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Exporting (including Tesla battery news)

Discussion in 'News' started by TEG, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

    Aug 20, 2006
    Detroit Sets Bold Goal: Exporting U.S. Cars -

    "Tesla Motors, a Northern California start-up developing an electric car, recently decided to scrap plans to build its $20,000-plus batteries in Thailand. Instead, it will assemble the components in the U.S. because of currency values. Tesla has also pushed ahead its plan to sell cars in Europe by one year in hopes of banking big profits by selling cars to buyers paying in euros."
  2. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

    Nov 28, 2006
    Man, wish we had more details about that. Are they now going to have to set up a plant for ESS assembly here or will they have a contractor for that? Seems like another huge change that's slowing delivery to customers.
  3. Kardax

    Kardax Member

    Jun 8, 2007
    Minnesota, USA
    Is there a U.S. lithium ion cell manufacturer?

    If there isn't, I'm not sure what the savings is. They still have to use their weakening dollars to import all the cells, and labor costs are still very high here.

  4. DDB

    DDB Member

    Sep 1, 2006
    It does seem like that should impact production, doesn't it... But I suppose the marketplace dictates movement and right now, the weak dollar means it's cheap to produce goods in the U.S. Ironic.

    So what exactly does one year earlier mean when referring to production plans in Europe? 2014 as opposed to 2015? I can't stress enough my hopes to see production ramped up for the Tony Beldings of the world. :biggrin:
  5. Cobos

    Cobos S60 Owner since 2013 - sold, S85D owner since 2017

    Jun 22, 2007
    Oslo, Norway
    They are talking 2009 now for the Roadster in Europe. There is still some discussion on how much more the Roadster will cost in Europe though as their earlier estimate doesn't say if it is with or without VAT.

    About building the battery in the US I guess half of the desire to do it locally has to do with protection their propritary technology. Since they are mostly selling the battery in the US at some point they are going to take the hit of exchanging the value of the batteries into $. If they do as little of the valuechain as possible before they buy the foreign batteries I guess they'll save money. I'm sure they got an accountant or two crunching the numbers. Tesla has always struck me as very efficient both in their money use and vehicle design.

  6. BBHighway

    BBHighway Member

    Feb 2, 2008
    Assembling the ESS in the US might fit in with the plan of selling vehicles in Europe. The exchange rates are favorable for manufacturing in USA and shipping to Europe. Since the chassis is already made in the UK, they don't get an advantage there, so why not get an advantage by shipping the complete ESS to Europe.

    They may also see an advantage when producing the ESS for Whitestar closer to home.
  7. siry

    siry Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    San Francisco, CA
    The switch of ESS manufacturing to the US from Thailand has been completed for some time and all sheets coming off the line for production are assembled in San Carlos. So there is no delay to the program to make this switch.

    The main thing you need to think about when it comes to battery production is that it isn't the labor cost that is most critical to the equation but rather the extraordinary value of the inventory sitting on a slow boat from Thailand to the UK and then back to the US. By manufacturing here is San Carlos the time from production to fitting into a car and then delivery to customers goes from many months to a very short period of time. Perhaps a few weeks. The amount of working capital required to fund this goes down by tens of millions of dollars.

    For the same reasons, we will look to replicate our sheet assembly in the UK or Europe somewhere to do finishing for euro-spec cars. Replicating the assembly facility is not hard to do.

    The cells are still sourced from Japan, but purchased in the U.S. from the manufacturer.
  8. Tesla2Go

    Tesla2Go Member

    Aug 19, 2006

    ...that's all.
  9. W8MM

    W8MM R1.5 #325 + Mdl S #01380

    Jan 5, 2007
    Cincinnati, USA
    This is not only very smart from the 1) cost of money and 2) cost of freight stand points, but customers should be happy about it, too.

    The calender life of the ESS will increase by a few months since the date of cell manufacture will be closer to the date of vehicle ownership. Not by a lot, but by at least enough to notice.

    I'm becoming more and more pleased with the changes we're hearing about as time goes along. I really like the idea of the one-speed transmission causing the 1/4-mile performance to get better. Freeway-speed passing should be even more fantastic. And, who could complain about getting the freshest possible Li-Ion cells in their battery pack?

    Very cool!

    Mike in Cincinnati

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