After reading about the Gigafactory (official blog by Tesla, not analyst opinions), there seems to be a lot of information assumed and/or "announced", without actually doing so. There is a lot of information that is identified (in my opinion) that makes me extremely excited about this plan. I'll try to list some with my reasons below, but ask that you help add, update, or correct my perception.
1. It almost screams the future guidance of 500,000 cars per year delivery in 2020, but didn't clearly state it as such. This could mean one of two things: i. Tesla is expecting to build and deliver roughly 500,000 cars/year around 2020; ii. They expect to have roughly 500,000 battery packs sold between Tesla and potential partners for electric cars. This leads me to my next point...
2. Something that has been in the back of my mind is why Musk has openly/eagerly pushed for competition in electric car industries. Part of this is because no one can truly challenge the Tesla currently, but I think there is something more. I think he is trying to get his arms into the battery pack systems and infrastructure (SuperChargers) to support the electric cars. In short, in 2020, Tesla may actually have the MUNI (sp?) plant be at max capacity (200-300k?) and then not worry about expanding too much afterwards. Much of their profits will start coming from contracts by competition's use of the SC network and buying of the battery packs. Maybe they will have some more factories and build 500k-1m vehicles/year, but still think they will start making large portion of their profits from other areas.
3. Battery technologies challenges: One major concern that I've had about Tesla's long term growth was the improvements in battery technology. Though that would greatly improve the viability of all electric cars in the market, it would have allowed other potential competition to leap ahead of Tesla, or at the least jump right up and start making vehicles at similar scale. What this Gigafactory announcement tells me is that Tesla is not going to jump into one technology and let other pass it by. They are effectively setting up a "coalition" of many battery producers to build this factory out together and profit together. In turn, they are also going to increase the potential of being first to the best effective technologies (note, though the text in the blog mentions lithium-ion, those words not mentioned in the pdf anywhere... only mentions "cell supplies"). Also, whatever they end up building, will automatically being the mainstream! This not only removes my concerns, but even more bullish on the company's growth over the next decade! Well played!
4. Solar power: Though this doesn't specifically call it out, we can almost assume that this means a huge contract for SolarCity! Probably similar what has been talked about for the SuperCharger network. Tesla puts up the initial cost; SolarCity does full maintenance... all for great rates! Just leading to closer connections between the companies... along with the Tesla battery packs for home power storage discussions.
5. Going after states that have shown resistance: I love how they are specifically including Texas in the final four. I'm sure there are appropriate reasons to include Texas, besides for the political ones, but none the less, this message is going to be well heard across the country from anyone that is willing to take couple million from unions to push away Tesla, when they can potentially benefit far more by accepting Tesla.
6. Proximity of locations: This still shows the Fremont location as the central hub. This tells me that either the MUNI (sp?) plant has the capability to build 500,000 vehicles per year, or they will expand in the region.
7. Growth commitment in the USA: Truly, they could have planned to put this factory anywhere in the world! Love their commitment to bringing back the strength, knowledge and work back into the US. Why can't everyone just see the true capitalistic success story that Tesla really is?
8. 70KWh/100KWh average packs: Based on the "Cell Output" of 35GWh/y @ 500k vehicle volume, that means an average of 70KWh pack. If we assume that the majority of these 500k vehicles will be the GenIII models with smaller packs, this leads me to think that we could be seeing 100KWh packs for the Model S/X soon. Using the "Pack Output" figure of 50GWh/y, this means a 100KWh pack average, which means that we could see an announcement of a much larger sized pack (125KWh? or more?). Gigidy-Gigidy... awww yeah!
9. Difference between "Cell Output" and "Pack Output"? I didn't understand what this means? What are they saying from this? I can assume some things, but would rather ask for more educated thoughts.
10. On a side note (not in this announcement), I do hope they can crank out the SuperChargers soon. I would like them to spend roughly $100m/year on this build out through 2016. Which roughly translates to over 300 installations per year (assuming $300k/location... not sure where, but this is what I recall as a cost on another thread). So that would mean roughly 1,000 SuperCharger locations world-wide by the time the GenIII vehicle launches. This would help destroy even the most aggressive estimates for sales!
I'm sure there are other things that we can come up with based on this announcement, but this message is getting long enough as is. Love to get everyone's input...
ps: In case anyone high up is reading, I would really love to work for Tesla!!! ;)