In September last year, there were reports that Tesla is building a megafactory (battery factory) in California. The factory will be used to produce a giant energy storage battery megapack. Now, the latest report is that Tesla has completed the factory. In fact, the company is already hiring workers for the new factory. Tesla is now showing some information about the new factory. According to Elon Musk, the Tesla factory aims to produce 40 megawatt-hours of megapacks per year. A video on Tesla’s official LinkedIn handle claims that the company completed this factory in about a year. The company is using different patterns to improve the production volume of the battery megapack.
The exact location of the factory is Lathrop, northern California. It is just an hour’s drive from Fremont. This is also home to Tesla’s main electric vehicle plant in the United States. Tesla has previously been producing megapacks at its Gigafactory in Nevada. However, as production ramps up at the California factory, the factory has the volume to produce 25 megapacks in a day. Nevertheless, there will be no deployment until the fourth quarter or even 2023. This is when the Tesla battery pack and energy storage project should be ready to go.
Tesla factory: Electric Cars & Renewable Energy
At the moment, Tesla divides its business map into two parts. One part is the electric cars section while the other is the renewable energy section. The latter part is also divided into solar energy and energy storage devices. Powerwall, Powerpack Megapack and others are all parts of the energy storage devices business.
According to official information, each unit of megapack can store up to 3MWh of electricity. Compared with similar systems on the market, it takes up 40% less space. The number of components is only one-tenth of similar products. Moreover, the installation speed of this system is faster than the current one. The product on the market is 10 times faster and is also known as one of the largest volume energy storage systems on the market today.
At the end of 2019, some media exposed the mobile energy storage charging vehicle officially operated by Tesla. It has the ability to provide a fast charge for 8 Tesla models at the same time. The energy storage device mounted on the charging car is this kind of energy storage battery megapack. This also means that Tesla’s megapack may also be used in the car “energy storage” market. This is similar to the current swap station and the recent “mobile power station” function of BYD vehicles. It further shows the growth of the energy storage battery market.
Tesla confirms plans to build lithium factory in Texas
In September this year, Tesla submitted documents to Texas. The company will build a battery-grade lithium hydroxide refining facility. Tesla claims it will be “the first of its kind in North America,”. However, it can not achieve this massive project without some sort of support from the government. The company has applied to the Texas Comptroller’s Office for tax relief.
Gizchina News of the week
Bloomberg previously reported that Tesla was moving forward with plans to build a lithium factory on the Texas Gulf Coast. This is in an effort to gain more control over the electric vehicle battery supply chain. Elon Musk has also officially confirmed the claims by Bloomberg. The company is also working on the new 4680 electric car battery. According to Elon Musk, Tesla is making good progress with the development of the battery.
Construction on the project will begin as early as the fourth quarter of 2022. However, commercial production is not likely until the fourth quarter of 2024. This is according to people who are familiar with the development.
China is a major player in lithium mining
China is currently a major player in the field of lithium refining. At the moment, over half of the world’s lithium production capacity is in China. The Austin, Texas-based company has been checking the project for months. However, it has also been considering at least another location in Louisiana. The company has told state regulators that it plans to build a battery grade lithium hydroxide refinery near Corpus Christi. This factor will process the ore feedstock into products more suitable for production.
On July 14 this year, Musk tweeted that lithium batteries are the new oil. This confirms the value of lithium in the modern economy. In addition, he urged investors to enter the lithium refining business on Tesla’s earnings call in July. He claims that the competition for lithium cannot be lost. Elon Musk also likened the lithium business to money print. Earlier in April, Musk tweeted: “Lithium prices have reached unbelievable levels. Tesla may actually have to go directly into (lithium) mining. Unless we improve our costs, we will go into mining. Lithium itself is not in short supply because it is almost everywhere on earth, but extraction/refining is slow”.
Alternative to lithium
Thus, there are concerns about the use of a lithium ion battery. This is because scientists believe that the use of a lithium ion battery is not sustainable. Lithium-ion battery technology has come a long way over the past decade. There are growing concerns that innovation around these batteries is starting to slow down.
The price of lithium ion batteries has fallen by about 73% over the past decade. It has only fallen by about 28% from 2017 to 2021. People are more worried about the higher prices of lithium. The price of lithium has been on the increase. Since 2021, it has gone up almost four times. The alternative for a lithium battery is sodium. However, the development of a sodium battery will take some time.