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Power Transportation

Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory 193

Posted by timothy
from the if-only-there-were-fast-swap-stations-everywhere dept.
Hodejo1 (1252120) writes "Tesla has already put over 25,000 cars on the road with more to come and, presumably, most will still be running well past the 8-year battery warranty. What would happen if it is time to replace the battery pack on an old Model S or X and the cost is $25K? Simple, it would destroy the resale value of said cars, which would negatively affect the lease value of new Tesla automobiles. That's a big part of the real reason why Tesla is building its own battery factory. They not only need to ensure enough supply for new cars, but they have to dramatically bring down the price of the replacement batteries low enough so owners of otherwise perfectly running old Teslas don't just junk them. The Tesla Roadster was not a mass produced vehicle, so the cost of replacing its battery is $40K. The economies of scale of a gigafactory alone will drop battery costs dramatically. Heavy research could drop it further over the next decade or so."
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Why Tesla Really Needs a Gigafactory

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  • by iggymanz (596061) on Sunday April 20, 2014 @11:23AM (#46799787)

    It takes something a little bigger than an AA battery. the 11 battery "sectors" are built out of 18650A lithium ion batteries , 651 in each, The 18650A form factor are about 1.5 cm longer and 0.4 cm thicker than an AA battery.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 20, 2014 @01:22PM (#46800503)

    Lithium mining is not an ecological disaster. Lithium is mined the same way salt (any many other household chemicals such as boron, sodium carbonate, etc.) is "mined" from salt water. Elemental lithium does not exist in nature, it exists primarily as lithium-chloride dissolved in water that leeched the lithium-chloride from rocks containing that salt. Lithium mining is a process of finding water with lithium chloride, pumping it in to a retention pond, and letting the sun evaporate the water.

    Lithium *can* be mined by going after the rocks that contain the lithium-chloride, pulverizing them, then dissolving and extracting the lithium, but that's not economically feasible. Lithium is produced this way, but only as a by-product from hard rock operations that are going after other minerals.

  • by AaronW (33736) on Sunday April 20, 2014 @06:39PM (#46802073) Homepage

    Elon almost lost everything on Tesla. He leveraged everything and was saved at the last minute by Toyota and Daimler. It was the same with Space X. They were one launch away from failure. Elon sank everything he had into both companies.

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