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Tesla Picks Nevada for the ‘Gigafactory’

September 5, 2014 in batteries, EVs by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

‘Will Enable the Mass Production of Compelling EVs for Decades’

Tesla Motors has settled on Nevada for its vaunted “Gigafactory,” where the surging electric automaker and Panasonic will produce lithium ion batteries for a growing line of 100% battery electric vehicles.

The 'Tesla Gigafactory' will support the growing manufacture of 100% battery electric cars in Fremont, Calif.

The ‘Tesla Gigafactory’ will support the growing manufacture of 100% battery electric cars in Fremont, Calif.

“The Gigafactory is an important step in advancing the cause of sustainable transportation and will enable the mass production of compelling electric vehicles for decades to come,” Tesla chairman and CEO Elon Musk said in a release.

“Together with Panasonic and other partners, we look forward to realizing the full potential of this project,” Musk said.

‘Agile’ in the Silver State

In Nevada, he said Thursday, “We can be very agile.”

“It’s a real get-things-done state,” Musk said. “That was a really important part of the decision.”

“Tesla will build the world’s largest and most advanced battery factory in Nevada which means nearly one hundred billion dollars in economic impact to the Silver State over the next twenty years,” said Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval.

Big plans

Big plans

The $5-billion facility is to be built at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center near Sparks.

The partnership with Panasonic was announced in mid-summer, at which time Tesla said that it had broken ground in June outside Reno “on a site that could potentially be the location for the Gigafactory” (F&F, August 4).

500,000 Tesla Cars Annually by 2020?

Tesla builds its successful premium Model S, along with almost all key components – excepting batteries – at a sprawling factory acquired from Toyota in Fremont, Calif.

Output of some 35,000 cars there this year is expected to grow to 100,000 with the introduction of the more economical Model X in 2015.

Tesla predicts 50 gigawatt-hours of annual battery production at the Gigafactory by 2020 – “enough for 500,000 Tesla cars.”

“Without it, we can’t do the mass-market car,” Musk said in Nevada.

Driving Down the Basic Battery Cost

The facility is to be a “net zero energy factory” powered by renewable energy, including wind and solar.

“The Gigafactory is designed to reduce cell costs much faster than the status quo and, by 2020, produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013,” Tesla said earlier this year (F&F, March 1).

“By the end of the first year of volume production of our mass market vehicle, we expect the Gigafactory will have driven down the per-kilowatt-hour cost of our battery pack by more than 30%.”

February 2014 Gigafactory strategy summary (PDF link)

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Source: Tesla Motors with Fleets & Fuels follow-up

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