If Tesla gets to 500,000 cars a year, global battery production wouldn’t be able to cope. That’s why, in cooperation with its cell partner Panasonic, it’s building the ‘Gigafactory’.
Likely to be the world’s largest building by footprint, this battery plant, in the desert of northern Nevada, will by 2020 be producing more lithium-ion cells than the world’s entire production in 2013. Keeping the battery production in-house gives Tesla cost savings, and it also means the company can keep developing the chemistry and production methods to drive the cost down, helping the Model 3 meet its ambitious price target.
But Tesla has another mission, evidenced by its Powerwall. This wall-mounted box contains a 6.5kWh Tesla motor, plus electronics enabling it to store power from you solar or wind installation, then feed power into your house when they’re not generating. Larger systems are available for industrial applications, both as back-up supply and for this increasingly relevant grid smoothing role.