Ever since February, when Tesla officially announced that it would build a gigafactory to make the incredible number of lithium-ion batteries it expects to need to power its electric vehicles, we thought it would be located in one of four states. Those four states – Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and Nevada – have been lobbying the automaker ever since, hoping to hear that the new, $5-billion plant and its 6,500 jobs would set up shop within its borders. Turns out, two of them might get some good news soon.

"We want to minimize the risk timing for the gigafactory to get up and running" – Elon Musk

CEO Elon Musk said Tesla will announce locations in "at least two" states where it could build the gigafactory, according to Bloomberg. He said, "What we're going to do is move forward with more than one state, at least two, all the way to breaking ground, just in case there's last-minute issues. The number one thing is we want to minimize the risk timing for the gigafactory to get up and running."

This isn't to say that Tesla will actually build two gigafactories (at least, not yet, but Musk hinted there may come a day when the automaker will need a second one), just that it is going to make sure there is no hiccup in the supply of lower-cost battery packs for the upcoming lower-cost Tesla EV, sometimes referred to as the Model E. The gigafactory is expected to not only produce more li-ion cells than were made globally in 2013 but also to reduce the cost of the overall pack by 30 percent, setting the stage for the $35,000 Tesla EV (estimated) to appear.


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  • 74 Comments
      Jon
      • 7 Months Ago
      @Neez There will be a market for EREVs and plugins, sure, but BEVs do have their place. Not everyone feels the need to lug two powertrains around when one will do. The Volt is great but funny thing is many owners now suffer from "gas anxiety". The really hate it when they have to burn gas. Some start to feel that they would rather have a BEV with longer range so that they can go completely gas free. EREVs are the gateway drug. The road trip argument is moot. The customer for a $35k car is still probably in the 2+ car household demographic. And for those wishing to make a road trip in their Tesla, a hour break after driving for several hours is a small price to pay when the fuel is free. But to each their own. EREVs and BEVs will surely coexist for a while. EV ranges will continue to go up and prices and charge times down.
      Lamgineer
      • 7 Months Ago
      I would " argue" that it is more difficult to run out of electricity in an electric vehicle as you are more conscious about your range whereas with the normal gas vehicle, you don't usually pay attention until the light comes on and try to avoid going to the gas station and squeezing the last few miles out of the tank. And also because of what you have mentioned, you start with the same energy level/range everyday with the EV, whereas with gas, you can have 3/4, 1/2, 1/4 or less, everyday is different until you visit and fill up your gas tank everyday. With EV, it is as easier as charging your cell phones everyday and fill it up to the same level every morning.
      Levine Levine
      • 7 Months Ago
      Another anti-Chinese rant just because some batteries are made in China while the battery pack is assembled in America rather than the entire package. China manufactures PC, consumer electronic, textile and shoes for USA because American government's economic policy discourages their domestic production. Americans rather scape-goat China than condemn their own government. Americans are too arrogant and proud for their own good. And we wonder why America is nicknamed Food Stamp Nation.
      Grendal
      • 7 Months Ago
      Smart move. Two large factories equal one giga-factory. It also allows you to build up to capacity instead of sinking all your eggs into one basket all at once.
        Joeviocoe
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Grendal
        I don't think it was suggested, other than by Blanco... that Tesla would be building two. Just that Elon would go ahead with preliminary stuff... just in case someone backs out. "all the way to breaking ground, just in case there's last-minute issues"
          Grendal
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Maybe. But Elon is smart and two factories are better than one. I am not an expert on batteries but they are pretty small. I can't see how having one big line is advantageous. You'd want a hundred small lines building batteries as fast as you can. Maybe even a thousand lines. If that is true, then you can start with as many as you need and build more and more as needed, even if it is in another facility. Access to the raw materials needed is just as important as the factory itself. Lithium, graphite, cobalt, aluminum, and whatever else is needed becomes equally critical. I'm just trying to run the logistics of this thing through my head. I'm just not seeing how having everything in one location is best. Though I am no expert on this I admit.
          Joeviocoe
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Joeviocoe
          Cost benefits of integration. There are so many additional costs for two factories that would not need be incurred. Tooling is huge example. Why build two robots, when one can just change tools (like already done in the Model S factory). Elon is smart... double up on everything (to minimize risk) then collapse into one, (to capitalize gain) when it is time to spend big $ on constructions and tooling.
      tom.tommarello
      • 7 Months Ago
      They might as well trow in a testing track.
        Grendal
        • 7 Months Ago
        @tom.tommarello
        The current factory already has one.
        KC
        • 7 Months Ago
        @tom.tommarello
        A testing track for batteries, what a novel idea.
      Avinash Machado
      • 7 Months Ago
      Great idea.
      jack smith
      • 2 Days Ago
      @Grendal I understand what you are attempting to say, however there are a couple things you must realize. First, is that companies generally like to overstate production capacity. Second is that there are a great MANY things branded as being made somewhere, but actually made in China. Per your own link: ""Panasonic's factory in Suminoe, Japan has the capacity to produce 300 million cells annually. That would be enough for over 48,000 battery packs of the type used in the Roadster, each of which contain 6,183 cells."" Yet the model S uses a 3.1Ah battery pack, as compared to the roadster's 2Ah battery, see we can safely assume that a 3.1Ah battery will use at least 1&1/2 times the number of cells as the roadster battery. Therefore, a Model S will use 9,274 cells in each battery pack, which equates to a total capacity of roughly 32,000 battery packs manufactured per year, IF 100% of the capacity goes ONLY to Tesla, and IF that production capacity figure is accurate. We both know the truth of that situation. Furthermore, look at this: ""By Reiji Murai TOKYO, Sept 29 2011 (Reuters) - Japan's Panasonic Corp dropped a plan to expand a lithium ion battery plant in the western city of Osaka, a source with direct knowledge of the matter said, the company's latest move in its efforts to shift production to China to fight off harsh price competition. Panasonic has already stopped production of lithium ion batteries at its Sumoto plant and it dropped expansion plans at its Suminoe plant in Osaka, which began operations last year, the source told Reuters. The company plans to produce half its lithium ion batteries in China by the year starting April 2015"" That 300million cells annual production number for the Suminoe plant was figured using post expansion numbers as the plant could only initially produce 10million cells per month, or 120million cells annually without the expansion, which equates to just shy of 13,000 Model S battery packs, IF 100% of production was dedicated to Tesla. How many Model S vehicles have been sold? Wasn't it supposedly somewhere around the 30k mark? Which would only be possible if Panasonic Japan direction 100% of it's production capacity towards Tesla. So yes, there ARE many Tesla's on the road with Chinese made batteries.
      Jim
      • 7 Months Ago
      Buildings and land are cheap. Process-specific equipment is expensive.
      Neez
      • 7 Months Ago
      You can have all the same benefits with a 50-100 mile range hybrid. The normal day to day tasks are all taken care of by electric power. But for those times when you have an extra long day, or need to leave town. You have the gasoline engine to rely on. You essentially have unlimited range because it only takes 5 mins to pump fuel. You can go coast to coast with about six 5 minute fill ups. So something like the chevy volt or prius plug in with enough EV range would significantly cut into tesla's full EV sales. I just don't think anyone else is foreseeing this, they are way to hopeful for tesla to make it. Toyota, Ford, and GM have the technology. They simply just need battery pack prices to come down to make it happen. Personally, would prefer a 50 mile plugin prius, over a 200mile EV tesla. I could have my cake, and eat it to. 50 miles is enough for day to day tasks with no range anxiety on those long days.
      Neez
      • 7 Months Ago
      500k tesla's per year by 2020 seems a bit optimistic to me. Even if they hit the target $35k for the model E. You're paying about $10k more just to have an electric vehicle with limited range. Not sure that most owners would recover the costs in fuel savings over the term of ownership. A hybrid with 50-100mile EV range and unlimited gas range will make more sense to most consumers. I still think in 2020, people will still be afraid of running out of juice.
        Dactyl
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Neez
        On the issue of operating costs: (disclaimer. I own a Leaf, power it by PV and drive it 40+ mi/day. Never had a problem. And I own a Passat SW). No matter in what city I'm driving across the US I see any number of large SUVs, pickup trucks and all sorts of vehicles that get anywhere from 5 to 20 mpg. There are lots and lots of these vehicles being driven to and from work, errands, etc. No one in these vehicle seems to be concerned about "operating costs" (gas, oil, tires, brakes, etc.). Many I see are old enough where the cost or repairs on a big ICE is going to take a large bite out of the wallet. My conclusion is that a significant fraction of people who buy cars either have no idea what operating costs are (or mean) or just don't care and are willing to pay up for some other perceived (or real) value.
        jeff
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Neez
        The operational cost is so low with an EV that the cost of ownership for a $35K EV is more like the cost of a $25K ICE... However, it is likely be be more like a BMW 3 series than a chevy cobolt...
          Neez
          • 2 Days Ago
          @jeff
          The operational costs of a $30k 50-100 mile plug-in hybrid would be negligibly the same as a $35k 200 mile range EV for most people. Not too many people other than commuters drive over 100 miles in day. So the tesla E and a plugin hybrid would cost exactly the same to operate on a daily basis. It's just those extra long day of errands, or an out of town trip that would cost a little more. But in those cases you would want the ICE anyways. That's my point. It just makes more sense to have the EV range of a typical day to day routine, and have the ICE for those extra long days or out of town trips. The plug in hybrid is still better for the masses.
          Neez
          • 2 Days Ago
          @jeff
          @ Jeff What part of having enough EV range for day to day driving don't you understand??? A plug in hybrid will also be the same 4 cents per mile as your model S. Only when they want to skip town or have a really long day, does that cost go up.
          jeff
          • 2 Days Ago
          @jeff
          @ NEEZ it is NOT even close... My Model S has an operation cost of about 4 cents a mile and that includes a new set of tire every four years. A typical ICE is over 40 cents a mile... EV are the future so you might as well get used to the idea...
        NestT
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Neez
        You are not paying any premium for a $35k Model E as it will match and in most cases beat the specifications of a $35k BMW 3 Series save one; range. But you get much cheaper cost of operation . And it is easier to refuel by plugging in overnight than that going to the gas station. ICE is not a perpetual motion machine therefore does not have unlimited range. It has a range, it runs out of gas, and then you need to refill the car with gasoline. Model E will have 80% of the benefits at 50% of the cost of a Model S. It will be production constrained not demand constrained. That much is a no brainer.
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Neez
        No, just you will be afraid of running out of juice. Everyone else will be hauling ass around town in a Tesla.
        purrpullberra
        • 2 Days Ago
        @Neez
        You haven't been paying close attention then. Most EV buyers learn about the range of the car and they decide if it works for their needs. Almost no one buys them if they don't meet the buyers needs. Then what 95% + have discovered is that there is no range anxiety since they wake up each day with a "full tank". They never go over the range. No one leaves for a trip that they can't reach. Running out of charge is as rare as running out of gas. It happens, but nearly everyone can avoid it easily, all the time. Plenty of non-wealthy people want to buy $35k Tesla's before they'd ever consider a $35k car of any other kind. The cost benefits *for some people* are too good to pass up. Gas is expensive and electricity is cheap or free even *for some*. There are a TON of people who have bought solar panels. They would all be potential buyers of a $35k Tesla *just to be able to get free fuel*. Those with access to clean electricity can fuel up with cheaper and cleaner power. Tesla has a huge number of followers/admirers just waiting for the cheaper car to come out. And Tesla has yet to spend a penny to advertise. They will have no trouble selling as many ModelE's as they can build. To most Tesla buyers (and potential ones) this isn't about ROI as much as not buying gasoline anymore. Free solar fuel at Superchargers helps sell the cars too. Not one analyst who thinks about a Tesla ModelE at approx $35k with approx.200 mile range sees it NOT SELLING. Why be so negative about it? Have you ever thought of all the people this car does appeal to and the millions who can afford it? You say it won't work for "most consumers". Fine, agreed. How many are left after taking away most? A LOT. Millions in fact. It works out just fine. 16 million cars sold in the US, Tesla would be thrilled with 300k. China sells 22 million cars a year. Tesla would be thrilled with 300k. The rest of the world...? Anyhow, you're free to see what you want to see.
      Jake
      • 7 Months Ago
      They should put it in New Jersey to put pressure on the state to stop the ridiculous restriction on selling the things.
        • 5 Months Ago
        @Jake
        They don't need to. NJ will come around as people go out of state to purchase their cars. At $100k a pop the lost tax revenue will hurt. Also, NJ people will not be happy to be cut out of this green car option. After all, for many years they were the biggest solar state after CA. It won't be long before Christie and his anti-free market cronies get their hats handed to them for kissing the bu**'s of the dealer associations.
      jebibudala
      • 7 Months Ago
      KFC should be happy. They should position a bird catching farm adjacent to the wind and solar farms.
        Neez
        • 7 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        chickens can't fly that high.
        Jim
        • 7 Months Ago
        @jebibudala
        LOL. Another troll "concerned" about wildlife.
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