Tesla Motors has officially announced it will build a massive electric vehicle battery factory, which it calls a gigafactory, to make a huge amount of cheaper lithium-ion pack for the EVs of the future. It says these packs are so important that it is working on plans for a gigafactory in two locations, just to make sure there is a Plan B if something goes wrong with Site A. But how many gigafactories could there one day be?
According to Musk's vision, expressed at the World Energy Innovation Forum held at the Tesla Factory in Fremont this week (where he also said that using the Lotus Elise as the basis for the Tesla Roadster was not the best idea), the auto industry will one day need hundreds of battery gigafactories. Now, that's not hundreds of Tesla gigafactories, but he thinks there will need to be 200 just to supply the automotive industry. Throw in stationary energy storage and iPads that run all year, and the number climbs even higher.
One benefit of all these cells coming to market will be cheaper electric vehicles. Originally, Tesla said that its gigafactory would be able to reduce the per-kWh cost of a Tesla battery pack by "more than 30 percent." Musk repeated that number at the Forum this week, saying, "I think we can probably do better than 30 percent." The groundbreaking of the first Tesla plant could take place next month.
Oh, and as a side note: doesn't Michigan look odd in the image above? We are one with the lake, apparently.