Tesla Aims at Massive Lithium-Ion Battery Production

Less than two weeks after teasing an update on its Gigafactory during its Feb. 19 earnings call, Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ: TSLA) — a luxury electric automaker — this week offered more concrete information, including a proposed opening date: 2017.

Tesla plans to break ground this year and the company hopes its factory will produce lithium-ion batteries for 500,000 vehicles by 2020. That output would be equivalent to the total number of lithium batteries produced worldwide last year.

The factory would address a key issue that has limited the production of Tesla vehicles, as the company has had to rely on partners like Panasonic Corp.

“Packaged, manufactured, ready-to-go lithium cells are not in high abundance right now,” said Reilly Brennan, executive director of the Revs Automotive Research Program at Stanford University. “And with lithium-ion battery facilities, there are not that many in the world.”

 

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