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Summary:

More news is trickling out about Tesla’s gigafactory — Japanese battery partners could pony up $1 billion for it.

Tesla's Model S

A week after Tesla confirmed that it plans to build a huge battery making “gigafactory” in the U.S., more news is trickling out about it. According to Japanese newspaper Nikkei (via Reuters), Tesla’s battery partner Panasonic could join up with other battery suppliers to fund the gigafactory with $1 billion.

On Tesla’s earnings call last week Tesla CEO Elon Musk said that the company would reveal more information about the battery factory this week including more details about partners and funding. An analyst said recently that Tesla would be working with Panasonic and Sanyo to fund the battery factory with $2 billion, which could be built in New Mexico.

Tesla Model S

Tesla says future growth of its cars — which are powered by thousands of lithium ion batteries packaged up into a battery pack — are constrained by world battery production. Musk has said that to produce 500,000 of its Gen-III cars per year, Tesla would need to build a factory that would have the equivalent of all of the world’s current production of lithium ion batteries made just for Tesla.

Tesla is also looking to push the costs of making and packaging up the batteries down so it can hit a cheaper price point — around $35,000 — for its third car. Though it remains to be seen if Tesla will be able to hit that price and some analysts are skeptical.

  1. Around $35,000 for their “cheap” battery? My god. Electric cars will never take off like that.

    No wonder the other car manufacturers don’t promise 500 Km driving range since those cars like the Tesla S (78.000+ and 90.000+ for the 500km) become far too expensive for most buyers. You can promise 1100 km range if you just put in more batteries. It will also hurt the range and room for luggage. Also other companies have been building (and planning) mega factories for batteries recently so i would like to see some comparisons.

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    1. $35k for the car. The battery would be much cheaper.

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    2. Not cheap battery. $35, for the whole car!

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  2. If this can manage to substantially bring down the cost of lithium batteries, the potential uses for them will go way beyond just producing tesla’s. Energy storage and transportation is the holy grail of renewables, for one, and if we can get cheap energy storage in that way then suddenly all the incredibly ambitious projects that people have been talking about for years, like powering all of europe using sahara based solar panel arrays, would begin to become feasable.

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    1. Lithium ion batteries do not supply cheap energy storage. It’s very expensive, but it is light and has high density storage ability. For normal storage larger , heavier and cheaper batteries can be used. I don’t think Tesla will be competitive in this field.

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