Gigafactory good move.

Gigafactory good move.

The value and business prospects of Tesla car business are inversely correlated with the price of batteries.
So they are hedging their short position in batteries in their car business with a long position in batteries in the gigafactory. Therefore, the risk of the gigafactory is less for Tesla than a stand alone company.

Lionel S | March 3, 2014

The thing I wonder about is whether it's wise to commit such a large chunk of resources in an area that is undergoing tremendous advancements. Will the factory have the flexibility to shift to new chemistries, and materials that make up the battery? Newer batteries may not use any lithium whatsoever.

The Argonne Labs goal is to make a battery with 5x the range that charges in 1/5 the time, at 1/5 the price, all in less than 5 years.
These batteries could be graphene and silicon based or some other materials combination entirely. I'd almost bet that in 5 years the latest greatest batteries will not be Lithium ion based.

The thing is that if they fail and only double current range and halved the fastest charging time and halved the current price, it would be a tremendous boon to the EV world.

risingsun | March 3, 2014

Even if someone comes along and makes a major battery advance, it takes a long time to bring those batteries to market. Even if they can bring the new battery technology to scale, it will enhance Tesla's margin on their cars.

By building this factory, Telsa is ensuring that the model E will be viable and ensures that the battery supply will be there and that battery prices will drop by at least 30% in three years.

The battery factory is a very wise move. It adds certainty the future of Tesla and the electric car market.

jstack6 | March 3, 2014

Imagine if Tesla worked with Altair Nano Technologies since they have the highest watt/kg and fastest charging? They have been tested by Aerovironments and could charge in minutes ,then discharge with almost no losses.

Brian H | March 3, 2014

You need to bone up on the delivery requirements. Speed = high current flow, heavy cabling, internal modifications, etc. A battery is not like a gas tank.

Iowa92x | March 3, 2014

Tesla is first a software development company. Software follows modular, Agile approach that allows for high ability to make changes quickly and adapt as tech changes. The battery factory will function in this manner.

EcLectric | March 4, 2014


I respectfully disagree. I wouldn't expect a battery factory to follow the Agile approach any more than I would expect a software company to use the 'waterfall' scheme. Software needs to be agile because it has to interface to people and systems, which change all the time. Hard products like batteries require tooling, etc. that requires a slower, more careful approach to product development.

Timo | March 4, 2014

[nitpick] People don't change. Systems do.

carlgo | March 6, 2014

Likely we can have some faith that Tesla knows what is happening in the world o' batteries and will not spend billions on facilities with the lifespan of a fruit fly.

3seeker | March 6, 2014

Just to add... a change in battery technology could also majorly affect the supercharger network. I hope Tesla has made plans to stay adaptive in all such areas. We've already seen how the Roadster's charging system has become outdated since the Model S' arrival...

Timo | March 6, 2014

Electricity is like gasoline. It doesn't change even that you can have different storage size/shape/technology.

Supercharger is just raw DC and communications between battery and charger. New techs don't need to change that. I'm pretty sure you could make Roadster SC compatible assuming the battery pack can handle the power. It would probably require some serious rewiring though.

Brian H | March 6, 2014

In fact it would be necessary to rebuild the Roadster for DC. Not happening.

Timo | March 6, 2014

Batteries are DC, so it would only require wiring and monitoring/routing & communication electronics....which means basically rebuild the entire battery pack. :-)

jstack6 | March 8, 2014

Brian H, altairnano was used and tested in cars.(I've driven EVs for 10 years) One of our members used their batteries to drag race and has held the record for over 20 years in a rail and street vehicle!

Tesla has high current and said they can make the SC's complete in 1/2 the time. All I'd like is the longer battery life that altair demonstrated.

your quote= Brian H | March 3, 2014 new
You need to bone up on the delivery requirements. Speed = high current flow, heavy cabling, internal modifications, etc. A battery is not like a gas tank.

AeroVironment shows Altairnano 10 minute recharge
has demonstrated the fast charge capability of Altairnano's

Timo | March 8, 2014

Altairnano batteries have less than half energy density compared to Panasonic batteries. Can't use them in proper BEV until they get that up quite a bit.

3seeker | March 10, 2014


So instead of regular/midgrade/premium, the SC station will have roadster/Panasonic/graphene? My knowledge of battery tech is limited, but I would guess that different types would require different software & hardware parameters for charging...

Brian H | March 10, 2014

Only the "strength" (and "cleanliness"/purity) of the source matters. And the MS can handle a wide range of strengths, from a dribble to a firehose.

just an allusion | March 10, 2014

Trolls who visit this site really need to stop digging for insight on what would be &/is proprietary technological information on Tesla's battery technology.

BTW, it would also be nice if the lot of you could avoid feeding into the seemingly innocent inquiries by divulging whatever potential insight that you might have...Let the patent trolls perform their own research and invest the time in their own development efforts instead of leeching the 411 from possible inside sources which they'll then mass produce and badge as their own.

Just saying....

Timo | March 10, 2014

For the SC it would require two things: same plug, and software to communicate between station/car. That's pretty much it. AFAIK SC can limit both current and voltage if needed.