Very shortly, we will be ready to share more information about the Tesla giga factory. This will allow us to achieve a major reduction in the cost of our battery packs and accelerate the pace of battery innovation. Working in partnership with our suppliers, we plan to integrate precursor material, cell, module and pack production into one facility. With this facility, we feel highly confident of being able to create a compelling and affordable electric car in approximately three years. This will also allow us to address the solar power industry's need for a massive volume of stationary battery packs.
Tesla's giga factory plans take shape
— By Kirsten Korosec on February 21, 2014, 5:45 AM PST
Missing context from this story is that Tesla in their Q4 reported earning $46million, as opposed to a $16m loss last year at same time.
Questions arise though about exactly how Tesla are funding the Giga battery factory, and the (tens of ?) thousands of Tesla (cars only) charging stations they are planning on building round the world - as I can't remotely see how you'd get any change from $1m a pop for a Charging Station, and $100-500m+ from financing the factory.
I can't see how Tesla can survive, unless they do some deals with the rest of auto and fuel facilitators, otherwise you'll just end up on a grand scale of USB v's Mini USB v's Micro USB v's Apple 30 Pin v's Lightening v's USB 4 v's propriety - where starting point A is electricity and destination B is batteries - with the bit in the middle confuddling and irritating people with very expensively duplicated technology they cannot access. Some heads need banged together, pronto.
I can't help but wonder where this factory will be built. Musk apparently isn't saying yet.
He builds his cars here in the U.S., so he should know that he won't find a more dependable and competent pool of potential factory workers anywhere else.
If he decides to build the factory in China, he'll have to worry about the batteries exploding and catching fire, to say nothing of the near slave labor conditions under which they would be made!
@omb00900 Well, it's a safe bet it won't be in the unionized north. And now that the UAW has been humiliated at VW in Tennessee, it's a safe bet it will be somewhere south.
@omb00900 I'd see Mexico or Canada being more likely than China. (take advantage of NAFTA) But I'd bet it will be built in a low labor cost area rather than in the US.
But Musk is anything but predictable, he might pleasantly surprise us and build it in some horribly depressed region like West Virginia or eastern Kentucky.
But if I had to put money on it, I'd guess the likes of Korea, Indonesia, India or maybe even in Africa. The latter can be done in partnership with China, which has been dumping buckets of money in Africa for some reason.
Another significant concern placing this facility in China is IP "leakage". If Tesla is going to produce a truly compelling, cost competitive, disruptive car, the battery will need to be cutting edge. If Tesla can keep their arms around the technology for such batteries, they will have an advantage... It not, they may face more competition.
If high levels of quality / super-low defect rates are important (and with thousands of cells in their batteries this is certainly the case) a highly automated cell manufacturing process would hold great advantage. If cell manufacturing is highly automated, the amount of "touch labor" should be quite small, and the labor to run / maintain the highly automated process equipment will need to be highly skilled. There may not actually be that much advantage to doing this in Chain...
I'm not sure humiliated is the proper term. Here in TN the governor and senator (both very popular) were very involved against UAW. Outside groups also went quite public decrying that a vote for the unions was the same as voting for Obama. (I've yet to figure that one out)
This is a very conservative area. The irony is that VW itself wanted some form of union or council in. It is the way they do business back in Germany and it works for them.
Tesla receives subsidies from government, and unions have a way of making demands on governments, since, they're the biggest political contributors to the democrats. Tesla is not about to alienate any government entity, since its existence depends on "friendly" government decisions.
@harrim47 Considering that Obama himself endorsed the union, it was a humiliation.
And there's an interesting reason why VW itself did not resist the union. VW is largely owned by IG Metall, Volkswagen's German union, along with other entities of the political left in Germany. IG Metall and these other groups do not wish to have to compete with non-union American workers. A high-cost unionized VW in the US would have precluded the incentive to build more VW factories here.
And just how would that benefit American workers?
California, with a mandate, which is the same thing as forcing companies to make vehicles that they otherwise would not. Without those zero-emission cars, the car companies would still be selling the cars that "people want to buy".
But, with liberals, they know a lot better than the people what they need or want.
@adornoe @JohnMcGrew @omb00900
"California's mandate requires auto makers to sell a number of zero-emission vehicles commensurate with their volume in the state... they are required to sell more zero-emission vehicles than others. Not complying could threaten their ability to sell vehicles in the state, which accounts for more than 10% of U.S. sales."
This is where Tesla makes its profit, by selling their surplus credits (since they get several per/car and make no non-electric vehicles to offset them with) to auto makers who have no alternative energy options.
@JohnMcGrew @adornoe@omb00900 The automakers don't need the carbon credits. They can move millions of their cars without those carbon credits. They only "purchase" those credits to keep or gain a sense of good public relations, and to insure that they keep liberal regulators at bay. If it wasn't for government entities keeping watch on the automakers and insisting that their autos be "environmentally friendly", then carbon credits would remain "on the shelf" forever. Carbon credits don't really do anything to make autos any more "carbon friendly". Carbon credits only serve as an additional cost of operation against automakers. It's a big fat lie that the people have to swallow. The automakers would still be making the cars people want to buy, without the stupidity of carbon credits hanging over their shoulders. Those automakers were making those kind of cars long before the environmental agenda got in the way and became just another obstacle to overcome.
@adornoe @JohnMcGrew @omb00900 And yet, Musk is smart enough to know that if he wishes to remain in control, he can't allow the UAW to get it's claws inside his operation like they did at the big-3 decades ago.
And ironically, it's the big automakers who now need Musk just as much as well. The profit that Tesla makes isn't from the cars themselves, but from the carbon credits he sells to the other automakers so that they can keep on selling the cars that people actually want to buy.