This may come as a shock, but Tesla Motors, based in Fremont, California, has decided that it won’t be building the Tesla Gigafactory in its own home state.
The building of the Tesla Gigafactory was announced just a couple weeks ago, but it has been obvious for some time that Tesla Motors would absolutely have to have its own supply of lithium-ion battery packs if it is going to move forward profitably. According to Tesla Motors, a mass-market electric vehicle is being planned in the next three years. Of course, it is expected to be sold at a lower profit margin than the Tesla Model S and upcoming Tesla Model X.
If the Tesla Model E, if that’s what it ends up being called, is going to be even slightly profitable, the Tesla Gigafactory is going to be the key to reducing lithium-ion battery pack prices. The factory will be huge, and will effectively double worldwide production of lithium-ion battery cells. Not only will the Tesla Gigafactory supply battery packs for Tesla Motors, but also renewable energy backup power packs, and possibly other automakers for their electric vehicles. Such an operation, estimated to cover some 10 million square feet and employ about 6,500 workers, will obviously require a lot of space and planning.
As of the publication of the Tesla Gigafactory details pdf, on February 26, 2014, four states had been selected as finalists for the location. California had already been ruled out by that time. Still, the four states in the running include Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. Personally, I’m thinking Tesla Motors might be able to entice Texas to allow direct sales of Tesla vehicles to the consumer, with the promise of new construction and thousands of new jobs on the completion of the Tesla Gigafactory.
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