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Discussion in 'Tesla, Inc.' started by RadicalIgnorant, Mar 10, 2014.

  1. RadicalIgnorant

    Mar 10, 2014
    This is highly speculative topic, but Tesla is all about future.

    500k cars/year thanks to Gigafactory it's just the start. There can be delays (or can happen little sooner), but let's assume, that it's quite sure it will happen. I mean Gigafactory, Model E and 500k+ cars/year. The big plan is to change whole industry. So how much Gigafactories have to be created and how?

    How much - let's have very conservative assumption that yearly world production will be 100M cars. That means for big plan completion there is need for 200 Gigafactories. One can be optimistic and have faith in efficient recycling, but energy storage is not only about cars. And that's not big difference for this speculation: will there be 150 or 250 gigafactories.

    What's your opinion - who will own it, in what possible time-frame they can happen, who will build them, what share in this will have Tesla? When and how others will join this race for this new market? How this will influence the world around us? I mean in terms of jobs, mining, new economic giants etc.

    IMO Tesla is currently building bridgehead of a whole new... era. How this era will look like and how will it happen?
    I, personally, am totaly convinced that it will happen. The only questions for me are: when and how and what will it change? Just like SolarCity CEO said they want to be the biggest utility company in US basing only on solar power. The future shine on today. Thanks to people like Musk & Co. we can look into it. What do you see there?
  2. VolkerP

    VolkerP EU Model S P-37

    Jul 6, 2011
    You got a glimpse of the solar electric economy to come. I don't know who coined that term but Elon Musk uses it often.

    A battery pack from the gigafactory will see an 8 year life inside a vehicle, then 12 years as stationary storage device in residential, industrial, or grid scale unit, then recycling.
    You mention the market for light duty vehicles: around 100m vehicles with 100m battery packs at 50kWh = 5TWh.
    Then there is road freight, which will use bigger packs. I see long distance freight being shifted to electric trains, perhaps electrified road trucks using overhead contact lines. Let me make a WAG of another 10TWh here.
    Air travel requires a lot of energy. Today's prices are ridiculously low due to fossil fuels and neglecting the secondary costs. So flying electric will cost more. That will reduce freight and passenger numbers (or at least stop the expansion). Another 25TWh.
    Marine traffic can use fairly low energy density packs, even second life ones due to relaxed weight and space constraints. So even if it is 40TWh, this won't add much to primary pack production capacity.

    I'd say we need 2000GFs globally in a solar electric economy producing 50TWh/a of battery packs for primary usage in ground and air vehicles, then 75TWh/a as refurbished pack in stationary or marine application. At a 95% recycling rate, the need for commodities is 100x of what the first GF will take in initially.

    The capital invest for the first GF is $5b. With a ten fold increase in production, prices get halved: a GF will cost $2.5b after the next 10 are built, and $1b soon after that. Total invest for 2000GFs is approx $2000b. Remember, this is the global number, spent within decades. Peanuts compared to a wall street bailout!

    As we shift to more efficient battery chemistry or even better energy storage mechanisms, the required number of GFs will scale back.

    I see no technical or financial obstacles on the way to this future, just the lobby power of the entrenched industries that get disrupted along that way. They will hold back their national economies, making them fall behind the other ones which jumped in with both feet.

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