Tomorrow, Tesla Motors officially unveils its massive new Gigafactory 1 at a grand opening event on July 29, 2016.
The ultimate objective of the first Gigafactory is simple, but it is not for the faint of heart. Battery costs are the most expensive component of electric vehicles, and the multi-billion dollar Gigafactory aims to add scale, vertical integration, and other efficiencies together to bring lithium-ion battery costs down.
Costs have already come down faster than most analysts have predicted, and the Gigafactory could be the final catalyst to get below the industry’s holy grail of $100 per kWh. Cheaper battery packs could make electric vehicles competitive with traditional gas-powered vehicles – and if that happens, it is a game-changer for the auto industry.
It’s important to note that the Gigafactory is fairly modular by design, and construction is not completed in full yet. That said, here is what we know about the new Tesla Gigafactory and its possible impact.
1. The Tesla Gigafactory 1 will be the largest building in the world by footprint. The Gigafactory will take up 5.8 million sq. ft of space, making it bigger than Boeing’s giant facility in Everett, WA. That’s roughly equivalent to 100 football fields.
2. The scale will make production of Lithium-Ion batteries way cheaper. Tesla recently stated that its current battery cost is $190 per kWh for the Model S. The Gigafactory aims to reduce battery costs by 30%. Tesla expects this to happen through vertical integration, adding economies of scale, reducing waste, optimizing processes, and tidying up the supply chain.
3. Tesla initially planned to produce 50 GWH of battery packs by 2020. However, Tesla has now moved that farget forward to 2018. Which will require serious amounts of raw materials. The batteries, which currently use an NCA cathode formulation, need lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel, and other base metals that aren,t used as much in an internal combustion engine. This has created a huge rush for suppliers of these raw materials.
We are going to stop the list here beacuse this is where we start to get interested. How will these raw materials get mined from our beautiful earth? With our earthmoving equipment! Exciting things are happening in the near future and we are anxious to see all the anticipated changes!
*To finish the rest of the list, please visit mining.com.