Tesla Energy Won’t Be Constrained By Battery Needs Of Model 3

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 17

Tesla Energy - Powerpack - Utility and Business Energy Storage

Tesla Energy – Powerpack – Utility and Business Energy Storage

There are always a few tidbits from Tesla’s conference calls that aren’t necessarily headline news, but are nonetheless newsworthy for various reasons.

Such is the case with this bit of info on Tesla Energy that came from Tesla’s Q1 conference call.

Tesla’s chief technical officer, J.B. Straubel, fielded a question on Gigafactory capacity, as it relates to Tesla Energy output and the upcoming Model #

“That’s part of why we’ve so aggressively made sure that we have extra land and extra space around the site [Gigafactory] so that we can continue to expand. And we won’t need to rob from Tesla Energy plans in order to meet the Model 3 schedule. We definitely have a way to solve both.” 

A recent picture of Tesla's Gigafactory under construction outside Reno, Nevada. Photo credit: Above Reno

A recent picture of Tesla’s Gigafactory under construction outside Reno, Nevada. Photo credit: Above Reno

Tesla CEO Elon Musk added this comment to the conversation:

“… we’re going to make sure Tesla Energy is not constrained by vehicle needs. And I think the growth rate of Tesla Energy is on a percentage basis only going to be far greater than the growth rate in cars.”

So, there will be ample capacity for both Tesla Energy and the demands of the Model 3. No need to worry about one being favored over the other.

Source: Tesla Updates

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17 responses to "Tesla Energy Won’t Be Constrained By Battery Needs Of Model 3"

  1. Alaa says:

    This confirms that Tesla can make the M3 earlier than expected.

    1. mxs says:

      Your conclusions are always so ahead of time … marvelous.

    2. ModernMarvelFan says:

      “This confirms that Tesla can make the M3 earlier than expected.”

      To counter your favorable belief. It could also be the fact that Tesla energy solutions aren’t selling nearly as well to make a dent in overall battery demand compared to its cars…

  2. Speculawyer says:

    I think Tesla Energy will constrain itself by setting prices high enough to discourage large volumes of purchases.

    They’ll eventually lower the prices as the Gigafactory ramps up.

  3. georges says:

    The current factory is 14% of 35 Gwh=4.9 gwh

    100,000 TM3’3 at 57 kwh each is 5.7 gwh so it looks like the current factory will not support even 100,000 Model 3’s. (assuming I’ve got my exponents correct—feel free to check my math)

    So yes Tesla’s 100% factory is required.

    What date is the 100% factory supposed to be done? If I remember right Tesla pushed the schedule back with only the 14% factory to be finished by 2020…..but not sure about that.

    1. Kosee says:

      If 14 percent is enough for 4.7 gwh then about 50 percent should be enough for Al the production they need right now. Can you elaborate why you jump to 100?

    2. sven says:

      I thought the new plan was to build the factory piecemeal (in sections) to get to a 100% size and capacity Gigafactory for 500,000 battery packs by around 2020. But now that Tesla wants to make 500,000 vehicles in 2018 and 1,000,000 in 2020 the pace of construction will probably accelerate, and the final size of the Gigafactory will need to be larger.

      If the footprint is 14% now, Tesla would build the remaining 86% in sections and add machinery/equipment after each completed section is constructed. This way, if demand does not materialize as forecast, Tesla could delay constructing additional sections of the Gigafactory (adding capacity) until demand grows enough to require additional capacity.

      1. arne-nl says:

        “But now that Tesla wants to make 500,000 vehicles in 2018”

        I don’t think that was said. As I understand it, they want to hit the 500k per year in 2018. There is a difference.

      2. georges says:

        I thought the original plan was 2020 for the 100% factory. You and PMPU had a big discussion about it in a thread a while back and I thought you had a link to a Tesla presentation that showed that as the original schedule.

        Now Tesla is saying by the end of this year they will be making batteries in the 14% plant. I don’t see how they can have the 100% plant done and making 35 gwh of batteries by 2020.

        1. sven says:

          Oh yeah I remember that one.

          Original plan was to finish construction of the entire Gigafactory structure by January, 2016, install all equipment by January 2017 and immediately thereafter prepare for production launch and ramp, and by mid-2017 (original completion date) battery cell production starts at the Gigafactory ramping up to 500,000 battery packs in 2020. See the original Gigafactory Projected timeline below:


          A Tesla spokesman told the Reno-Gazete Journal that the full project is expected to be completed in 2020, an adjustment from the original construction schedule that pegged a completion date in October 2017. The Tesla spokesman said: “Originally, we were going to build the whole building all at once, but that didn’t make a lot of sense.” “We needed to begin producing faster.” “We are stepping into it in modular fashion so that as we build we can learn from what we’ve built,” he added.


          So Tesla is now building the Gigafactory in a modular fashion and it will be completed in 2020 and reach 500,000 battery pack production by 2020. But with a modular approach the Gigafactory will be able to produce more battery packs in the 2016-2020 time frame while still hitting the 500,000 figure in 2020.

          1. sven says:

            Oops, I forgot to say that after construction of outer structures of the modules are completed, equipment and machinery will be added to the completed module to increase the manufacturing capacity of the Gigafactory on a piecemeal basis.

            1. georges says:

              right. They moved the completion date of 100% of the building to 2020. Note from the chart they still have equipment to install so there doesn’t seem to be 100% production capacity by 2020.

              LOL I had copied that original chart and saved it but I forgot I had it. Thx for the update. We shall see if they start cranking out cells by the end of this year.

              They should be busy as heck right now getting all the cell production equipment installed. You’d think we would have had some coverage of that in the press somewhere.

  4. Mikael says:

    Considering that Tesla Energi is basically non-existing it’s not really that hard to “share” 😉

    1. sven says:

      It’s kind of like Toyota saying its ICE manufacturing capacity won’t be constrained by the need for factory capacity to make fuel cells to meet the demand for the Mirai. 😉

  5. Someone out there says:

    Yeah, they aren’t really selling any Powerwalls so it shouldn’t be a problem.

  6. wavelet says:

    The much more interesting statement here is the one by musk:
    “And I think the growth rate of Tesla Energy is on a percentage basis only going to be far greater than the growth rate in cars.”
    Given that the consumer Powerwalls only make sense in a few markets at this point, and otherwise depend on significant regulatory changes, where is this demand going to come from? If from power-utility storage, that’s also a big change for Tesla; I don’t think they’re set up to be a large-scale B2B provider.

    1. super390 says:

      The only logical reason for automakers like Tesla and Mercedes to get into the home energy storage business is that they intend to set up a means to salvage semi-used car batteries to put in discounted storage units in the future. Right now there’s just not enough used batteries available.