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 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.