The Tesla Giga-Factory could be the key to Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk’s ongoing success, and we finally have some details for the future of multiple companies
Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk isn’t only the mastermind behind Tesla Motors’ electric vehicles, but also has a stake in SolarCity, both of which stand to benefit from a ready supply of lithium-ion rechargeable batteries. Currently, Tesla Motors sources its lithium-ion battery pack cells from Panasonic, one of the biggest battery producers in the world, but is only planning on building some 35,000 vehicles this year.
On the other hand, if Tesla Motors is going to move into mass-production, a planned 500,000 vehicles-per-year by 2020, as well as make an affordable electric vehicle, the Tesla Model E, there aren’t enough lithium-ion batteries in the world for that many electric vehicles. Hence, the Tesla Giga-Factory, a planned 500-to-1,000 acre complex to be built in the Southwest United States.
As of 2013, worldwide lithium-ion cell production, by a number of companies, the biggest of whom are SDI, LGC, and Panasonic, is just shy of 35 GWh/yr (giga-watt-hours per year). The Tesla Giga-Factory, operational by 2020, has a planned production capacity of 85 GWh/yr. World production is sure to increase, but not on such a scale as Tesla Motors is planning.
Tesla Motors, expects that, by building its own lithium-ion battery plant, it can reduce the cost of the battery pack by better than 30%. This will be an important step, as the planned Tesla Model E is expected to be sold for far less than the Tesla Model S or Tesla Model X. At just $35,000, the 200-mile-range Tesla Model E is expected to be the world’s most-affordable electric vehicle in its class.
The Tesla Giga-Factory won’t just benefit Tesla Motors, however, but also will form the backbone for a supply of stationary lithium-ion battery packs to backup SolarCity renewable energy production.
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