Tesla Is to Site the Facility and Manage ‘Land, Buildings and Utilities,’
Panasonic Is to Manufacture and Supply Cylindrical Lithium Ion Cells
Tesla Motors reports an agreement with Japan’s Panasonic to supply the lithium ion cells for Tesla’s vaunted “Gigafactory,” which Tesla has said will change the face and economics of lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles.
“Cost reductions will be achieved through optimized manufacturing processes driven by economies of scale previously unobtainable in battery cell and pack production,” Tesla says. The firm has previously stated that the kilowatt-hour cost of EV batteries could be reduced by 30% in just one year of operation (F&F, March 1).
The reduction is viewed as critical as Tesla brings its economical Model X to market – the Gigafactory “is being created to enable a continuous reduction in the cost of long range battery packs in parallel with manufacturing at the volumes required to enable Tesla to meet its goal of advancing mass market electric vehicles.”
Tesla Will Run the Show
Tesla says it will “prepare, provide and manage the land, buildings and utilities” for the Gigafactory. “Panasonic will manufacture and supply cylindrical lithium ion cells and invest in the associated equipment, machinery, and other manufacturing tools based on their mutual approval.
“A network of supplier partners is planned to produce the required precursor materials,” the release continues. “Tesla will take the cells and other components to assemble battery modules and packs. To meet the projected demand for cells, Tesla will continue to purchase battery cells produced in Panasonic’s factories in Japan. Tesla and Panasonic will continue to discuss the details of implementation including sales, operations and investment.”
Keeping Them Guessing
Tesla advised shareholders late last week that it broke ground in June outside Reno, Nev. “on a site that could potentially be the location for the Gigafactory.
“Consistent with our strategy to identify and break ground on multiple sites, we continue to evaluate other locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas,” the company said.
Tesla projects that the Gigafactory will employ about 6,500 people by 2020.
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Source: Tesla Motors with Fleets & Fuels follow-up