Tesla vehicles may still be niche toys for the wealthy, but the announcement of a massive new battery factory and the launch of a network of charging stations in eastern Canada moved Elon Musk’s company closer to its goal of producing mass-market electric vehicles by 2017.
As expected, Tesla said Thursday that it has chosen Nevada as the site for its “gigafactory,” a large-scale battery plant that aims to lower the cost of the lithium-ion batteries used in Tesla’s vehicles by more than 30%. Panasonic Corp. will partner with Tesla to manufacture the batteries and contribute about 35% of the initial costs, which are estimated to be US$4-billion to US$5-billion.
The plant is expected to employ about 6,500 people and will be located outside Reno.
The goal of Mr. Musk, Tesla’s visionary CEO, is for the factory to produce more batteries in 2020 than were produced worldwide in 2013. That would be enough to support about 500,000 Tesla vehicles a year including the new, cheaper Model 3 which is expected to hit the market in 2017. That compares to the approximately 22,500 vehicles Tesla sold in 2013 — a 21-fold increase.
Tesla moves closer to mass-market electric car with Nevada gigafactory, Canadian supercharger stations | Financial Post