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No, I think these guys would have done quite enough to qualify for a Nobel prize in chemistry if they could do 150 Wh/g <=> 150000Wh/kg ;-) Anyway 150Wh/kg at the cell level for a lithium manganese iron phosphate type of battery is a significant improvement. I think A123 had the previous record with about 120 Wh/kg in this area.
There are many positive implications of higher US natural gas export. 1) Higher US natural gas prices (over 6 USD per million BTU) will make US wind power competitive with natural gas combined cycle without subsidies. If the price rises to about 8 USD per million BTU wind power would grow fast enough to replace much use of natural gas in the US. Provided new coal power is banned. 2) The Marcellus shale is already profitable to drill at 4 USD per million BTU. Any higher price in the US will accelerate growth in production of natural gas and thereby slow the price increases in the US. It takes decades to build significant LNG export capacity and US production of natural gas will easily pick up to supply any export. My point is that it is going to take a long time or at least 15 years for US gas prices to reach 8 USD per million BTU as a result of LNG exports. Consumers will not notice. 3) Exporting US natural gas for 10 to 15 USD per million BTU at production cost of 3 USD is probably the most easy money that can be made in any US industry. The US could/should tax the profits from natural gas exports in order to lower income taxes for all Americans. 4) Important US allies in Europe, Japan and South Korea need to buy their gas from dependable suppliers. It is strategically the right thing to do for the US and its allies.
VW became the best selling EV on the important Norwegian market in July selling nearly 700 cars of which 400 where e-golf and 300 where the VW Up!. That was nearly half of all EVs sold in Norway for July. See Tesla did not sell many cars that month in Norway because they need to prioritize their limited production for the newly opened Chinese market. The Leaf is in trouble their sales is clearly going down in Norway now as a result of the new VW BEVs. In Norway the Leaf only get a battery warranty of 5 years and 100,000 km whereas VW offers 8 years and 160,000 km. I think Nissan is going to get a hard time maintaining current global sales of 5000 Leafs per months when the e-golf and Up hit all the global markets. I read elsewhere that Tesla plans to raise monthly production to 8000 Model S/X by December 2015. At that time they will most likely also become the volumetric leader globally with highest global EV sales ahead of Nissan. Tesla is already the world leader of automotive batteries most kwh used for EVs by any EV maker in the world.
@EP Tesla has announced that battery recycling will be an integral part of this factory. It is also shown in the production flow diagram above. Elsewhere I read Musk has said their RandD expenses were high also because they were developing yet unannounced things. I believe they are developing a scalable backup-power, load leverage system that can be installed both in small homeowner environments as well as large industrial facilities. I believe it will be cloud controlled and that they will market it as a leased service that they maintain and service but that it is installed locally near the power producing / consuming sources. There is a huge future market for such systems in relation to solar and wind power that is going to get less costly in the future but also contribute more to total power production and therefore the increased need for these backup power / power leverage systems. At some point it would have to become a legal requirement that such backup is provided in connection with every new solar power and wind power installation simply to secure the stability of the grid. Tesla will have the lowest cost batteries in the world for that task so they will take this market as well until others start making 50Gwh factories as well. Tesla already has a Tesla produced backup system for their California assembly factory. I believe it is about 2000 kwh and it only provides partial bacup load leverage. The back-up power system for the 50Gwh factory will have to be much larger but it too will be partial. You still need a powerful grid connection but a significantly smaller one than would be needed without this load leverage system. And that is the point.
@msevoir You are quite right. I think this factory is going to make three types of battery packs. 500,000, 60kWh packs for the Model III equals 30Gwh. 120,000, 90kWh packs for the Model S/X equals 10.8GWh. and probably 920,000, 10 kWh packs for backup power and load leverage for home owners and businesses with solar cell installations. That is the remaining 9.2 Gwh. (a 10kW unit is about 50 kg and very compact. Two men can install it anywhere. A 10 kWh lead acid system would cost the same to make but it will be much more costly to install as it will weight 250 kg and be quite large. It would also wear out pretty fast after 2 years whereas the Tesla pack probably will last 4 years). I would estimate Tesla's total cost at the factory roughly as: 6500 employees at 100,000 = 650 million per year. 5 billion at 10% (high risk factory loans not treasury bonds) = 500 million per year. Capital depreciation 1 billion per year Cost for upgrades repairs and production interruptions 500 million per year Raw materials 500 million per year (highly uncertain I really do not know but expect it is very low because of the extreme degree of vertical integration). It could also be a billion or two per year. Insurance allowances 1 billion per year. (battery recalls defect production etc). The factory will buy 15GWh of finished cells from Panasonic for 200 USD per kWh (higher costs for Panasonic's smaller factories) Total cost 3 billion USD. Total annual factory costs (650+500+1000+500+1000+3000)= 6.65 billion USD per year. Total earnings per year 50GWh at 200 USD per kwh = 10 billion. Total taxable profits per year 3.35 billion USD. Note that if raw materials is higher than the assumed 500 million it will reduce the taxable profits.
We seem to agree about a lot as I did not say Tesla would be producing 100 million cars per year, I did also not say that 100 million BEVs will be produced in the foreseeable future and I did also not say that the 100 million cars per year will be made with today's battery chemistry. Tesla estimates they 50Gwh factory (50Gwh battery packs and 35Ghw cells to be exact) can reduce the cost at the pack level by more than 30%. If they could build 10 identical factories the cost would go further down of cause. But currently they can't. As I said every 5 year or so they will retool the factory for new and improved battery technology just as it happens everywhere else in the world today. Large battery factories have numerous of parallel and identical production lines. They each break down frequently but not all at the same time. The only time where all production is stopped is for complete retooling every 5 years as I said. The important risk that I see Tesla and Panasonic are running here is the case of mayor fire, flooding or earthquake or even a terrorist attack. I am sure they are working hard to eliminate or reduce the probability of such incidents because they could bankrupt Tesla when they only have one factory.
SJC Smaller factories will also have to be stopped for 40 days or so every 5 year for retooling and upgrades. No savings on that account by going small. But I guess your argument is more about the need for redundancy. That would be nice but also too costly. Fortunately, Tesla does not intend to stop at 50Gwh in 2020. If they can sell the cars they will break ground on another nearly identical 50GWh factory at around 2018 with production startup in 2020 and full production by 2023. More 50Gwh factories will follow. You see in order to make the 100 million BEVs per year that this world need we also need about 200 of these 50Gwh factories. So you will eventually get your redundancy.
SJC Problem is this. One 50Gwh factory cost 5 billion USD needs 6500 employees to operate whereas 10 5Gwh factories would cost say 10 billion USD to build and would need a combined 10,000 employees to operate. Consequently the 50Gwh factory can make cells at 200 USD per kWh and the 10, 5GWh factories can do cells at 250 USD per kWh. The numbers are proxies of cause. Moreover, Tesla and Panasonic probably plan to retool their factory every 5 year anyway to accommodate better battery technology. They do not stop production to retool for upgrading just one technology like the part of the plant that make anode powder. They wait until they can replace the machinery for making both anode, cathode and separator films. That process may take 40 days and cost 1 billion USD in new machinery. The factory make 10 billion worth of batteries (50GWh * 200 USD per kwh) per year so shutting down in 40 days will cost another 1 billion USD in lost revenue. Note also another thing about the 50GWh factory. It produces nearly everything to make a 18650 cell apart from a few raw materials. This factory will buy raw aluminum bars, cobber bars, lithium carbonate, steel bars and inexpensive bulk chemicals for the separator films and a few other things. The electricity used will be produced by an associated wind farm and solar park. This is an extreme an unprecedented degree of vertical production integration and the reason that this factory will probably house at least 15 other companies besides Tesla and Panasonic as different companies are responsible for different aspects of the production and have proprietary rights to the applied technology. The raw materials this factory uses probably cost less than 500 million per year because they are so basic. Out comes 10 billion USD worth of batteries.
SJC Panasonic and Tesla does not have to worry their factory will be obsolete by the time it is in full production as it will take just as much time for others to test, validate, develop production technology and scale up production. This process does not take months or a few years it take decades to get from a research breakthrough to a 50Gwh factory. This leaves enough time for Tesla to retool in case something fantastic is developed. My best bet is that 20 years down the road it will still be Panasonic and Tesla that has the best and lowest cost batteries.
I am also an Audi fan and I agree that Tesla still has some way to go in terms of interior finish in order to reach the stars. Nevertheless, for me I value the power train technology the most so I would still prefer a Tesla as it leads by far in that area in my opinion. I am sure the A3 is a fantastic car. I am only worried the luggage space is compromised. It seems so by looking at the picture for the A3 power train layout. Note that so far the only two plug-ins that have managed to have more demand than their production capacity is the Model S and the Outlander PHEV. The outlander sell about 120,000 units per year and this year 35,000 are expected to be the PHEV version It could have been higher if they could secure more batteries. This is an amazing success. This is why I think the Model X and Porsche's Cayenne PHEV will also see brisk sales. There is a large demand for large but green cars. There are plenty of people with money that want to drive green but they do not want to give up any life quality by driving a smaller or less luxurious car. The outlander will also see high sales when it lands in the US next year for about 45 to 50k USD. This will be the lowest price for any large but green car.
At least the Germans are coming out with BEVs and PHEVs at long last. For an up to date blog on EV sales see I can highly recommend it. It is accurate and constantly updated.
This is as important as it gets. This planet desperately needs lower cost high energy density batteries and this factory is going to be the lowest cost factory by far for such batteries. The scale and degree of vertical integration is truly amazing and unprecedented. This single factory will double the combined global production capacity for all kinds of lithium batteries. Yet this factory will only do one type of lithium batteries namely the 18650 Panasonic (3.4Ah or 4.0 Ah) cell. Or nearly 4 billion of them every year by 2020. I still do not think that 35000 USD will be possible for a luxury car with a 60 kWh battery (Model III) but 40,000 USA should be doable without subsidies in 2020 solely because of the low cost cells from this factory.
Tesla's 20kW home charger cost 1200 USD. But BMW sell their 24kW charger for 6548 USD. I am not impressed by BMW's price. Tesla's newest public fast charger does 120kW but Tesla will not improve that rate for many years forward Musk has said. I guess the problem with going much above 120kW is that the power electronics starts to get too costly and heavy using current technology.
Very nice price for the Cayenne S E-Hybrid when compared to the Cayenne S. It shows that plug-in technology makes more sense for high end vehicles >400 hp than for low end vehicles <200hp. The Cayenne S is comparatively expensive because of that 420hp motor. Use a smaller gasser and make up for the lost power by adding an electric motor and this new power-train is not much more expensive as the savings from using a smaller (mass produced) gasser can largely pay for the extra cost of adding batteries and an electric motor. However, Porsche's Cayenne will get serious competition from Tesla's Model X when it arrives a few months later in the US market. The Model X will start at about 80,000 USD for the long range 85kWh version. The model X will be faster than the Cayenne hybrid and might even beat the Cayenne Turbo so it is a much better barging in my opinion. Also Model X will have less noise and vibration and better handling because of its extremely low gravity point and 4WD. Can't wait to see the EPA ratings for both the Cayenne S E-Hybrid and the Model X.
Harvey it is wh/l not wh/kg. Panasonic already sell 18650 cells at 730 wh/l so Toyota's prototype might be battery is no big news at all.
@EP Note the words "in good faith". Tesla can still sue companies using their patents that do not act in good faith. For example, I would say that a company that sues Tesla for violating their patents, if that company also use Tesla's technology in their own cars, is not acting in good faith and can therefore be sued back by Tesla for using Tesla's technology.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2014 on Tesla opens up all its patents at Green Car Congress
What is not to like about Tesla as a company and Musk as their leader? I certainly like them. They offer the best hope yet for some real change for the better in the automotive industry. I am still surprised about this decision to open up for all of their patents so early. Nevertheless, I guess Tesla feels confident enough that they now are in a position where they cannot be overwhelmed by the still much larger players simply because these other players are so far behind Tesla in their plans to make long-range BEVs and compelling PHEVs. Tesla is well on their way to take 10 to 20% of the global market for private cars costing over 70,000 USD. They need to sell over 100k units per year to get to that point but it seems that they are sure they will get there. They will get to 4k unit per month (48k annualized) by December this year and they should be able to double that number by the end of 2016. When they get to 100k units per year for their 70,000+ USD cars they are too large to be overwhelmed by others in that segment of the market. At that point patents might not matter so much at deterring competition and the benefits of attracting worker talent and appraise car customers from their open patent strategy is probably much more important than the extra competition that open patents will bring.
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2014 on Tesla opens up all its patents at Green Car Congress
This is another reason we need Google's autonomous vehicles to take care of door to door transportation of humans, pets and packages. Can't wait to see Google launch this service. It will really be disruptive for not just the automotive industry but also taxi's and public transportation in general. The autonomous vehicle could transport people and stuff 24/7 all year round so the vehicle cost can be very low per mile driven and made as BEVs the fuel cost will also be very low. Also a 100 miles electric range will be plenty for most autonomous vehicles as you can always pick up another vehicle with a fresh battery if you need to go longer. 40 million autonomous vehicles operated as fleet services by Google, Tesla, Amazon and others would probably be enough to do all person transportation in the US and much goods delivery. And it would guarantee you could pick one vehicle up within 2 minutes using your smart phone wherever you are in an environment where people live or work. Frankly I do not think the next generation will spend time and money getting a driver license. In 2040 a driver license could be a curiosity of the past and maybe even sooner. Amazon is working on quadrocopter goods delivery within the hour. However, as batteries gets better we may also see autonomous ground vehicle transportation systems for people supplemented with larger short-range quadrocopters picking up cabins with one or two people and flying them to wherever they want. Again range is not so much an issue as another quadrocopters with a fresh battery takes over when the first one is depleted. In any case I am seriously convinced that the transportation sector is going through some transformative changes in the coming decades.
Actually banning some diesel and gasoline vehicles is not a bad idea. Start today by banning every light-duty diesel and gasoline vehicle costing over 150,000 USD. As time progresses the USD limit should be lowered. Say to 100,000 USD in 2020, 60,000 USD in 2030 and 40,000 USD in 2040 and 26,000 USD in 2050 and a complete ban by 2060. During the same time span the grid could go completely renewable with hydro, solar and wind power. Renewable hydrogen could be used for back-up power in combined cycle plants or small stationary fuel cells at people's homes. I would vote for that. I believe it should be doable by 2060 without affecting the economic welfare. However, with no air pollution our quality of life would improve and our life expectancy would grow by a couple of years.
@Sault the EPA rating of the 60kWh Model S is 208 miles, not 244. If the weather is cold or you drive the car speedily you get significantly less (up to 40% less). An older battery will also not have 60kWh available any more. This is why you need 72 kWh to do 200 miles in the real world also in the winter or during a hot summer day with the AC on. Several Tesla 60kWh buyers have subsequently upgraded to 85kwh because the 60kwh is not quite enough to quit range anxiety. The subsidies you talk about are keeping much of the still niche EV, PHEV alive. The subsidies will end when the EV market grow into something significant because the authorities cannot afford it when the market become significant. I think Norway will be the exception here. Their government has enough money to keep subsidizing EVs until they are the only cars that are sold. Also for BEVs to go mainstream you need a much larger range of vehicle types including SUVs and pickups. They are large, heavy and less aerodynamic and need even larger batteries to do 200 miles real world range. I would think that 105 kWh are needed here. Do a quick survey among the EV and PHEV buyers today around the globe and you will find they are upper middle class, wealthy or an insignificant niche of people with extremely strong feelings about the environment or the technical marvels of EVs. Start by making EVs and PHEVs for these people and they will drive up production volumes that subsequently will lower production cost so that more affordable EVs and PHEVs can be made to reach more people and so on until 2044 where a 200 miles 72kwh BEV will cost you about 24,000 USD and be comparable to a 18,000 USD gasser.
Roger the 5000 deep cycles for the Panasonic battery in Model S is BS and you should know that for a fact as we have already previously had this discussion here at GCC. I pointed you to Panasonic's official documentation that clearly says 300 deep cycles to about 80% of original capacity at 25 Celsius. That documentation also fits with Tesla's warranty on the battery. Nothing that you say or any academic might say can triumph the quality of the manufactures own documentation. You are also wrong about Tesla's Wh/kg at the pack level. It is about 140 Wh/kg or about 60% better that the state-of-the-art 90Wh/kg at the pack level for short-range BEVs. It also sounds as you think there is a limit on how many kWh we can produce on this planet. However, there are no supply restrictions with lithium batteries as they contain materials that are massively abundant on this planet. The limit is on the demand side. How many people are willing to pay x USD for x number of vehicles. Tesla has found a recipe for making a BEV that so far shows no demand limitations. Very unlike Nissan that can produce 250k units per year of their Leaf but sell between 50k and 80k instead. Apart from Tesla the only other successful pluggable car is Mitsubishi's Outlander PHEV that also is in much higher demand than its current production. I also think the BMW i3 will be a success. It will also be interested to follow how the e-golf and e-Benz will sell.
Tried to get a better estimate of Tesla's Wh/kg at the pack level. Some old sources say it weights 544 kg others that it is 600 kg. The weight has probably gone up with 30 kg after the titanium shield was attached for better fire protection. So between 574 and 630 kg for the 85kWh Tesla model S battery that is respectively 148 Wh/kg and 135 Wh/kg. This is not nearly 200 Wh/kg as I wrongly said above. But it is still some 60% better than the 90 Wh/kg that are state-of-the-art for short-range BEVs.
Harvey do the Wh/kg calculation for any of the short-range BEVs on the market today and they have less than 100 Wh/kg at the pack level. This is the industry state-of-the-art regardless of what you think. Tesla is the only long-range BEV so they can use another battery chemistry (with less cycle life but better energy density) that can do nearly 200 Wh/kg at the pack level. And regardless of what you think these numbers are not going to improve fast. Expect 6% improvement every 5 years or so (a typical development cycle for a battery). And forget about disruptive battery technology. It happens so seldom that it is not worth pinning any hopes on. Nor will there be any large price reductions for EVs or PHEVs. For the next 10 years at least BEVs and PHEVs will be limited to the upper middle class and the wealthy. Gassers will be for poor people and ordinary middle class. I think it will take 30 years of continuous BEV development before the price of a 200 miles BEV drop to 24,000 USD and therefore can compete with that of an equally large 18,000 USD gasser. Today's Leaf is a 29,000 USD BEV with a 24kWh battery. You need one with 72 kWh priced at 24,000 USD and that might first be possible in 2044.
There are no real specifications just vague superlatives from an unknown company without any track-record or reputation to guard. As a good rule of thumb treat all such announcements as hoaxes. This is another JSTORE. Just forget it.
@Herman I believe the 2B USD issue of Convertible Bond was made to finance the expected 2 billion USD that is Tesla's share of the 5 billion USD giga factory. A power point with the project is available here So the finance part is a done deal at least with regard to Tesla but the other partners also need to find 3 billion USD. Moreover Tesla will need additional billions to fund the factory for their gen 3 Tesla. Their current factory is not big enough for producing both Model S, X and 500k units per year of the 3rd gen Tesla. I think Tesla can raise that money as well without any problem. After all they are past the most critical startup milestones having launched the Model S and already doing 3k units per month without any serious glitches. Moreover, their only true problem is their ability to ramp up production. There are no signs yet of demand restrictions for Tesla. Very unlike what the Nissan Leaf and the Volt has experienced. However, I share your skepticism about Tesla being able to execute their plans at the scheduled time. It is nearly mission impossible to launch the 3rd gen Tesla by 2018 and be in full production with 500k units annually by 2020. They may be able to do it but what I seriously do not believe is that they can make a 200 miles EPA rated luxury BEV with hilarious acceleration and sell it for 35,000 USD. BMW or Benz can't even do that with a gasser so I think the price of that 3rd generation Tesla will end at 43,000 USD instead and it may not include free charging for life at Tesla's supercharger network that will span all of North America, Europe and Japan China by 2018. That will cost extra.