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Tesla Used A Third of All Electric-Car Batteries Last Year

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the elon-musk-hungers-for-power dept.

Power 236

cartechboy writes "We've heard about Tesla building this new gigafactory to produce battery packs for its electric cars. Heck, the company's current bottleneck is its ability to get battery packs for its electric cars. In fact, last year Tesla used a bit more than one-third of the auto industry's electric-car batteries, and that was with only selling 22,477 cars last year. Tesla is expanding its model lineup as quickly as possible with the introduction of the Model X crossover next year and a compact sports sedan in 2017. With the rapid expansion of its vehicle line, Tesla is going to need a crazy amount of battery packs, and quickly. Thus, the Silicon Valley upstart is building the gigafactory to engineer and produce battery packs in much larger quantities. If Tesla can remove the battery production bottle neck it's currently facing, the only question left will be market acceptance of a mainstream electric car."

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in march larger quantities (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46347775)

They better hurry then, March is a few days away. Time be marching away from them otherwise.

March larger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46347791)

They should go straight to December larger.

What's with this 'gigafactory' ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46347819)

Is 1,000 x bigger than megafactory?
1,000,000 x bigger than kilofactory?

Re:What's with this 'gigafactory' ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348467)

It's probably just a quick abbreviation of the word "gigantic".

/. redirected more than a third of its visitors to (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46347875)

So Fuck Beta.
The Slashcott is officially extended through end of February.

Moderators: only vote up comments which discuss Beta.

Re:/. redirected more than a third of its visitors (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349389)

Is there still a problem with the Beta, then? The most glaring problems have been fixed already and that's why the "fuck beta" rants have mostly cooled down.

"Giga" factory.... where? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46347879)

Conspicuously absent, that.

Not on this side of the planet, to be sure.

Re:"Giga" factory.... where? (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46348303)

Why even post something like that? Is uninformed cynicism what passes for a constructive comment these days?

The location of the gigafactory has not yet been announced, but Musk said it would include lots of solar and wind to power it, leading many analysts to assume somewhere in the southwest U.S., such as New Mexico.....

---The Motley Fool [fool.com]

Re:"Giga" factory.... where? (2)

blueturffan (867705) | about 7 months ago | (#46349403)

Why even post something like that? Is uninformed cynicism what passes for a constructive comment these days?

The location of the gigafactory has not yet been announced, but Musk said it would include lots of solar and wind to power it, leading many analysts to assume somewhere in the southwest U.S., such as New Mexico.....

---The Motley Fool [fool.com]

It's completely irresponsible and foolish to speculate that the gigafactory will be built in New Mexico. The obvious location would be in Watts.

When?? (2)

Type44Q (1233630) | about 7 months ago | (#46347907)

last year Tesla used a bit more than one-third of the auto industry's electric-car batteries, and that was with only selling 22,477 cars last year.

So this was last year? :p

Re:When?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348185)

last year Tesla used a bit more than one-third of the auto industry's electric-car batteries, and that was with only selling 22,477 cars last year.

So this was last year? :p

What did the Pink Panther say after reading /. ?

Pedant, pedant, pedant, pedant, pedant, pedant, pedant, peda-da-da-da-dant!

Be careful (3, Funny)

korbulon (2792438) | about 7 months ago | (#46347925)

At current projected usage, Tesla is threatening to use up all the supply of batteries by 2016, and then there'll be trouble. I foresee a US invasion of Fremont in the near future as mayor Gus Morrisson continues to engage in belligerent talk and saber rattling related to commercial zone redistricting and increased parking fines. Rumors still abound regarding the untimely demise of his predecessor Bob Wasserman. Was it pneumonia, or something far more sinister?

Re:Be careful (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46348121)

At current projected usage, Tesla is threatening to use up all the supply of batteries by 2016, and then there'll be trouble. I foresee a US invasion of Fremont in the near future as mayor Gus Morrisson continues to engage in belligerent talk and saber rattling related to commercial zone redistricting and increased parking fines. Rumors still abound regarding the untimely demise of his predecessor Bob Wasserman. Was it pneumonia, or something far more sinister?

Not to worry, we'll activate the Fremont Troll.

I love Tesla (1)

Phoeniyx (2751919) | about 7 months ago | (#46347929)

And I love the fact that slashdot gives them great coverage!

The only question left? (2, Interesting)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 7 months ago | (#46347937)

the only question left will be market acceptance of a mainstream electric car

No, I do not think that is even an unanswered question at this point. The biggest question I have is, will there be a STANDARD connector for quick charging batteries so that after driving 200 miles, can we re-charge the batteries in a few minutes no matter what brand of car we're driving?

Right now, the ONLY thing that is preventing me from getting a Tesla is that I have to travel longer than 500 miles a few times a year, and renting a car for a week, three times a year is too expensive an option.

However, I do see the possibility of all this changing how we travel. Especially if the Autonomous automobile becomes a reality. This would allow people to travel by train / airplane and "rent" a vehicle only for getting to / from transportation hubs and local travel.

you are going to spend 60k on and don't want to dr (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348065)

motives questioned

Re:The only question left? (2)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 7 months ago | (#46348079)

In a few minutes? What energy source will you use for that? Lightening bolts?

Re:The only question left? (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 7 months ago | (#46349745)

At the moment gasoline but that is a whole other topic.

Re:The only question left? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46348145)

Tesla has a series of battery swap stations all along the I-5 corridor, from San Diego CA to Vancouver BC and on some other routes like the 101 through Santa Barbara.

You literally swap the battery - takes about as much time as filling a tank of gas.

You were saying?

Re:The only question left? (0)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 7 months ago | (#46348219)

Amazingly, there are actually people living outside of the I-5 corridor. I know, seems crazy - but it's true. There are people, in the US even, that live on the Atlantic Ocean side of the continent!

Re:The only question left? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46348307)

Amazingly, there are actually people living outside of the I-5 corridor. I know, seems crazy - but it's true. There are people, in the US even, that live on the Atlantic Ocean side of the continent!

Nobody cares about you Takers in the tax-subsidized non-GDP-creating rest of the country.

We make the GDP - you consume it with imports.

Re:The only question left? (0)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 7 months ago | (#46348331)

You left coasters are so cute

Re:The only question left? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46348381)

Of course we are, we pay your bills

Re:The only question left? (0)

Teancum (67324) | about 7 months ago | (#46349671)

With money that you stole from high credit card interest rates and at gun point by government thugs. Now go nuke yourselves and be gone.

Re:The only question left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348599)

Of course, the Atlantic coast has the beginning of good coverage, too: http://supercharge.info

Re:The only question left? (1)

desdinova 216 (2000908) | about 7 months ago | (#46349615)

what about the area between the coasts, you insensitive clod!

Re:The only question left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349813)

It's called fly-over country for a reason!

Re:The only question left? (1, Troll)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 7 months ago | (#46348299)

Battery Swap stations solve nothing, unless there is a universal battery standard format, usable in all cars, not just Tesla.

We wouldn't accept Ford making ICE cars that can only use Ford Fuel from Ford Fueling Stations, why is this acceptable for Electric Cars?

Re:The only question left? (1)

Guspaz (556486) | about 7 months ago | (#46348941)

It's acceptable because Tesla is building out the infrastructure with their own money. If somebody else paid for it, then it'd be a different story.

Re:The only question left? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349345)

No it doesn't. They have NO battery swap stations. They do have a series of charging stations all over the country though. http://www.teslamotors.com/supercharger

Re:The only question left? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46349633)

Really.

Ok, then I guess the news media lies [google.com] .

Re:The only question left? (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46349655)

And this must also not be true [autoblog.com] .

Or the one at CNN Money.

Re:The only question left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348235)

Reduce the price by 2/3 so that most American's can afford to buy one.

Re:The only question left? (1)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 7 months ago | (#46348269)

Their new battery factory is trying to drop the price significantly.

Re:The only question left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348257)

Right now, the ONLY thing that is preventing me from getting a Tesla is that I have to travel longer than 500 miles a few times a year, and renting a car for a week, three times a year is too expensive an option.

If renting a car for a mere week, three times a year, is too expensive - I'm afraid I have some bad news for you:

You can't afford a Tesla anyway.

Re:The only question left? (2)

fodder69 (701416) | about 7 months ago | (#46348273)

Right now, the ONLY thing that is preventing me from getting a Tesla is that I have to travel longer than 500 miles a few times a year, and renting a car for a week, three times a year is too expensive an option.

However, I do see the possibility of all this changing how we travel. Especially if the Autonomous automobile becomes a reality. This would allow people to travel by train / airplane and "rent" a vehicle only for getting to / from transportation hubs and local travel.

That is a whole lot of stupidity in one sentence. Even disregarding the fact that you are talking about a $60k car, renting a car for a week costs, what, let's say $300 cause you want a nice car. So $900 dollars a year. How much do you spend in gas in a year?

It's a rhetorical question since your math skills are clearly not up to simple addition.

YGTBFKM (5, Insightful)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 7 months ago | (#46348305)

You've got to be fucking kidding me.

"Right now, the ONLY thing that is preventing me from getting a Tesla is that I have to travel longer than 500 miles a few times a year, and renting a car for a week, three times a year is too expensive an option."

Renting a car for $500/pop three times a year is "too expensive" for a guy who has no problem dropping $90,000 on a car? I could see that the inconvenience might be a reason, but cost? We rented a mini-van a couple times a year for our family vacations because the sedan wasn't big enough. NBD.

Re:YGTBFKM (1)

afidel (530433) | about 7 months ago | (#46348465)

We rented a mini-van a couple times a year for our family vacations because the sedan wasn't big enough.

Why? The cost difference between a family sedan and a minivan plus the small additional cost of fuel is less than renting a minivan one week a year, let alone multiple weeks. I know, I've done the numbers and while I'd like to get my wife a more fuel efficient vehicle for her next one it makes zero economic sense when we take 2-3 weeks of long distance trips (we've been to 38 states so far, most by car).

Re:YGTBFKM (2)

HornWumpus (783565) | about 7 months ago | (#46349531)

Then you have to drive a minivan all year. I'd rather drive a Yugo.

Re:The only question left? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348349)

So $90k for a car you're ok with, but car rental for 3 weeks a year, that's where you draw the line?

Re:The only question left? (3, Informative)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#46348497)

Right now, the ONLY thing that is preventing me from getting a Tesla is that I have to travel longer than 500 miles a few times a year, and renting a car for a week, three times a year is too expensive an option

Odd.

I'm a pretty firm believer that if you're going to drive 500 miles, renting a car is almost always a better option in terms of the wear and tear on your own car. [Obviously if you're leasing and under your mileage quota, things change, etc. etc.] I suppose it breaks down to what a week is (3-5 days? 7-10 days?) and how far longer than 500 is. Car rentals for non-luxury vehicles, especially for anyone who rents regularly are easily had in the sub-$40 range. Econoboxes are cheaper, but rarely enough cheaper to justify. On a whim, with no notice or club status, It's $44 a day for me to pick up a "mid-size" or "intermediate" (Sentra, Corolla, Fusion, Malabu) right now in my town.

At $334 a week, if you're only driving 500 miles, you're probably not ahead.

But 5 days and 600 miles -- Those 37c/mile probably come out ahead nicely with actual wear and tear on your car. AAA thinks so. *shrug*

Even if it's only a small loss over driving your own car (in terms of big picture wear and tear), it might be overall worth it after switching to a Tesla.

...also, you get a Tesla :)

Re:The only question left? (2, Informative)

Archangel Michael (180766) | about 7 months ago | (#46349015)

I have a Mercury Grand Marquis that I paid 1700 for two years ago, bought tires and serpentine belt for. It has 90K miles on it now. I recently replaced the brakes myself (simple job). In total, I've spent less than $2500 for two years of driving (plus gass). Nice ride, mechanically sound engine/tranny but it does have its issues with the automatic windows. It is a very nice ride.

My last vehicle was bought brand new for about $20k, lasted 20 years before it just fell apart. I put in about $2000 on that vehicle over its life outside of oil changes/tires/batter etc.

That being said, I'll never buy a new car again, and will buy cars that are mechanically sound towards the end of their lifes. If I get two years, and sell them for any value at all, I'm way ahead of people who like new car smells and get stuck in forever paying for vehicles. In fact, I'm looking right now for my next $2-3K car. I'm patient and am willing to wait to find the "right one". :-D Yeah, I'm tight.

Re:The only question left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349213)

This will likely never happen. I don't see anything on the horizon that will solve the following problems:

1. Batteries are too large and too heavy and too delicate to be user-swappable.
2. Making batteries swappable adds an enormous amount of bulk and weight because both the battery casing and bay need to be made stronger to protect against end-user mishandling. (The same reason user-swappable batteries in smartphones are becoming a thing of the past)
3. Batteries are too expensive to allow them to be handled by just anyone. Battery theft would be endemic. A pry-bar against a battery bay would give a thief access to a valuable and easily sellable commodity that costs a few thousand dollars.
4. Batteries degrade. Swappable batteries would mean a multi-vendor coordinated fee system to offset the cost of eventually failing batteries, not to mention the costs of batteries damaged in auto-accidents. It would be a nightmare to manage.

Seriously? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349645)

"Right now, the ONLY thing that is preventing me from getting a Tesla is that I have to travel longer than 500 miles a few times a year, and renting a car for a week, three times a year is too expensive an option."

You'd be willing to drop $90k on a car, and aren't willing to rent a few times a year? Couldn't be more than $1500 or so, and there are more charging stations all the time so in a year or two you might not need to rent at all. I'd like a Tesla, but I'm not willing to buy a car that expensive.

Re:The only question left? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349755)

"Right now, the ONLY thing that is preventing me from getting a Tesla is that I have to travel longer than 500 miles a few times a year, and renting a car for a week, three times a year is too expensive an option."

You can afford an $89,000 car, but you can't afford to rent a car for a week (about $150 a week for a cheapie, $500 for a huge SUV)? Really? No, seriously?

Oh, you must need the gold-gilded super-premium rental. Douchebag.

The only question left? (1)

Overzeetop (214511) | about 7 months ago | (#46347979)

Really? Marketplace acceptance when they can get $90k for a sedan?

No, the real question(s) left are - can you make it affordable and can you accelerate and standardize recharging, because most people out there wouldn't care if their cars ran on donkey shit if it was affordable, quiet, efficient, and you could "fill up" whenever and wherever you needed to.

Consumer acceptance? (5, Interesting)

BoRegardless (721219) | about 7 months ago | (#46348019)

Let's see about the benefits.

No cooling water
No oil
No flammable liquid fuel
No brake fluid
No grease
No "fan" belts
No noise of consequence
No engine and drive train with 2000 parts
No internal combustion engine repairs/adjustments
Very low brake pad usage (unless you are 18 years old)

Re:Consumer acceptance? (5, Informative)

bgarcia (33222) | about 7 months ago | (#46348137)

No cooling water
No brake fluid

Don't go crazy. There is still brake fluid in an electric car. And they still have radiators of various types for cooling purposes.

No radiator in a Leaf (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349597)

I have a Leaf, there is no radiator of any kind. Heat comes from resistance (pre 2013) or heat pump (2013 and beyond).
Total scheduled maintenance is tire rotation and wiper replacement. Checking brake pads is also recommended but not likely that they will need replacement until well beyond my 3 year lease. Replacing brake fluid is recommended in harsh environments but again, not in 3 years.
That's it.
And I think that pisses off the dealers because they still mail me postcards reminding me to bring it in for service.

Re:No radiator in a Leaf (1)

Drethon (1445051) | about 7 months ago | (#46349781)

I have a fanless server at home that works really great in a cool area but in 80+ degree weather has the tendency to shut down. I hope the leaf handles Mexico better than my server would.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (4, Funny)

kenaaker (774785) | about 7 months ago | (#46348153)

When I take my Focus Electric in for scheduled maintenance, it's amusing to watch the service rep trying to find something they can actually do. So far the only items have been tire rotation and software updates.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348251)

Not so amusing for the service reps once they realize what the future holds for their jobs if this battery car stuff takes off.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348359)

Yeah that bronze age was a real problem for all them stone workers. We should have just stayed with stone.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348885)

because the stone we use for building construction pails in comparison to the stone used in making primitive hand tools.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348253)

Tesla uses a liquid cooled battery:
http://www.teslamotors.com/roadster/technology/battery

No lubricating oil:
Well, the electric motors are greased, the transmission needs to be lubricated.

No flammable liquid fuel: Yep!

No Brake Fluid: Yes there is... (hearsay)
http://www.teslamotorsclub.com/archive/index.php/t-12642.html

No grease: Metal on metal for every bearing surface? good luck

No "fan" belts: Sure, give you that.

No noise of consequence: I miss the rumble

No engine and drive train: Yes there is! Oh wait... with 2000 parts: Somewhat more simple drive train, but less of a trained maintenance base.

No ICE repairs adjustments: Yep.

Low brake pad usage: Should be.

You were close!

Re:Consumer acceptance? (4, Informative)

TomGreenhaw (929233) | about 7 months ago | (#46348619)

Our Tesla is almost a year old (about 12k miles) and the only things that have gone into the car is air in one tire (until they fixed it for free), electricity, and windshield washer fluid.

We did buy the maintenance plan (good for everything except tires for 8 years) and I'm sure it will need something, but so far its been basically nothing.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (3, Informative)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 7 months ago | (#46348337)

The mechanical brakes get less use because of regenerative breaking, but they still need fluid and pads occasionally. But besides those two things, I want to say that the only other scheduled maintenance in the first 10 years is cabin air filters- which you can easily do at home.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348363)

No brake fluid
No grease
No oil

 
  False. [teslamotors.com]
 
  No internal combustion engine repairs/adjustments
 
But a battery pack that costs more than replacing my engine outright in the car I own today.
 
So much FUD from the Tesla camp. Just like the company's namesake, much of what you hear is more myth than fact.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 7 months ago | (#46348405)

You missed one.
Replace battery pack for $12000 when it becomes worn out. Depending on how and how often the battery is charged this could be a relatively short time,

There is a lot less periodic maintenance but there is a very big one that comes along.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (2)

Maxwell (13985) | about 7 months ago | (#46348525)

I've been in (several) taxi Prius with over 400,000 km on the clock. These cars spend most of their life on battery mode so they (likely, perhaps) get as intense a battery workout as the Tesla. The average car is kept 3 years. Unless you plan to keep it ten + years, is this really a concern?

Re:Consumer acceptance? (2)

jklovanc (1603149) | about 7 months ago | (#46348931)

I've been in (several) taxi Prius with over 400,000 km on the clock.

Being in a Prius make you an expert on how they work?

These cars spend most of their life on battery mode

What is this based on? The electric range of a Prius plugin [wikipedia.org] is less than 23 Km. I was a taxi driver and drove upwards of 300 km/ day. Most of the electricity used during the day is from regenerative braking but there is still a lot of gasoline used.

The average car is kept 3 years by the original owner.

FTFY. After that cars go on the used market and are in service for many more years. I drive a 2002 Hyundai Elantra. Are you advocating trowing away a $100,000 car after 3 years?

Unless you plan to keep it ten + years, is this really a concern?

It may not be a concern for the original buyer but it is a major concern for the used market. In effect the car becomes worthless after about 5 years.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (1)

fsck-beta (3539217) | about 7 months ago | (#46348949)

Prius are NiMH based, Tesla are LiON. Plus realistically most cars are older than 3 years.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (1)

maliqua (1316471) | about 7 months ago | (#46348957)

is there something wrong with wanting a large investment to last 10 years? most normal cars last that long or longer and didnt take a $100,000 investment to get into.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (2)

Tailhook (98486) | about 7 months ago | (#46348631)

No brake fluid

The Model S has electrically pumped hydraulic brakes. Regenerative brakes can't apply enough force in all cases.

No cooling water ... oil ... grease

There are other fluids as well. The sealed gear box has gear oil (both 1.0 and 1.5 versions.) The batteries, motor/PEM/inverter and cabin are all cooled/heated using antifreeze with the requisite pumps, lines and heat exchangers in three fluid loops. The AC system also has fluid to exchange heat.

Your point is valid and very appealing; electric vehicles have fewer failure modes and maintenance issues. But these are still a complex machines.

Re:Consumer acceptance? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348715)

And despite all of this the Tesla cost 3 times as much as an ordinary car and the payback period in saving on fuel costs is infinite. Just wait until the battery pack on your Tesla dies. It's replacement cost is the same as a brand new ICE powered car! The Tesla literally uses laptop batteries, you'll need a new one around the 5 year mark no matter how little you use it.

Hey guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348059)

Hello

Re:Hey guys (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349299)

Hi

Gigafactory - thous. mill. times typical Detroit? (2)

fantomas (94850) | about 7 months ago | (#46348069)

Is a 'gigafactory' one that is a thousand million times bigger than a typical Detroit automobile factory? I am not quite sure I understand the term....

Re:Gigafactory - thous. mill. times typical Detroi (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46348105)

Is a 'gigafactory' one that is a thousand million times bigger than a typical Detroit automobile factory? I am not quite sure I understand the term....

It means it has a cool name, and has a googleplex of ideas.

Re:Gigafactory - thous. mill. times typical Detroi (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 7 months ago | (#46348283)

I think the point of the name is the capacity in watts of the proposed factory.

Re:Gigafactory - thous. mill. times typical Detroi (1)

iggymanz (596061) | about 7 months ago | (#46348553)

how does a factory have a capacity in watts?

Re:Gigafactory - thous. mill. times typical Detroi (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 7 months ago | (#46349045)

It's the amount of battery capacity in KWH it will make in a year or something like that. Not very accurate but does have some relationship to the business....

Re:Gigafactory - thous. mill. times typical Detroi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349067)

When you are creating energy storage mechanisms?

Re:Gigafactory - thous. mill. times typical Detroi (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348673)

Is a 'gigafactory' one that is a thousand million times bigger than a typical Detroit automobile factory? I am not quite sure I understand the term....

Just be happy they didn't call it an eFactory...

cell output (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348975)

They need to make on the order of a billion battery cells per year to make the packs for their future car and to bring forward their grid backup storage plans...

Re:Gigafactory - thous. mill. times typical Detroi (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349021)

i wonder how many furlongs it will be end to end.

Re:Gigafactory - thous. mill. times typical Detroi (1)

mojo-raisin (223411) | about 7 months ago | (#46349091)

Giga, as in many Giga Watts of cells produced per year.

New plant didn't help? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348085)

http://www.mlive.com/business/west-michigan/index.ssf/2013/08/finally_hollands_lg_chem_plant.html

I used a third of all batteries in my house (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46348093)

Maybe I should just realize that battery factories take time to build, and it's actually the materials that are the stopping point.

Whoa, that's a lot of batteries... (3, Funny)

MiniMike (234881) | about 7 months ago | (#46348177)

Tesla is going to need a crazy amount of battery packs

Lucky they don't need a gigacrazy amount of battery packs, they'd have to build a super-duper-gigafactory.

Re:Whoa, that's a lot of batteries... (1)

maliqua (1316471) | about 7 months ago | (#46349031)

i believe next would be terafactory followed by a petafactory

Not all Lithiums the same (4, Interesting)

foxalopex (522681) | about 7 months ago | (#46348181)

It's an interesting article for perspective but somewhat inaccurate. The article fails to point out that not all Lithium batteries are the same. The Volt for example uses such a different battery chemistry that it tends not to catch on fire even when punctured. The one simulated in lab fire occurred from the battery coolant catching on fire after it had a chance to dry out. (Took about a week.) The trade off is that the Volt's battery has lower power density which means that it holds less power for a battery its size. The Tesla S uses laptop batteries which have great battery density but have the obvious trade-off of catching on fire when punctured. An Iphone uses a Lithium Polymer battery which has some of the highest energy densities of all Lithium batteries. The downside is they explode when punctured. In a small device like a phone or tablet this isn't a big deal but in a Car which this would give it some amazing range, if it crashed it would literally be a bomb on wheels.

Re:Not all Lithiums the same (4, Insightful)

Zeromous (668365) | about 7 months ago | (#46348627)

>literally be a bomb on wheels

No it is neither literally, nor figuratively a bomb on wheels. It will catch fire though, with plenty of warning and safety features, if punctured. As I understand if you were in the Tesla when it caught fire in the battery packs, you probably wouldn't burn to death.

Re:Not all Lithiums the same (1)

Dahan (130247) | about 7 months ago | (#46349563)

>literally be a bomb on wheels

No it is neither literally, nor figuratively a bomb on wheels. It will catch fire though, with plenty of warning and safety features, if punctured. As I understand if you were in the Tesla when it caught fire in the battery packs, you probably wouldn't burn to death.

But the comment you're replying to wasn't talking about the Tesla. It was talking about a hypothetical electric car powered by lithium polymer batteries, of the same chemistry that an iPhone uses. One of those may very well be a bomb [youtu.be] on wheels.

Re:Not all Lithiums the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349929)

The technical term (from candlepower forums) is "vent with flames".

Gimme a cheap car (2)

future assassin (639396) | about 7 months ago | (#46348277)

Gimme a barebones Yaris like car, not the ugly ass 2013 Yaris for say $12-15K CDN and I'm in.

Re:Gimme a cheap car (2)

afidel (530433) | about 7 months ago | (#46348547)

I don't think that's going to happen this decade, and maybe never if there's not some fundamental discovery in battery chemistry. The Leaf has an incredibly short range and costs $29k US, even Musk is only targeting 30-40% reduction in battery (not system) costs this decade.

Re:Gimme a cheap car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46348721)

Not the correct answer. The correct answer, using Tesla math, is: We are already there. $15,000 in 1970 dollars is equal to $90,000 today. So you can buy one in your price range

Re:Gimme a cheap car (1)

WillAffleckUW (858324) | about 7 months ago | (#46348785)

At the EU and Asian auto shows, Tesla was talking about 2015 west coast introduction of a $36k version, as well as something in the $60k range.

Re:Gimme a cheap car (1)

CaptSlaq (1491233) | about 7 months ago | (#46349797)

At the EU and Asian auto shows, Tesla was talking about 2015 west coast introduction of a $36k version, as well as something in the $60k range.

Credibility on a 36k Tesla is low, but hey, I'd love to be proven wrong.

Re:Gimme a cheap car (1)

avandesande (143899) | about 7 months ago | (#46349123)

Agreed- forget about buying a car you are buying a battery wrapped in an automobile.

I'll buy one when... (2)

ameline (771895) | about 7 months ago | (#46348869)

I'll buy one when I can get a consistently reliable 500 mile range (at -20 degrees C exterior temperature, +20 interior, with headlights on too) out of it. Recharge at 40 to 60A (230V) at home is acceptable. That likely means a 200 kwh battery pack. So about 2.5x increase in energy density over what we have now. This will probably be available in the next 10 years. The advantages of electric given this sort of range will all but kill other powertrains for most cars. Those advantages will easily pay for a battery swapout every 5 years or so.

Re:I'll buy one when... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349759)

We all have our needs. My Leaf, with an 80 mile range, meets my needs perfectly. I have a short commute, 110V charger at home and access to 220V chargers atr work. Nissan loans me a gas guzzler for 2 weeks/year for free, and my wife's Prius is good for weekend trips.

For me, a 3 year Leaf lease was a no-brainer. Of course everyone has different needs. Just saying it works for me.

tesladot (1)

deadweight (681827) | about 7 months ago | (#46349333)

Did Tesla BUY slashdot or do they just blow you daily? I think Tesla stories are hitting 2 a day now.

the part they dont bother to mention (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349419)

That year by year fro the cars tehy already have sold there will have to be replacements and they do degrade losing that touted milage quot for these things. And with extreme environment (like below freezing and summers over 90 degrees) the batteries degrade much faster so those distances people thought they would get suddenly dwindles downm requiring new batteries or changing to a more conventional technology.

They say that people who buy these electric cars used, better be ready to have to replace the wornout batteries, which adds upto an outlay of an an appreciable percentage of the original price. (Tesla can get enough for their NEW cars??? SO guess what - premium proces for replacement batteries.

Oh and watch out after you have any significant accident (fender bender) as the batteries are often damaged and have much higher likelihood of malfunctioning (often resulting in a catastrophic fire)

things they dont bother to mention ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349465)

That year by year (like withing just a few), for the cars they already have sold, there will have to be battery replacements. These batteries do degrade, losing that touted milage quoted for these things with such fanfare. And with any extreme environment (like below freezing and summers over 90 degrees) the batteries degrade much-much faster, so those distances people thought they would get, suddenly dwindles down requiring new batteries or changing to a more conventional technology.

They say that people who buy these electric cars USED, better be ready to have to replace the wornout batteries, which adds upto an outlay of an an appreciable percentage of the original price. (Tesla cant get enough batteries made for their NEW cars??? SO guess what - premium prices for any replacement batteries.)

Oh, and watch out after you have any significant accident (even just a fender bender), as the batteries are often damaged and have much higher likelihood of malfunctioning (often resulting in a catastrophic fire)

Just Like Digital Cameras 20 Years Ago (3, Insightful)

onkelonkel (560274) | about 7 months ago | (#46349505)

This whole discussion on electric cars reminds me of digital cameras when they first came out. People act as if no technology ever improved over time. The first cameras were about 320 x 240 or so. Film purists were laughing. In order to get the same resolution as 35 mm film, you would need 5 MEGAPIXELS!!! which considering cameras were barely .1 Megapixels seemed purely ridiculous. No way is digital going to replace film! Of course the camera resolution doubled year after year and now digital cameras are ubiquitous and film is almost extinct.

EV batteries will get cheaper and more powerful over time. Range will go up, vehicle prices will go down. Economies of scale and technological progress will see to that. As they get cheaper and better, they will make more sense to more people. People who might not buy a $40k car with a 120 mile range may well buy a $25k car with a 200 mile range.

Tesla = Apple (2)

Scot Seese (137975) | about 7 months ago | (#46349753)

The only question left will be mainstream acceptance??

No, the only question left will be economic. Cars costing > $ 70,000 are not for middle income families. Middle (and low) income families make up the vast majority of the U.S. population.

Tesla offers unique differentiators in their product that may or may not be superior to competitor technologies but command a premium price - not unlike many Apple products.

Loaded out Lenovo or HP laptop? low to mid $1000 range. Comparable specs on a 15" Retina MacBook Pro? Mid $2000's. Differentiators - OSX, higher resolution IPS display, gorgeous unibody aluminum construction, tighter ecosystem between computer & mobile device, unparalleled retail sales & support experience through apple stores, SSD faster than spinny hard drive, better battery life. I unashamedly own one. I occasionally ask myself why.

The $1300 Lenovo with 16gb ram, Nvidia 750 discreet video, quad core i7 cpu, and Windows 8.1 will do everything you need in a laptop and 5x more. You just aren't getting those rMBP differentiators. If they are worth an additional $1000, go for it.

A completely loaded Chevy Malibu gets you a four door sedan with turbocharged engine, full leather interior and tons of options for under $31,000. It will comfortably carry you back and forth to work for less than half the cost of the Tesla, it has more than twice the range, refilling it with energy takes five minutes, and while it is using petrochemical fuel, the Teslas - lets not kid ourselves here - are using electricity overwhelmingly generated by dirty coal fired electric plants.

No one is pretending the Lenovo Y510P laptop is a loaded rMBP, or the Chevy Malibu is the equivalent of a Tesla Model S. But the point is this - the high end Apple laptop & 27" desktop products, along with Tesla's vehicles, are - so long as they occupy their current pricing strata - going to be luxury items that a very narrow percentage of the U.S. market can afford. They will accordingly occupy a small percentage of market share.

Apple and Tesla are both destined to exist as luxury brands that will always be around, always appeal to a certain well-heeled discriminating consumer, but are fated to occupy very narrow market share. Like Rolex, Gucci, Coach hand bags, those red-soled Louboutin heels your wife / girlfriend / both have had their eyes on - they are priced outside the realm of sanity for all but enthusiasts, the foolhardy, or the very well heeled.

If Elon can scale manufacturing to produce a vehicle similar to the Nissan Leaf, improve range to 200+ miles between charges, ++ plus the quality and options a little, and get the price down into the $25-35k range while still making an acceptable profit, Tesla might have something to talk about. Until such time, Teslas sales are going to exist in a range that to companies like Ford, GM, and whatever Chrysler/Fiat is calling themselves this week - is a rounding error on just one of their models' annual sales.

Tesla sold 20some thousands Model S sedans last year? Ford sold, on average, over 50,000 F-150 pickups PER MONTH in 2013. ONE manufacturer. ONE MODEL.

I love Tesla, I admire Elon, but the numbers are just wrong for most of America.

Why are they allowed to do this? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46349851)

The fact that the Republicans are allowing them to hoard more than a 1/3 of all electric car batteries is ridiculous. The Republicans again are ensuring that there is no competition. They don't like competition. They always cheat to make sure they win. In this case, they are destroying the electric car market by only allowing one major player.

I think they forgot a few questions (1)

dannymac63 (943398) | about 7 months ago | (#46349915)

"the only question left will be market acceptance of a mainstream electric car"

No mention of the $70,000 price tag? It's certainly the most important question to me.

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