it comes to opening up new lithium-ion battery manufacturing. The question is, how soon will we see Tesla Motors Battery Manufacturing on the New York Stock Exchange? We could call it TSLB.