Tesla confirms deal with Panasonic to collaborate on new gigafactory, as the company works towards its target of selling 500,000 cars per year by 2020

Tesla has released new details of its gigafactory manufacturing plant in the US, saying the site will represent a "fundamental change" the way batteries are produced for electric vehicles.

Due to open in 2017, the gigafactory will supply battery packs and components for Tesla's growing range of electric vehicles, including the upcoming Model X SUV as well as the firm's BMW 3-series rival. That car has now been confirmed as being called Model 3, rather than the previously suggested Model E.

One of the aims for Tesla's new factory is to drive down the costs of producing long-range battery packs for cars, helping manufacturers to introduce more electric vehicles into the market. Such cost reductions will be produced through economies of scale, with reports suggesting the overall cost of producing battery packs could be cut by 30 per cent.

JB Straubel, Tesla's technical boss and co-founder, said the gigafactory will represent: "a fundamental change in the way large-scale battery production can be realised."

Tesla has said that by the end of the decade, the gigafactory will produce 35GWh of battery cells alongside 50GWh of battery packs. By the same date, Tesla wants to be producing around 500,000 vehicles per year.

The gigafactory will employ about 6500 people when the site reaches full capacity in 2020. Tesla hasn't confirmed the precise location of its factory, but has narrowed the choice down to five potential sites in Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada. Those states have plentiful space for the facility, as well as the requisite climate to allow Tesla to harness wind and solar energy to power the gigafactory.

The completed battery packs will be transported to Tesla's production facility in Fremont, California, for vehicle assembly.

Tesla has signed a deal with Panasonic to share space inside the factory, with Panasonic operating on the site alongside other Tesla suppliers. Tesla will shoulder the costs of preparing and managing the land the gigafactory will be built on, and will directly invest around £1.1bn into the build. The rest of the cost, estimated to be a further £1.7bn, will be shared among Tesla's partners.

As well as directly supplying Tesla's own vehicles, it's likely the firm will also sell battery packs to other electric vehicle manufacturers.

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Comments
23

31 July 2014
Time for BMW and Mercedes to up their EV, Plug-in game. Amazing that a car company can come from nothing to this in such a short time, there's no way they could have done it with an old-fashioned combustion engine. WELL DONE

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

31 July 2014
Their annual production is equivalent to one day's output by VW, Toyota or GM - let's not get too excited

31 July 2014
sierra wrote:

Their annual production is equivalent to one day's output by VW, Toyota or GM - let's not get too excited

You should change your name to Victor Meldrew. Tesla will be producing one or two models and their cars are priced out of reach of the average buyer. So rather than shoot someone down just for the sake of it, why not compare it to the total annual production of a Lexus GS (do Toyota manufacture a car at this price?), a Cadillac or a VW Phaeton. If you're going to complain at least do it on a like-4-like basis. And given VW, Toyota and GM have at least 80 years to build up a customer database, setting such a goal by a brand new manufacturer is simply outstanding. Good luck to them.

31 July 2014
sierra wrote:

Their annual production is equivalent to one day's output by VW, Toyota or GM - let's not get too excited

You do realise Telsa Model S outsold the Audi A8, Merc S Class and BMW 7 Series COMBINED in California. It also beat the S Class nationwide in 2013, 18,000 vs 13,000, despite not being available in most states

Its a $80,000 car of course the numbers are nothing like Toyota / VW, but you are crazy to think they arent a big deal.

31 July 2014
sierra wrote:

Their annual production is equivalent to one day's output by VW, Toyota or GM - let's not get too excited

Not sure why you had quote marks as I never used the words ".. to this..". I mentioned something about what they had achieved in a "short time". - let's not mis-quote

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

31 July 2014
xxxx wrote:
sierra wrote:

Their annual production is equivalent to one day's output by VW, Toyota or GM - let's not get too excited

Not sure why you had quote marks as I never used the words ".. to this..". I mentioned something about what they had achieved in a "short time". - let's not mis-quote

Those words are in your original post -- just look at it.

1 August 2014
Speedraser wrote:
xxxx wrote:
sierra wrote:

Their annual production is equivalent to one day's output by VW, Toyota or GM - let's not get too excited

Not sure why you had quote marks as I never used the words ".. to this..". I mentioned something about what they had achieved in a "short time". - let's not mis-quote

Those words are in your original post -- just look at it.

Yep you're right, apologies. But you're wrong by demining their achievements so far

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

31 July 2014
It is interesting that the four states listed as possible locations do not include California which has a similar amount of sun and space. Could it be that Tesla could not get a deal like they did with the ex-GM/Toyota Nummi plant and they went somewhere with a lower tax rate? You have to love limousine liberals who bash those who are in favor of lower taxes and regulations until they need to do something themselves.

31 July 2014
1/2 million cars per year within 6 years? Can't fault them for ambition but, I cannot see that happening.

 

I'm a disillusioned former Citroëniste.

31 July 2014
A better comparison might be "Jaguar Land Rover has posted record sales for 2013 with 425,000 cars sold worldwide."

And don't forget Porsche so nearly bought VW and they only sold 162K cars in 2013.

500K is a big deal.

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