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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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RE: Talk about dreaming big...
By Spuke on 2/27/2014 2:57:49 PM , Rating: 2
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
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:
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

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?

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.

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:
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.
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:

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
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.

"Google fired a shot heard 'round the world, and now a second American company has answered the call to defend the rights of the Chinese people." -- Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.)

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