An incredible move from Tesla.
Tesla is partnering with Panasonic and other businesses to develop low cost, mass produced battery packs to drive down the cost of electric vehicles.
The Gigafactory is Tesla’s name for the massive, all-in-one battery factory it’s planning to build somewhere in the American West, starting in the next few weeks. It will be the largest factory of its kind, capable of producing more lithium-ion batteries each year than were produced in the whole world in 2013. Through manufacturing efficiencies and economies of scale, Tesla believes it can bring down the cost of its battery packs by more than 30 percent using already-available technology…
Where other automakers have been waiting for fundamental advances in technology, Musk is plowing ahead with commodity battery cells, convinced he can bring down costs through a combination of ingenuity and brute force.
On Tesla’s earnings call last week, Musk announced that Panasonic has signed a letter of intent to partner with Tesla on the Gigafactory and manufacture its battery cells there. But that will be just part of the operation. The idea is to bring in other companies to produce all the necessary battery-pack components at the same facility. “It’s sort of like an industrial park under one roof,” Musk said. “Tesla’s producing the modules—Tesla’s sort of the overall landlord.”
This is great news. For many, the current price tag on high-powered, all-electric vehicles has been out of budget. But with this development and investment, consumers will no longer have to choose between lost-cost, low-quality and high-quality, high-cost; Tesla estimate that their third generation vehicle, with power and quality similar to their iconic Model S, will cost somewhere in the $30,000 range.
Here in Oregon, the infrastructure for electric vehicles has been steadily developing around the state. The entire I-5 corridor, for example, has been equipped with an electric charging station every 25-50 miles. But as electric vehicles become more widespread, Oregonians are going to need alternative fueling stations more deeply spread around the state.
Oregon’s Clean Fuel Program is an opportunity to reduce carbon pollution, increase fuel alternatives, and develop greater fueling infrastructure around the state. The program is a free market model, similar to what’s been used in British Columbia and California which have resulted in significant economic benefits as well as greater fuel choice for consumers. Learn more: www.cleanfuelswork.com