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The giant Gigafactory will span 500-1000 acres of land

Tesla Motors' all-electric auto business heavily relies on batteries, so it makes sense that the company has placed a lot of emphasis on that area with Supercharger stations, replaceable battery tech and road trips to relieve range anxiety for customers. Now, Tesla is finally revealing some details on its huge, upcoming battery plant.

According to Tesla, its new factory -- dubbed "Tesla Gigafactory" -- will be located in either Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas. Tesla is likely choosing among these Southwestern states because the factory will be largely powered by solar and wind power, and the Southwest has plenty of sunshine to feed the plant.

The giant Gigafactory will span 500-1000 acres of land and have a space requirement of 10 million square feet. It'll employ around 6,500 people and aims to produce 35 GWh of cells and 50 GWh of battery packs a year. 

Tesla added that it's getting ready to produce 500,000 EVs a year in 2020, and the Gigafactory will supply those battery packs. What's more is that Tesla expects the per-kWh cost of a Tesla battery pack to be lowered by more than 30 percent once the factory is up and running for the first year. 

This is huge for Tesla, since the cost of batteries is a large fear of potential EV customers. Tesla has been working hard to ease such fears, since this will lead to more sales in the future.


The automaker recently addressed range anxiety associated with road trips by placing Supercharger stations from Los Angeles to New York, allowing for a coast-to-coast trip free of worry. 

Tesla will invest around $2 billion in the plant through 2020 while investors will pay another $2-3 billion for a total $4-5 billion investment. 

This year will be a busy one in the Gigafactory's timeline, as Tesla plans to select a location, start intial project design, engage in partner discussions, begin zoning and design, and finally start construction. 

Construction will continue through 2015, and in 2016, equipment installation is set to begin. The year 2017 will finally see production launch, and will gun for the half million EVs produced in 2020. 

Tesla has proven time and time again that being the small guy in the auto race doesn't mean coming in last. In May 2013, Tesla repaid its $465 million loan from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) nine years earlier than expected from the original 2022 due date. 
 
Tesla is currently rocking the auto world by fighting auto dealers around the U.S. in order to sell its Model S on its own without any middlemen. Tesla CEO Elon Musk said he'd make the fight a federal case if he had to.

For Q4 2013, Tesla reported a profit of $46 million and saw its loss decrease to $16.2 million, which is much slimmer than the $90 million loss a year earlier. 

Tesla shares rose $34.65 to close at $252.30 Tuesday, and kept rising in premarket trading early Wednesday hitting $258.60. 

Source: Tesla Motors



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Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 10:36:45 AM , Rating: 3
$4-5B battery factory? Wow. But it looks like that's what needed to meet the shareholder's long term volume expectations for a company with a $30B market cap.

But even if only cranks out half the target annual production, that's 500k 50kWh packs (over twice as big as those found in the LEAF), and the factory cost would amortize to about $1000 per pack over a decade. That's definitely worth the 30% savings.

(An interesting side note is 50 GWh for 500k cars implies 100 kWh batteries, which are even bigger than those in the Model S...)

I hope Tesla has a range extender deal in their back pocket just in case the market for pure EVs isn't as big as they think it is. I think a 100-150 mile battery plus a cheap tiny engine, similar to BMW's i3 REx, would address the fears of anyone who doesn't think superchargers will cut it. If I had TSLA stock, I'd be a little worried that competitors could undercut them on cost with this strategy and using smaller batteries.




RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By SublimeSimplicity on 2/27/2014 11:00:53 AM , Rating: 2
Tesla filed a few patents about using Primary (non-rechargeable) batteries as a range extender for the main pack of lithium ion batteries.
The idea is that Aluminum-Air or Magnesium-Air would be able to provide 200 miles of reserve range with little weight or space. The Primary could be exchanged for recycling at a total cost that might be around that of gasoline per mile.
If they offer a range extension option, it would probably be this.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 11:48:11 AM , Rating: 2
That'll be interesting if it pans out, but it's not a certainty yet, and certainly not as convenient as unlimited range via gas stations.

Once you use the primary battery, you have to find a place to recycle and replace it, and that's not going to be as ubiquitous as unmanned superchargers.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By SublimeSimplicity on 2/27/2014 11:58:10 AM , Rating: 2
There's no reason the recycling exchange/collection couldn't be unmanned and right at the supercharging station. The aluminum plates would need to be sealed. I'm sure some RFID system could be setup and the "recycling center" could look a lot like a red box machine.

Recharge, swap the plates, and you're good for another 300 mile leg. The lithium ion battery could be LEAF sized in that scenario.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 12:18:29 PM , Rating: 2
Such a system sounds pretty expensive to me (not only constructing but also resupplying these boxes), and again it won't have anywhere near the coverage of gas stations.

The whole point of a range extender is to completely alleviate range anxiety and let you drive anywhere today's cars can when you feel like paying for it.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By tanjali on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 11:45:06 AM , Rating: 1
Look, I'm just being rational. Tata Motors makes a whole car for $2500, so I have no doubt that they (or someone else) can crank out cheap range extenders at $1500 a pop.

How often do you drive over 100 miles without ability/desire to charge? Does it make sense to pay for and lug around twice the battery for only those days? Doesn't a $4000 battery plus a $1500 range extender make more sense than a $10000 battery? Don't you think many people will want the option to use the 100k+ gas stations around the country if you absolutely need to?

Yes, there's millions of people that will be fine with a pure EV and a few hundred superchargers around the nation. But there's also millions that won't.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By SublimeSimplicity on 2/27/2014 12:01:24 PM , Rating: 2
Do a search for "DLR's free-piston linear generator" a very clever idea for gasoline range extension. Extremely compact and efficient.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 12:48:15 PM , Rating: 2
That's a pretty cool design, but it's competing against 100+ years of ICE cost reduction and reliability, with orders of magnitude more production volume. Range extenders must be cheap first and foremost, since they're used so rarely, and I think that's an insurmountable hurdle for this new engine.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: -1
RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 12:26:07 PM , Rating: 2
I have been on the EREV/PHEV train ever since oil prices hit $100/bbl.

Go check my post history. I've always said that they're fundamentally superior to pure EVs.

But even if only 10% of the auto market will buy a pure EV, that's 20+ years of growth opportunity for a company like Tesla.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 2:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
But even if only 10% of the auto market will buy a pure EV, that's 20+ years of growth opportunity for a company like Tesla.
We're not going to see that unless the automakers jump in on this AND, more importantly, people start BUYING EV's. Everyone here keeps forgetting that hardly anyone is buying these cars. Sales are akin to sports cars (strangely it seems that market also behaves like the sport car market).


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 5:11:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
What's even more telling is places like the UK and Europe. Where gas prices are way higher. Even THEY aren't buying EV's and hybrids. You would think with fuel costs like that any alternatives would be pounced on.
Great points. I honestly thought EV's and hybrids would be a slam dunk there but they aren't. I will say that I think that's odd and have no explanation for it.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 6:26:36 PM , Rating: 2
In some countries (esp Norway and the Netherlands), EVs/PHEVs are doing extremely well. But I do agree that it's somewhat odd.

I'd say there are three reasons EVs aren't doing well there:
1. Europeans drive less than Americans:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ohim/onh00/bar4.htm
2. The NEDC driving cycle is a joke, and make gas cars appear to be very efficient (e.g. Jetta TDI: 46/69 NEDC, 30/42 EPA)
3. It's an economic wasteland right now, with auto sales at a 20+ year low. New technologies sell much better in growing markets, not collapsing ones.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Murloc on 2/27/2014 7:04:59 PM , Rating: 2
it's also because people here are born with those gas prices.
It's normal to people to spend more on mobility.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By mjv.theory on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/28/14, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By flyingpants1 on 2/27/2014 6:38:21 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
NOBODY IS BUYING THESE


They have to be built before people can buy them, bro. There's exactly one 200-mile EV in the universe, and Tesla can't build them fast enough to sell them.

EVs are taking over, very slowly. Even when Tesla sells out 500,000 cars/year in 2020, according to you there will still be "nobody buying" them; they'll make up less than 1% of global car sales. That's fine. It's going to take a while, but at this point it's almost inevitable.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 5:39:56 PM , Rating: 2
(Correction: I meant to say "will consider a pure EV" as opposed to "will buy a pure EV")

That's what Tesla is out to change.

They're betting that by making a good looking EV that's faster and roomier than its similarly priced gas competitors, they can capture a decent market share. It already happened with the Model S in the large performance sedan segment.

Nobody has done that in any other segment. I'll be the first to admit that the LEAF and iMiev are all ugly and slow cars. The Spark EV is way faster than the gas one, but still ugly. The i3 looks semi-ugly, is rather overpriced, and seats only 4.

We'll see what happens.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 8:11:32 PM , Rating: 2
What competitors accelerate faster? It's a large 5-seat family car with lots of trunk space.

Not the 7 series, S Class, A7/A8, or Quattroporte. The Panamera, CLS, Rapide, and 6-series are all 4-seaters, and aren't notably faster at similar price anyway. The S8 is faster, but it starts at $112k.

Forget paper specs and look at real test data. Don't forget that best times come from dropping the clutch in a gas car, which you don't do in daily driving.

So what's left? The S7 and possibly the XJ if you stay near the base prices?

At the very least, you have to admit that the Model S is near the top of the pack in performance for cars of similar size and price, which isn't true for the Volt, LEAF, iMiEV, etc. Performance is the #1 cited reason for buying the Model S.

Or are you talking about top speed, which is next to useless in a sedan everywhere but Germany?

quote:
If the Model S was an ICE vehicle, nobody would buy it.
If it was a near-silent ICE car with 440 ft-lb of instant torque @ 0 RPM, got 100 MPG, had no transaxle tunnel hurting rear legroom, and had gobs of trunk space in the same body shape?

HELL YES it would be universally praised.

I'll agree with you that the interior isn't as upscale as that of its competitors. But clearly there's a lot of people who don't care.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: -1
RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/28/2014 3:58:12 AM , Rating: 3
I did not say "speed" anywhere. I said it's faster, e.g. faster to 60, faster to pass, etc.

quote:
The acceleration of the Model S isn't all that "useful" either, because hard driving DESTROYS the battery capacity and quickly.


And yet again we see you make up lies. Where's your data to prove this? Oh, right, you have none.

Power tools drain batteries at a faster rate than the Model S:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eZIwQw4UnE0
40A from a 3-4Ah battery. That's 10C or higher. The Model S is less than 4C discharge at its peak.

Acceleration is not "performance you can't use". Do you drive in the slow lane and never pass? Never run at max throttle to get up to speed?

Speed over 130 MPH on public roads is dangerous and highly illegal. Acceleration is neither.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Reclaimer77 on 2/28/14, Rating: -1
RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/28/2014 9:55:28 AM , Rating: 2
Who said anything about "at all times"? And why don't you ever show proof of your claims?

70% reduction in range? BS. Here's a video of someone accelerating flat out to 114 mph and cruising back down to zero, covering 1 mile.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d82NP89O_ZQ
It took only 0.5 kWh. That means you could cover 170 miles on a charge driving like that.

And nobody drives like that continuously, even when they have a fast car. Even performance addicts will only do it every few stoplights, or when passing on the highway.

FYI, an EV's efficiency advantage over ICE GROWS when driven hard. Electric motors are >85% efficient even at peak output. An ICE will drop to 15-20% efficiency at peak output.

Acceleration doesn't hurt efficiency. Speeding and non-regenerative braking do.

You don't buy a car with 10 airbags to use them all the time, nor do you buy ceramic brakes to push them to the limit all the time. You buy it so that when you need or want them, they're there. The same is true for acceleration.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/28/2014 10:11:48 AM , Rating: 2
Here's energy usage of a guy at a short NASCAR race track:
http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/showthread.php/2340...

461 Wh/mile works out to 180+ miles on a full 85kWh pack.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Rukkian on 2/28/2014 4:23:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The Model S is a well built car, don't get me wrong. If you don't mind the fact that at any moment it could spontaneously combust and burn your garage down. Has the interior quality and amenities of a Honda Accord, and needs massive Government aid to be possible.


I know the answer to this, but you got some proof on the spontaneous combustion? The only fires I have heard of in a Tesla were after hitting large objects (one was a trailer hitch) going at high speeds, and having the battery pack compromised. These were not quick fires, and nobody was hurt from what I could see.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/27/2014 8:46:00 PM , Rating: 2
The best test I can see that describes the real-world performance of the Model S is 45-65 passing. Motor Trend clocked that at 1.9s for the basic 85kWh model, and 1.7s for the P85.

I can't find any sub-$100k sedan that can beat that, let alone a large one. Not even a 550hp CTS-V.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By flyingpants1 on 2/27/2014 4:55:34 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Doesn't a $4000 battery plus a $1500 range extender make more sense than a $10000 battery?


Actually no, because the smaller battery will need to be replaced about 2.5x as often.


RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Mint on 2/28/2014 4:04:03 AM , Rating: 2
That depends on the battery. LiFePO4 batteries can do 5000 cycles and still have 80% of original capacity. Even if each cycle is only 50 miles, that's 250k miles, and still very useful after that. A123 made batteries that can do 100k+ cycles.


Not in California
By Nutzo on 2/27/2014 11:18:43 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
According to Tesla, its new factory -- dubbed "Tesla Gigafactory" -- will be located in either Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas. Tesla is likely choosing among these Southwestern states because the factory will be largely powered by solar and wind power, and the Southwest has plenty of sunshine to feed the plant.


Notice they didn't mention California, were the high taxes and environmental regulations would make building this plant almost impossible and way to costly.




RE: Not in California
By Mint on 2/27/2014 12:02:01 PM , Rating: 2
They want cheap land for all that solar/wind, and cheap backup power too. California has always been a poor choice for that.

I also bet that he's going to dangle the factory in front of Texas legislators to make them repeal (or provide an exception from) the dealer franchise laws.

Want those jobs? Let me sell my cars here.


RE: Not in California
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: -1
RE: Not in California
By acer905 on 2/27/2014 12:28:56 PM , Rating: 3
To be fair, dealerships are idiotic, and being forced to buy from only them makes no sense in today's world. At least someone is fightning against it.


RE: Not in California
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2014 12:33:34 PM , Rating: 1
I agree. But in the meantime, this fight is hurting his sales.

If people can't go and see the car in person, test drive it, etc etc, they're is WAY less chance they'll buy it.

I know in Musk's mind everyone will just buy cars off the Internet, but that's just crazy talk. It's only working now because his current cars cater exclusively to the rich, they can afford to not be discerning.


RE: Not in California
By Mint on 2/27/2014 3:10:55 PM , Rating: 2
Tesla is production limited, so sales are unaffected for now. But people can at least see the car in person at their gallerias (where they're forbidden to discuss pricing, financing, or test drives).

He's not expecting everyone or even most people to just buy off the internet. Tesla has a lot of showrooms across the US, and is expanding them as needed. They show features, give test drives (unless forbidden to do so), educate, etc.

Direct sales doesn't necessarily mean internet sales. It just means there's no independent middleman. He wants salesmen to be direct employees of Tesla, have a unified message, and not operate on commission.


RE: Not in California
By Reclaimer77 on 3/1/14, Rating: 0
RE: Not in California
By tng on 3/1/2014 8:39:51 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I know in Musk's mind everyone will just buy cars off the Internet, but that's just crazy talk. It's only working now because his current cars cater exclusively to the rich, they can afford to not be discerning.
That was my thought...

Allot of the people who we classify as "Rich" and buy cars like these tend also to be trendy. What happens to Tesla when his product is no longer considered hip enough for the wealthy, primarily urban, trend setter?


RE: Not in California
By moremilk on 2/27/2014 1:58:22 PM , Rating: 2
If I build a car, why should I be forced to sell through a dealership? No sane person can argue this point imo.
I can understand (while still being against) regulating things like alcohol sales etc, but for cars? How are cars different than computers? Should Apple be forced to sell their macbooks only at Best Buy?

If dealerships provide added value, let the market decide what price is fair for that value.


RE: Not in California
By Mint on 2/27/2014 2:44:37 PM , Rating: 2
I said, "Let me sell my cars here". Not an independent dealer.

He has no problem if EVERYONE ELSE gets the same ability to sell direct.

Since you're someone who claims to be a defender of the constitution, I can't understand why you're defending these dealer laws anyway.


RE: Not in California
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/2014 3:31:28 PM , Rating: 2
How in the hell is this a Constitutional issue? Unless all. collective bargaining is. Which is fine with me, kill every union as far as I'm concerned.

I'm NOT defending the NDA though, and you know it.

Sometimes the fight just isn't worth it. I think for Musk thus is one of them. He can't win, they're too powerful, too entrenched.


RE: Not in California
By Mint on 2/27/2014 4:54:31 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know a lot about the constitution (I didn't grow up here), but isn't this kind of trade restriction against its spirit? Online I see trade and constitution in the same discussion all the time.

I don't see how this is like collective bargaining. If dealers want to strike to stop GM or Ford from selling direct or buying dealerships to run themselves, they'd be free to do that. A law preventing them from doing so is another matter.

I think in Musk's mind, this fight is indeed worth it. The public overwhelmingly wants to cut out the dealer, and the big automakers want him to win as well (though maybe secretly). I never expected direct corn subsidies to get cut, but it happened.


RE: Not in California
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 5:17:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The public overwhelmingly wants to cut out the dealer
Do you have some numbers on this? I'd be interested in knowing. It's not a subject that comes up so I don't even have anecdotal stuff on this.


RE: Not in California
By flyingpants1 on 2/27/2014 6:57:30 PM , Rating: 2
RE: Not in California
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: Not in California
By Mint on 2/28/2014 3:32:06 AM , Rating: 2
It's a press release about an independent poll:
http://www.bizjournals.com/austin/poll/results/114...

I never said that the public is "against dealerships". I said that they support the option of manufacturer-owned dealerships, i.e. allowing direct sales.

If a middleman is useful, then he will find his place in society, but I guarantee you that Americans despise being forced to use a mandatory middleman.


RE: Not in California
By Reclaimer77 on 2/28/2014 7:13:19 AM , Rating: 2
Wrong. Most Americans don't know they are "forced" into dealerships. Most Americans don't know the NDA exists, and that dealerships were made mandatory by law.

Most Americans aren't aware of the issues, or worst, don't care. Holy crap, look at the country today, you think if we had an informed electorate we would be dealing with all this?

That's my point. So you coming here saying most Americans are "overwhelmingly against" dealerships just reeked of bias and pro-Tesla agenda.

Hardly ANYONE even talked about this at all until Musk started this fight. Come on, can we just be honest here?


RE: Not in California
By Mint on 2/28/2014 8:24:34 AM , Rating: 2
I agree they aren't aware, but when made aware of it by a pollster, they overwhelmingly don't like it. Even on the most anti-liberal sites you see unanimous support:
http://www.ar15.com/archive/topic.html?b=1&f=5&t=1...

It makes no sense to anyone, including me, because virtually every product is allowed to be sold directly. Tesla is applying for a dealership license and being denied because they make cars.

I'll admit I mispoke when I said "the public overwhelmingly wants to cut out the dealer". What I meant was that they want the option to cut out the middleman.

Free enterprise is deeply ingrained into American culture. I use the word "overwhelmingly" because it's true everywhere you look: polls, forums, articles, academic papers, etc.
Imagine if Apple stores weren't allowed to sell iPads/iPhones, display/discuss prices, or let people try out running devices. Don't you think Americans would be overwhelmingly against that?


RE: Not in California
By Reclaimer77 on 2/28/2014 7:54:30 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't know a lot about the constitution (I didn't grow up here), but isn't this kind of trade restriction against its spirit?


Sigh, if only everything that violated the spirit of the Constitution was made illegal. I would love to live in that world, my friend.

Fun fact, the NADA was originally formed to stop the Government from gouging Americans with extreme "luxury tax" rates. Something I'm sure nobody had a problem with at the time.

After they won that fight, they went on to Unionize the countries 15,000 some odd dealerships.

So in the eyes of the Constitution, there's nothing wrong or illegal in what the NADA is doing. People have the freedom and right here to willingly unionize, make alliances, etc etc.

I guess by your logic we shouldn't have grocery stores either. Why am I "forced" to buy my food through a third party?

I don't think this issue is nearly as, conveniently, cut and dry as you make it out to be.

But besides that, it's going to take a LONG time for Musk to make headway here. If any is to be made. In the meantime, I maintain the opinion that it's costing him sales. Without his cars being in dealerships, nation wide, he's losing visibility and public access to his vehicles.

Imagine a Tesla dealership being built right next to, oh, lets say a BMW dealership. How many sales could he pull from BMW then? I wager quite a few!


RE: Not in California
By Mint on 2/28/2014 9:17:09 AM , Rating: 2
Unions negotiate deals with companies. They don't literally outlaw non-union companies from doing business in the state.

This has nothing to do with unions, and everything to do with protectionism.

If Ford dealers want to stop Ford from selling direct, they can make an alliance and tell Ford that they will stop buying cars unless they have exclusive rights to sell Ford vehicles. Ford will then weigh that option against the cost of opening its own network of thousands of stores from scratch, and would likely choose the dealers. There is no legislation needed, and this would all arise from the same freedom to form alliances that you speak of.

quote:
I guess by your logic we shouldn't have grocery stores either. Why am I "forced" to buy my food through a third party?

Is there a law that I'm unaware of? Is it illegal for a farm to own and operate a store that carries its crops? If I drive to a farm, am I forbidden from buying a bushel of tomatoes?

AFAIK, you aren't forced to buy from a third party.

quote:
In the meantime, I maintain the opinion that it's costing him sales. Without his cars being in dealerships, nation wide, he's losing visibility and public access to his vehicles.

How can you lose sales if you have battery supply issues for a while and are selling every one you can make?

I don't understand why we have to keep repeating things to you. Tesla DOES have dealers nationwide: http://www.teslamotors.com/findus
They don't have enough production volume at this point to justify the same number of locations BMW, obviously.

Some states, however, have laws PREVENTING these showrooms from selling, discussing pricing, or giving test drives. The reason is that Tesla owns these showrooms.


The real question...
By kfonda on 2/27/2014 3:48:18 PM , Rating: 2
The real question is 'what the hell is a gigafactory?'




RE: The real question...
By flyingpants1 on 2/27/2014 6:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
Seriously?

quote:
Giga is derived from the Greek ???a?, meaning 'giant'.


RE: The real question...
By kfonda on 2/27/2014 7:35:11 PM , Rating: 2
I know what giga means, but this is just a really big factory. No need to make up new words. It's not even the biggest factory.


RE: The real question...
By Mint on 2/28/2014 4:11:53 AM , Rating: 2
For batteries? Yes, it is. This is planned to output more than all of today's production combined.

Since when is there no need to make up new words? Gigafactory is perfectly cromulent.


RE: The real question...
By kfonda on 2/28/2014 2:41:44 PM , Rating: 2
In that case, leftby ponfgelcade wrubinxs.


not enough?
By purerice on 2/27/2014 1:07:52 PM , Rating: 2
He's claimed that with the Model E, Tesla should be making over 500,000 cars per year in 2018. So how then is 500,000 batteries enough in 2020?




RE: not enough?
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 5:18:22 PM , Rating: 2
He's not coming anywhere near that number with the Model E if his target is the BMW 3 series.


RE: not enough?
By Mint on 2/27/2014 8:50:18 PM , Rating: 2
That's the 2017 car. 500k cars is the 2020 figure for the whole company. Who knows how big their lineup will be by then.


RE: not enough?
By flyingpants1 on 2/27/2014 6:43:06 PM , Rating: 2
You misunderstood something. 50GWh = 50,000,000kWh, enough for a million 50kWh cars.


hi hopes for tesla
By laststop311 on 2/28/2014 6:57:49 AM , Rating: 1
I wanted very much to buy a tesla model s. The problem is you are paying a good 80k for the 85kwh one (the 60 is too low of range and is still 70k). I tried every which way to adjust my budget to allow me to spend 80k on a car financed over 6 years but i couldn't do it. Even with the savings of not having to buy gas and much less maintenance I would of had to sacrifice the quality of food i eat, almost all my entertainment money including all my weed money and no vacations.

For the majority of middle class people 30k is really the upper limit of our car budgets. I got a 2014 Chevy impala LS eco paid 27k for it 545/month for 5 years. I'd of loved to get the model s but i can't afford a 1500+ a month car payment. 25 mpg city 35 mpg highway and they call it the eco version heh.




There arent that many rich men
By Shadowmaster625 on 2/27/14, Rating: -1
RE: There arent that many rich men
By Zak on 2/27/2014 10:31:14 AM , Rating: 5
You do realize than when ICE cars came out at first they were only rich man toys, right? Then Ford made the car popular and accessible to everybody. You can't be that dumb, can you? Can you?


RE: There arent that many rich men
By therealnickdanger on 2/27/2014 10:43:21 AM , Rating: 5
This is the Internet, he can be as dumb as he chooses.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By tanjali on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: There arent that many rich men
By WLee40 on 2/27/2014 11:13:59 AM , Rating: 2
Oh yes he can, he demonstrated that quite well.
Why are people so resistant to change? I see EVs as the most likely direction of cars in the future.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: There arent that many rich men
By DFranch on 2/27/2014 12:44:01 PM , Rating: 2
I believe the OP was saying that until Henry Ford came along cars were only affordable by the wealthy. Ford changed that by making cars everybody could afford.

It's kind of like Plasma TV's. Remember when they cost $10,000 or more. They were rich folk toys. Eventually they came down in price and most people were able to buy them. The same will happen with EV's eventually.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By superflex on 2/27/2014 12:47:01 PM , Rating: 2
He also raised the wages of his employees so they could afford the Model T.
I don't see Musk making that offer.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By ilt24 on 2/27/2014 12:55:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
He also raised the wages of his employees so they could afford the Model T.


Not really...from Ford.com

"The $5-a-day Workday
After the success of the moving assembly line, Henry Ford had another transformative idea: in January 1914, he startled the world by announcing that Ford Motor Company would pay $5 a day to its workers. The pay increase would also be accompanied by a shorter workday (from nine to eight hours). While this rate didn't automatically apply to every worker, it more than doubled the average autoworker's wage.

While Henry's primary objective was to reduce worker attrition—labor turnover from monotonous assembly line work was high—newspapers from all over the world reported the story as an extraordinary gesture of goodwill."

http://corporate.ford.com/news-center/press-releas...


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 2:35:37 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Not really...from Ford.com
Not really? You just proved the other posters point. LOL! Like he said, Musk hasn't raised his workers wages so they can afford the cars they build. Musk is no saint and no revolutionary, he's a just guy that that's trying to carve out a niche to make some money from. He found one, make EV's for the wealthy. Sounds good to me. But you clowns think he's doing something just for you. LOL!

Facts:
1. You can't afford the Model S.
2. You won't be able to afford the Model X either.
3. The Model E will also be outside of the magic DT $20,000 price point too. Therefore you can't afford that one either.

Why are so many of you swinging from Musk's potato sack?


By flyingpants1 on 2/27/2014 4:25:53 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Musk hasn't raised his workers wages so they can afford the cars they build.


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!


RE: There arent that many rich men
By SPOOFE on 3/1/2014 12:06:07 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
Musk is no saint and no revolutionary

What kind if fucked up logic is that? Are we to assume you only buy things from companies that ARE run by saints? Which companies might those be?

Concession stand workers don't get paid enough to fund their own summer blockbusters. Pilots don't make enough to buy their own 747. Doctors don't get paid enough to buy their own hospital. Physicists don't get paid enough to buy their own Large Hadron Colliders.

Yet Musk is a scumbag because he has employees that can't afford a premium car?

Look, it's one thing to think that his product isn't for you, but Christ, you Tesla haters make up some of the stupidest shit in your criticisms.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Zak on 2/27/2014 12:51:03 PM , Rating: 2
That's not the point, I wasn't comparing Musk to Ford. You missing the point on purpose to be obtuse. The point is that pretty much everything is expensive at first and with time becomes more affordable. Once the tech becomes less expensive and easier to mass produce the prices will come down. Cars were at first very expensive too and only the rich could afford them. If it wasn't Ford then someone else will do this and it ought to happen to EVs as well.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Flunk on 2/27/2014 10:45:04 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, because nothing changes at all in 6 years. Nothing ever becomes less expensive, companies don't launch new models and new technologies are never introduced.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By 1prophet on 2/27/2014 10:46:39 AM , Rating: 5
Henry Ford

“The idea of gas engines was by no means new, but this was the first time that a really serious effort had been made to put them on the market. They were received with interest rather than enthusiasm and I do not recall any one who thought that the internal combustion engine could ever have more than a limited use. All the wise people demonstrated conclusively that the engine could not compete with steam. They never thought that it might carve out a career for itself. That is the way with wise people--they are so wise and practical that they always know to a dot just why something cannot be done; they always know the limitations. That is why I never employ an expert in full bloom. If ever I wanted to kill opposition by unfair means I would endow the opposition with experts. They would have so much good advice that I could be sure they would do little work.”

more relevant quotes by Henry Ford

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”

“The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can't are both right. Which one are you?”

“It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste”

“Don't find fault, find a remedy; anybody can complain”


RE: There arent that many rich men
By TSS on 2/27/2014 1:02:33 PM , Rating: 3
Overlooking one thing here: Henry Ford invented the Assembly Line, which made the Model T the great car it was. Without that the model T would've been the same as those lamborghini's made by craftsman by hand, and it would've never been able to compete with steam.

Elon Musk will not have such luck. There are other problems facing EV's that will have to be overcome to make it viable out in the field. Charging - just how many super charging stations can the electricity grid sustain? Power's gotta come from somewhere. Raw Resources - unless Musk plans to open up a few lithium mines this price isn't going to drop, quite the opposite. New technology - there's no way batteries will see the research advances ICE cars saw in the beginning. It's not new tech, advances in EV efficiency and batteries have been slow indeed.

And finally, the most important of all - the USA as a nation. When Henry Ford made the Model T you could say america was just waking up as a production powerhouse, at the start of a golden century for the USA. Now, it's riddled with debt.

Cars at 100k or 10k... when you've got to work 2 jobs at minimum wage to not even put enough food on the table.... how are you going to afford a EV? The national debt is going up with $1,2 trillion a year, that *will* continue and by 2020 it *will* be ~$25 trillion, putting further strain on social programs and with those the money people at the bottom can spend. Student loan debt is still rising - $1,1 trillion now - putting further strain on what future generations can afford. Car loans have already been stretched to 96 months, how much longer untill you're paying for a single car all your adult life? This all if the Dollar can survive that long. Fed tapering, printing $75 billion a month instead of $85 billion a month, has already caused several currencies to collapse, how long before the dollar itself gets it? $75 billion a month of new money for the next 6 years = $5,4 trillion. If the Fed doesn't, stocks will take a nosedive because that's the only thing keeping them up, tesla's stock as well.

It's be nice if the future with EV's is finally here, i do belive they carry more benifits then ICE cars do, especially enviromentally if the batteries are made/recycled properly. But i'm not seeing it. Too many things that are out of Musk's control.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Mint on 2/27/2014 1:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Elon Musk will not have such luck. There are other problems facing EV's that will have to be overcome to make it viable out in the field. Charging - just how many super charging stations can the electricity grid sustain? Power's gotta come from somewhere. Raw Resources - unless Musk plans to open up a few lithium mines this price isn't going to drop, quite the opposite. New technology - there's no way batteries will see the research advances ICE cars saw in the beginning. It's not new tech, advances in EV efficiency and batteries have been slow indeed.

Studies have shown that the US grid can support 100M EVs (decades away) without building any more generation capacity. EVs charge mostly at night when many plants idle, and need far less energy than you think: 100M * 12k miles/yr / (3 miles/kWh) = 400 TWh/yr, or 10% of today's annual production. Tesla's data shows well under 10% of their charging is done with superchargers.

Lithium resources aren't a problem. You only need 1-2kg of lithium carbonate per kWh, and there are ample reserves in many places around the world. Nevada has enough for all of Tesla's needs. Most lithium mined today is actually used for applications other than batteries.

Your point about 96 month car loans actually helps EVs, because they save $100-150/mo in fuel costs. $400/mo over 8 years (@3%) will pay for a $34k car, and you'll pay $150/mo in gas. $500/mo will pay for a $43k EV, and you'll pay $30/mo in fuel. And yes, tens of millions of people around the globe annually buy and run a $34k gas car, so there's no shortage of market.

If cost prevents sales from keeping up with production, then I'm sure we'll see smartphone-like finance schemes (pay as you drive, just like gasoline, but notably cheaper) to lower up front cost.

What Tesla needs to be successful is to hit their cost target for the third gen platform. That's it. Everything else you mention is a non-issue.


By sorry dog on 3/3/2014 12:22:19 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Everything else you mention is a non-issue.


TSS just more or less said the fiscal situation of U.S. economy is rapidly going to hell in a hand basket (which is hard to argue with) and you say its a non-issue?

Wow. And just what is an issue to you?

Lemme guess...bad gas milage, and immigrants without health care.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Mint on 2/27/2014 10:55:49 AM , Rating: 2
Their 2017 car is, IMO, going to aim for the BMW 3 series in price and performance. BMW sells 400k a year of that line.

Tesla's strongest market in 2020 is probably going to be China. That'll be 1.5B people with more inequality than the US. They bought 20M autos in 2013 and probably twice as many by 2020.

China is already about to pass the US in oil imports, so the future is only going to get worse. They're importers of natural gas, too, so that's not a solution either. EVs are going to be crucial for them, as is nuclear power, and they're already putting serious weight behind both.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Reclaimer77 on 2/27/14, Rating: 0
RE: There arent that many rich men
By superflex on 2/27/2014 12:44:14 PM , Rating: 2
If Elon thinks the lithium miners are going to triple their output to meet his factories demand, I have a bridge to sell him.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Zak on 2/27/2014 12:53:38 PM , Rating: 3
Um, where was the last time you've successfully funded and run a larger automotive corporation or space exploration company? If you think you know something that Musk doesn't why don't you tell him?


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Mint on 2/27/2014 2:28:27 PM , Rating: 2
Where did you get triple from? Oh, right, straight out of your a$$.

World production was 600k tonnes in 2011:
http://minerals.usgs.gov/ds/2005/140/ds140-lithi.p...
I assume that gross weight is lithium carbonate.

50 million kWh per year from this gigafactory would need around 100k tons/yr of lithium carbonate. It's a decent jump, but nowhere near "triple", and there are plenty of mines already opening up to handle that.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 2:39:33 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
It's a decent jump, but nowhere near "triple", and there are plenty of mines already opening up to handle that.
Which one's and where are they located?


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Mint on 2/27/2014 4:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
Quebec, Canada: http://www.canadalithium/
Nevada: http://www.westernlithium.com/
http://rodinialithium.com/projects/clayton_valley/
California:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-09-19/lithium-b...
Wyoming:
http://www.uwyo.edu/uw/news/2013/04/uw-researchers...
(okay, this one is just a massive reserve right now)

There's a lot of lithium available. We just haven't had as much demand for it as other elements. This isn't a rare earth material.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 5:21:04 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for the info on that. I really wanted to know BTW.


By flyingpants1 on 2/27/2014 4:30:24 PM , Rating: 2
Lithium is <4% of the battery.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 2:52:11 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Their 2017 car is, IMO, going to aim for the BMW 3 series in price and performance. BMW sells 400k a year of that line.
3 series starts at $32,750 for a stripped 320i. But BMW customers don't buy stripped cars (cause they can afford not to). The average price of a 3 series is $45,000 so I figure the base Model E will start right around there (it'll likely be more than in 2017 but lets keep it simple). Like I asked about the Model X (apparently I didn't get the memo), the Model E is supposed to be the affordable one yet it's $25k over the touted DT perfect price point for cars. You guys (and most of America) aren't going to be able to buy that one either. So how is Tesla going to build enough cars to make that new factory pay off when they really need more average people to buy these?


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Mint on 2/27/2014 4:27:14 PM , Rating: 2
Musk keeps saying $35k, but I think he's overly optimistic and it's $40k. So let's go with that.

Why do you think they need to target lower than that? At this point they're aiming to sell 500k/yr, not 5M/yr.

In 2013, there were 15M cars sold in the US, about the same in EU+UK, 20M in China, and 5M in Japan, etc. Even if you just look at the priciest 1/4 of the global market, they only need 3% of that to hit 500k/yr.

That figure is their 2020 target, too. There's going to be more models introduced to hit it after the 2017 car.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 5:29:41 PM , Rating: 2
If he's says 3 series is the target, he knows how much people pay for them. I doubt seriously that he'll undercut that price. Remember, 25% margins. You're not going to get that margin by pricing low. Honestly, I expect the Model E to be advertised at just under $50k with the subsidy (like he does with the Model S). Did you notice that the low end battery pack is no longer offered? Remember the S was launched at $57,500 with the subsidy, now it's $63,570 WITH the subsidy. He's already made room pricewise in the line up for the E.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By flyingpants1 on 2/27/2014 6:53:24 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Remember, 25% margins.


No. The third-gen car will target 15% margins. As everyone likes to point out, most cars will be sold with pricey options, which drive up margins. So, figure around 31-32k for the cost of the car.

A whole Jetta is $17k, folks. Put it on a $15k Tesla skateboard, bam, done.

quote:
You're not going to get that margin by pricing low.


They'll reach high margins by having no dealerships, no unions and the cheapest car battery packs on earth.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By Mint on 2/27/2014 8:56:49 PM , Rating: 2
It's not going to be $31k. That's too low for the upscale image that Tesla wants, and Tesla will have plenty of demand at $40k plus options as they ramp up production.

They aren't VW, either. It'll take time for them to catch up to the big automakers in cutting production costs. They can't have any quality oversights arising from shortcuts, or they'll trash the reputation they've built with the Model S.


By flyingpants1 on 3/1/2014 1:28:19 AM , Rating: 2
I think $32k is plenty to build a third-generation car. That already gives a gross margin of 9.4% at the stated price.

The skateboard cost is everything. By comparison, it's pretty trivial to build a metal box with leather seats.


RE: There arent that many rich men
By DukeN on 2/27/2014 11:53:43 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah but with the Benghazi oil money from the zionist Obama regime TSLA is doomed.


"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard














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