The expense of battery production and recycling are significant obstacles that stand between Tesla and their ability to sell and produce a mass-market electric vehicle. Tesla has announced plans for construction of a new battery plant to serve the EV industry, which will significantly eclipse last year’s lithium ion automotive battery production by a significant margin by 2020. Tesla has also announced that this new plant will drive battery costs down by 30%. Discussions are underway between Tesla and their current supplier, Panasonic, for additional investment in the new locations, which they have narrowed down to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Nevada (one factory has been planned at this point).
The total capital investment is estimated at $5-6 billion and will supply up to 500,000 cars by 2020. This news comes on the heels of another dramatic investment from the Californian automaker: that of human capital of sorts: 6,500 people will be employed at the new plant. Tesla could have easily gone overseas for this talent, possibly for less money, but chose to buy local. To round off the good news, Tesla’s Elon Musk added that production of the Model S sedan will likely see a 55% increase this year: 35,000 units are projected to sell here and elsewhere.
-By: Sawyer Sutton
Source: Tesla, AutoNews