Tesla Gigafactory To Eclipse Other Lithium-Ion Battery Factories

JUL 9 2015 BY MARK KANE 30

Tesla Gigafactory Rendering

Tesla Gigafactory Rendering

Tesla Gigafactory’s 35 GWh of lithium-ion cell manufacturing capacity is a value so high that it’s hard to fathom.

Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC) recently presented a commissioned and under construction/announced lithium-ion capacity map.

The size of the bubbles correspond to the factory capacity.

While today the overwhelming majority of capacity is in Asia, in the next couple of years the US will have largest single factory in the world.

That’s important because today there is not much capacity installed in the US. Just over 7%, including Nissan in Tennessee, LG Chem, A123 Systems, EnerDel and few other companies.

“Historically the U.S. has not been a leader in LIB production, and currently hosts 7% of global LIB capacity. However, Tesla’s recent announcement to build a 35 GWh LIB manufacturing facility in Sparks, NV would significantly increase the U.S. share. While the factory is set to begin initial production as early as 2017, the schedule for full production remains unknown.”

It seems that as of today the largest lithium-ion battery in Europe (UK) belongs to Nissan, while in the US Nissan and LG Chem have similar capacity.

Source: Clean Energy Manufacturing Analysis Center (CEMAC)

Categories: Battery Tech, Tesla

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30 Comments on "Tesla Gigafactory To Eclipse Other Lithium-Ion Battery Factories"

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The map mainly compares built capacity with “announced” capacity of the Gigafactory five years from now. That’s useful, but not *that* useful, as other manufacturers may not be as boastful or committed asTesla; the Gigafactory capacity is stated as a maximum potential, not guaranteed built out capacity.

Actually, it is using “announced” and under construction numbers for all factories everywhere around the world. Not just for Tesla.

Yes “announced” is the key word, well capitalized companies unlike Tesla don’t have to be so public about their plans. Just because they aren’t not announced does not mean they are not being planned.

Samsung could “announce” 35 GWh of new factory plans at any time – but why would they? Most firms do not talk 5-years out unless there really was demand. Right now, we all are “assuming” that Tesla will have demand enough to facilitate that much manufacturing. However, we also know that the gigafactory footprint is not being built out right now, only a smaller portion of the overall plan. that is a hedge against if the “assumed” demand is not there.

True enough on the unknown future market, but building modular also puts them on the fast track to outperform their competitors in the short term.

Tesla is still a risk, but a promising one. I bet the same math on reservations for the Model S works on the Model X. Whatever percentage of the 20,000 reservations that fall through will likely be replaced with new orders once pricing and real delivery schedules happen. To that end, I would wager there will be well over 100,000 reservations on the Model III once a concept and time frame are released. 100,000 Model III’s combined with Model S and Mode X orders will certainly take the Gigafactory easily into phase two.

Again, there are no guarantees, but I would wager that even if they miss their 2020 build out goal of this factory, it won’t be too many years before they will be looking to build the next one in Europe and/or China. Seem outrageous at the moment with the total US EV market stalled around 120,000 annually.

I think Tesla’s solar power back up batteries could easily devour up all those of batteries. In that if I had solar panels on my house I would quickly buy a battery back up system like it to deal with those day to two day long power outages.

I’d recommend buying more solar PV panels instead of batteries . . . at least until your solar PV covers more than 100% of your electricity needs. Then add the batteries . . . but why bother? they are expensive and do anything for you except that 0.2% of the time when you have an outage.

The battery packs are there to offset the difference between peak-solar and peak-usage… 95% of the time, these two don’t occur together (most people don’t use a lot of power at noon compare to the evening)

that’s what the powerpack is for, it makes absolutely no sense to be 100% solar when you can have a battery that saves some of that power for when you actually need it.

Well that is a nice thing to do for the utility but what good does that do for the homeowner? Nothing. If they have net-metering, let the utility deal with the storage for peak shifting. It is better for the storage to be at the grid level.

Bonaire said:

“Most firms do not talk 5-years out unless there really was demand.”

Not saying you’re wrong, but battery maker BYD has announced their own 5-year plan. There may be a perceived advantage for a large scale battery maker to announce significant expansions well in advance, to assure potential customers that they will be capable of supplying large numbers of kWh of batteries for future contracts.


It’s not just a hedge against actual demand, it’s a proof of concept before they scale up.

BTW, it is listed as ‘announced’ because this chart is kinda old. Obviously now the Gigafactory is ‘under construction’.

Comparing a factory that does not yet exist with other factories that do not yet exist. Just another day I see.

The land is acquired, deal struck with the state carrying heavy penalties if they don’t come through, first module under construction. I’d say that’s a bit more than putting out a press release.

It is under construction, Tesla has a partner, and Tesla has strong access to the capital markets. The Gigafactory is a real thing that is coming, not vaporware.

The big question is whether they will achieve the desired cost reductions.

I personally think when the Tesla Giga factory comes on line at full blast it’s going to destroy the coal and atomic power industry. It is also going to wreak the massive money flows into these Mideastern oil producing counties.

Such as if Tesla can offset 500,000 barrels and ten million tons of coal a day it will re balance the fossil fuel industry.

1.000.000 EV with 15.000km/year and 6l/100km will offset only 15.000 barrels a day, which is 0,019% of appr. consumption of 80.000.000 barrels/day. One announcment from Exxon or Saudies will have probably much bigger impact in 2020 on price of oil than whole planned Tesla fleet. Oil and car markets are huuuge.

A nuclear power plant can use battery storages too. Charge at night and double or triple output during peak hours and the batteries will be fully charged in the morning, independent of the weather of the last day.

Nuclear power plants are “base load” power plants, which means they generally don’t vary their output from hour to hour, but run at a fixed output 24/7. There is very little need for any battery backup for such power plants, so installing that would be a very poor return on investment.

Electric utilities would do far better in spending their money buying and installing backups for other uses. There is a great potential for large-scale grid energy storage, particularly for solar and wind power, and even more potential in offseting the minute-to-minute, and the hour-to-hour, rise and fall of demand for electricity over a typical 24 hour period. Of course, a large-scale grid energy storage system could be installed just about anywhere near high tension power lines, including next to a nuclear power plant. But there’s no particular advantage to placing one there.

He’s got a point though. In places like France where they have a heavy deployment of nuclear, they have massive amounts of excess electricity at night when everyone has gone to bed. So why not use that excess power to charge up batteries.

Well, they do something that is also very good . . . they sell excess to Germany for at least part of that time since Germany is East of France and thus wake up earlier.

In Central Europe, there’s plenty of pump-up hydro in the Alps. Much easier and more durable than battery storage.

Nuclear looks good as long as you ignore the waste product, that no one wants and no one processes.

But, yes battery storage of night time nuclear power can be used during the day for peak spikes, if the nuclear plant capacity can’t handle day time spikes.

Mike777 said:

“Nuclear looks good as long as you ignore the waste product, that no one wants and no one processes.”

Waste from the nuclear power industry is a political problem, not an engineering problem. The engineering solution is fairly simple, and has been implemented in France. BTW, in France 90% of the nuclear waste is recycled and reused as fuel. Why the USA stupidly doesn’t do this is, again, a question of politics and not engineering.


I think it’s terrible how Big Oil propaganda has been taken up by the media and used to promote anti-nuclear-power hysteria about “RADIATION!!” If people were rational, and understood the truth about nuclear power vs. coal-fired power plants; if they understood to truth that nuclear power plants pose far less hazard to human health and the environment than the exhaust from coal-fired power plants, then we would have replaced every single coal-fired power plant with nuclear plants decades ago.

Actually there is another major factor that explains the French attitude. Except Israel, it is the country which has benefited the most from the nuclear deterrence protection. After being invaded by Germany they finally indeed had a warranty never to be invaded again. Which doesn’t mean they could not invade Germany again, but that is another question.

That chart is really great because it really shows the HUGE gamble that Tesla is taking. They are building a MASSIVE factory with the assumption that they will be able to push battery costs down by 30% (by accumulation a number of small efficiency gains).

The Gigafactory is a BIG DEAL. It will either usher in a new era of affordable longer-range EVs . . . or . . . it could fail spectacularly if they don’t get big cost reductions and the larger EV demand that would accompany that.

Yeah but they forgot to take the square root of the radius when they drew the circles. This makes the GF bubble appear 10x larger (instead of the 3x larger that it actually is) than the second biggest bubble.

Thanks, I wondered what the error was on that chart. The Gigafactory is intended to equal the world output of li-ion battery manufacturing as of a couple of years ago, but those circles make it look like it will be several times as much as everybody else put together.


Exactly, subspace. You beat me to the post. The very idea that this sort of wildly innumerate publicity is published by an organization that calls itself a “manufacturing analysis center” is a story in itself.

Graphics tools and internet search engines have helped engender an awful lot of pseudo-information. Most of it is used for fundraising and politics. Like these guys do.

LOL! Yeah, it does look like they messed it up. But the point still stands in that building a factory that is as big as all the previous capacity COMBINED is a big risk.