Sun and wind could power Tesla Gigafactory for EV batteries in Nevada

Filed under: EV/Plug-in, Manufacturing/Plants, Tesla Motors, USA

Tesla Motors Fremont factory with Model S

Next week is Tesla Gigafactory week. The California automaker has a major announcement planned, and it’s all about its intention to build a battery factory so large, the company is pulling out the giga prefix. At some point in the next seven days, we expect to hear where Tesla will build the plant, who it will partner with, how it will pay for it and lots of other details.

The production volume is expected to be at least 30 gigawatt-hours-worth per year.

The Gigafactory will take in the raw materials for lithium batteries and put out finished packs, not only for the electric vehicles made by Tesla and its automotive customers, but also for massive amounts of renewable energy storage – that’s a niche the company plans to begin to occupy sometime early next year with residential-sized products. The production volume is expected to be at least 30 gigawatt-hours-worth per year. That’s more storage than all the lithium battery factories in the world combined produce now. Color us impressed.

Now, you might be thinking, “Is it really necessary to go that big at this point in time?” In a word: yes. Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said its upcoming, more-affordable vehicle – widely expected to be called the Model E – will wear a $35,000 price tag and boast a battery big enough to take it 200 miles on a charge. To achieve this, the cost of the cells needs to come down dramatically, and so it’s no coincidence that the time frame for the new facility will parallel that of this car. According to Musk, the benefits from the economies of scale will see a cost drop between 30 and 40 percent.

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Sun and wind could power Tesla Gigafactory for EV batteries in Nevada originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Fri, 21 Feb 2014 17:45:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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