Tesla To Build At Least 10, But Maybe Up To 20 Gigafactories Worldwide

3 months ago by Steven Loveday 37

At the 2017 Annual Tesla Shareholder Meeting on June 6th, CEO Elon Musk said that the electric automaker will build at least 10, but as many as 20 Gigafactories around the globe in the coming years.

Musk had previously explained that it would take about 100 Gigafactories to fully transition the entire globe to renewable energy. This means enough energy storage and electric vehicles to completely do away with ICE cars and traditional energy supplies. Tesla is already making plans that could potentially take care of 20 percent of this transition alone.

Elon Musk

CEO Elon Musk has no intention of easing up at any time in the foreseeable future (Image Credit: flickr via Brad Holt)

The innovative CEO also said that these factories would be responsible for building vehicles, in addition to the primary purpose of supplying lithium-ion batteries. Musk shared:

“We are maximizing economies of scale to get the lowest cost batteries possible.”

“There’s just no one else even attempting anything on this scale. That puts us in a very strong competitive position to sustain the company over the years to come.”

If other manufacturers begin to follow suit, Tesla may be able to bank on plans for just 10 new battery factories. However, if not, the Silicon Valley automaker intends to continue to surge ahead. Tesla’s hope is that others will feel compelled to make the shift. If Tesla is successful in selling its vehicles, and it has 10-20 Gigafactories, we are talking about 12-24 million all-electric vehicles eating up market share of traditional automakers. This is Tesla’s way to make the transition inevitable.

Just the current Gigafactory alone, once it’s working at full capacity, will produce more lithium-ion batteries than all other manufacturers combined. If another EV automaker wanted to go to bat against Tesla, it could tap into every single lithium-ion battery source on the planet, and still fall short. Not only this, but also in terms of cost/pricing, there would be no way for any other company to even come close, especially once Tesla begins building additional Gigafactories around the world.

For the time being, the electric automaker is already making serious plans for three new Gigafactories. Musk said earlier that once Model 3 production is underway and ramping, he would divulge more information about locations for the next 2-4 Gigafactories. Tesla is continuing to make it abundantly clear that there is no intention of easing up at any point in the foreseeable future.

Source: Clean Technica

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37 responses to "Tesla To Build At Least 10, But Maybe Up To 20 Gigafactories Worldwide"

  1. As Gigafactories Go, So goes the EV Revolution!

    If Model 3 Launches in July (As early as possible) and is delivering Properly Qualified and approved Vehicles) as much as they are producing, (As a Reservation Holder, I sure hope so) and at least meeting the goal of 1,000 vehicles (Model 3, that is) per week, with August moving to the target of 2,000 Model 3’s per Week, September getting to the goal of 4,000 per week, will be a strong indication that it is time to make early moves to the next step of growth, for sure!

    As to Gigafactories, it would be nice to see one in part of Ontario or Quebec, as well as British Columbia, the Provinces that started the earliest to help promote Electric Vehicles in Canada. (the Prairies and East Coast has some distance to go to get on board with this idea, it seems!)

    Of course – having the Ultimate Goal of EACH Gigafactory producing Everything for Vehicles all on site, from Batteries, to Car Components, to Production of Final Line, was what I originally understood was the goal of Future Such Factories, now with the 10-20 figure, this would be about right for matching any, if not Multiple, current OEM Automakers, for Volume Production in total by Tesla! It would also give them closer delivery to local markets, of not just vehicles, but Powerwalls and Powerpacks!

    Once Tesla has revealed the next 2-4 GF Locations, it will be interesting to watch: TSLA Share Prices, Incumbent Auto/Truck OEM’s Responses, and Power/Electric Companies Responses (As to Battery Implementation)!

    1. Dave86 says:

      While it’s great to see Tesla driving the construction of gigafactories (since other auto companies seem to be a bit reluctant to do so), there’s one other part of this equation to consider:

      Where’s the material going to come from to feed these gigafactories? Like more lithium mining operations, for example. (Consider also all the other materials for making battery cells…)

      1. JIMJFOX says:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lynas
        LAMPS project

        This was the first ‘western’ plant for refining feedstock [from Mt Weld in Western Australia]- I worked on the re-design for 6 months after the [mostly Indian-engineered] original plant was rejected by the contractor.
        AFAIK, the Australian Gov’t refused permission for the plant in OZ for environmental reasons, it being a filthy, toxic process with some radioactive by-products so Malaysia [with lax regulations] took it.

        The plant was built in a flat near-coastal location with inadequate drainage & high water table but so what, said Malaysia. Many in our office shook their heads in disbelief at the risk [inevitability?] of flooding at some point.

        Rare earth refining is nowhere near a clean process. A non-toxic replacement for L-ion batteries should be a no. 1 priority.
        100’s of gigafactories- disastrous future.

        1. JP says:

          “Rare earth refining is nowhere near a clean process. A non-toxic replacement for L-ion batteries should be a no. 1 priority.”

          Not really. Lithium batteries are not toxic and do not contain rare earths. They are mostly copper, aluminum, nickle, graphite, and plastic, with small amounts of lithium, and in some cases manganese.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Where’s the material going to come from to feed these gigafactories? Like more lithium mining operations, for example.”

        This is a question often raised by those promoting speculation in mining and/or mineral exploration stocks, but it is in large part just FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt).

        There are plenty of known reserves for the various minerals needed to make batteries, except cobalt. Lithium in particular is pretty common, and new “reserves” (which just means resources that someone has spent the money to locate and survey) can be found easily if and when needed.

        Cobalt is the only real worry, and battery makers in recent years have found ways to decrease the amount of cobalt needed for their batteries. We can hope that this trend will continue, and that eventually EVs will be powered by batteries containing no cobalt at all.

        1. Dave86 says:

          Huh???

          What good is a ‘reserve’ if there is no mining operation to pull the material out of the ground? That means proper equipment, permits, labor, infrastructure.

          Finally, who and where are these raw materials going to be refined? What’s the process for disposing of waste material? Unless the gigafactory processes all raw materials (wow!), factories will be needed to refine and process the materials.

  2. Doggydogworld says:

    Gigafactory will not make more batteries than all others combined. That would have been true if it had hit full capacity in 2013 or so, but global capacity is growing rapidly.

    Did Musk mention how he plans to raise the $100 billion necessary for his Gigafactories?

    1. Rob Stark says:

      1)Global capacity is not growing as fast as Gigafactory capacity. In 2013 total capacity was ~32 GWh. Tesla will have ~105 GWh from the FIRST GF in 2020. That is not counting battery GF 2,3,and 4 which should be producing less than full capacity by 2020. Rest of World capacity plus planned capacity in 2020 is 108 GWh. That is if everything goes smoothly for all two dozen or so competitors. Some will succeed but others will fail.

      2) Profits from S3XY,Solar Roof/Solar Panels, and Battery Energy Storage. Tesla needs to raise $2.5B per GF and $2.5B from partners for each GF. From Tesla that is $25B for 10 or $50B for 20.

      1. Someone out there says:

        1) Tesla will not even have started building GF2 by 2020. Tesla barely have enough cash to start model 3 production.

        2) What profits? Tesla is still losing a ton of money and will for some time.

        1. Some Guy says:

          Given the fact that GF2 in Buffalo seems pretty ready to me (and starts producing solar panels this very summer), your statement seems incorrect…

          1. Someone out there says:

            The “GF2” was started by SolarCity and taken over in the bailout.

        2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

          Someone out there said:

          “1) Tesla will not even have started building GF2 by 2020. Tesla barely have enough cash to start model 3 production.”

          I wouldn’t make any large wagers on that being correct. Tesla is able to borrow money when needed pretty much as it pleases, to continue funding expansion of its operations.

          “2) What profits? Tesla is still losing a ton of money and will for some time.”

          Oh please, this again? Tesla isn’t “losing” money it’s investing money in growth. I’ll bet that if you invest in a 401(k) retirement fund, you don’t call that “losing” money. So why would you call Tesla’s similar investment in the future a “loss”?

          http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g194/Lensman03/Not-This-BS-Again2_zpsjmdjebft.jpg

          1. Terawatt says:

            So the accounting is lying then? Because if you take a look at Google finance or any other outlet where you can view the numbers reported by Tesla, they say they are making operational losses to the tune of nearly 800 million dollars a year.

            This isn’t the balance sheet, where investments show up. Investment isn’t accounted for as operational expense like you pretend it is.

            Sure, Tesla is hoping to make more of their investments than their book value. But skeptics are quite right to point out they’ve never actually done so yet. What they have done consistently is promise financial results and product timelines that they then couldn’t deliver.

  3. FISHEV says:

    “Just the current Gigafactory alone, once it’s working at full capacity, will produce more lithium-ion batteries than all other manufacturers combined.”

    By which time LG and others will have 4 x GF’s worth of production going as they are building out faster than Tesla right now.

    All good for increasing EV production but we are going to need EV sales to make that production viable and we are not on track to have that at current sales rates.

    Gets back to Ghson’s point that we need big subsidies for EV’s and large fuel taxes for gas and Diesel vehicles. Encourage what we need. Discourage what is killing us.

    1. AlphaEdge says:

      Add a 1% tax each year to ICE vehicles, and give that money as a subsidy to EV’s.

      1. FISHEV says:

        I’m thinking gasoline tax since we should tax things we don’t want (oil use, green house gases, oil imports, oil war costs) and subsidies things we do want (EV tech and jobs, sustainable no emissions transportation).

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “By which time LG and others will have 4 x GF’s worth of production going as they are building out faster than Tesla right now.”

      More Tesla bashing FUD from InsideEVs’ newest serial Tesla basher.

      At last report, only BYD was even in the running to challenge Panasonic/Tesla in the race for building out more capacity. Unless things have change radically within the past few months, and I haven’t seen any reports suggesting that, then LG Chem is way back in the pack among the “also ran”.

      LG Chem talks big about building out new battery supply, but they simply are not following through.

      http://insideevs.com/ev-battery-makers-2016-panasonic-and-byd-combine-to-hold-majority-of-market/

      1. Ziv says:

        LG Chem increased production (in GWh’s) by 60% from 2015 to 2016 while Tesla improved by “just” 45% over the same timeframe, so LG Chem is doing well, but it still has just over a third the production that Tesla has so LG Chem has a lot of catching up to do.
        Tesla was at 6665 GWh’s and LG Chem was at 2285 GWh’s last year.

        1. Ketzer says:

          Or, in absolute numbers, Tesla increased their production by twice as much. An increase thats almost as high as LG Chems entire 2016 production.

  4. Scott says:

    Flint Michigan. Please, they need it and there are probably buildings that can be repurposed

  5. Ron M says:

    Musk said version 3 Supercharging stations will be out soon reduicing the 350v Solar and Battery Power stations will allow charging time to be reduced from an hour to 10 minutes. Musk wants to have all charging stations to be off the grid wherever it’s feasible. Musk also wants to have 10,000 chargers installed by the end of 2017.

    1. Someone out there says:

      The charging time is limited by the battery so there will be no 10 minute full charging no matter how fast the charger is unless you change the battery chemistry.

      1. Jelloslug says:

        Sorry son, wrong answer.

        1. Mikael says:

          That was rather a perfect answer. What did you find wrong and what would you answer?

          1. sven ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ says:

            +1

      2. Ron M says:

        To Someone out there
        Read the article in International Business Times. I think Elon Musk would know if the new version of Supercharger Version 3 would work with Model 3 batteries that’s why there installing them. This is a game changer reducing the time to charge from an hour to 10 minutes and having stations off the grid using only solar and batteries great news for the environment.

      3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “The charging time is limited by the battery so there will be no 10 minute full charging… unless you change the battery chemistry.”

        Yup. And furthermore, there is no way that a significant percentage of energy powering Superchargers is going to come from solar power, unless the grid itself is solar powered.

        My napkin math shows that you’d need about the area of 1-2 football fields per charging stall to use solar power (assuming direct power, not using large battery packs as buffers), and that’s at today’s charging speeds. For faster speeds, add a few more football fields.

        It’s simply not practical to build such large solar farms near Supercharger locations. Even if Tesla was willing to spend the money to do so (and quite obviously it’s not), there wouldn’t be enough cheap land near Supercharger locations. Solar farms should be located in remote areas where land is very cheap.

        Using large battery packs as buffers to average out demand across 24 hours would decrease the size of solar farms needed, but only at a significantly higher installation and maintenance cost for the charging station. If you cycle a battery pack every day, it’s going to have to be replaced after several years. If you power every Supercharger station that way, that’s an enormous drain on Tesla’s finances. Therefore, it’s not gonna happen, period.

        1. Ron M says:

          So the article in International Business Times isn’t true? You don’t believe a new version 3 of the Supercharger is going to be installed and Musk is telling lies about having supercharging stations where feasible off the grid. With power coming from solar panels and batteries.

        2. Peter says:

          Large battery packs it is that will charge the cars.
          Car batteries are not empty when arrive at SC and we never charged full. 10-15% left and max 80% when you hit the road. That is how it works.
          And it is the surface of the battery that set the charging rate. Large batteries charge faster.

  6. James says:

    LOL 10-20 gigafactories. Thanks for the good laugh. They sell few thousend cars sponsered by the tax payer and the world will only buy Tesla cars in future

    1. Ron M says:

      They already have states and countries falling over themselves to get the next gigafactory probably for the Model Y and another gigafactory will be needed for more batteries.

      So I don’t know if Musk considers the Freemont Factory a Gigafactory but if it is there’s three already. Even if it’s not running at full capacity. So by 2025 I could definitely see 10 gigafactories.

    2. Get Real says:

      LOL, shorters like you have already lost 5 Billion dollars this year despite your weak-ass FUD and lies such as “tax payer sponsored cars” statement you made.

      Go back to your “clean diesel” you loser.

      1. Mister G says:

        Clean diesel and clean coal Trump voters believe it all LOL

    3. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yeah, what do the big dumb lumbering legacy auto maker dinosaurs have to worry about from a fast, agile, smart little furry rodent like Tesla? The idea that the dinosaurs will ever become extinct is downright silly!

      Oh, wait…

  7. SJC says:

    Take it one step at a time there Elon.

  8. Josh Bryant says:

    My guess…

    Europe will be next. Then China.

    Next US factory will be San Antonio for Y and Truck.

  9. Mister G says:

    Build gigafactory next to Florida polytechnic on I-4 corridor
    Cheap land and educated workforce are available. And Walt Disney world is 40 minutes away LOL

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