A new report offers a detailed look at Tesla’s battery technology and how it fits into the overall EV industry. Titled simply The Tesla Battery Report, the slide-show-style presentation examines the following topics:
- Tesla’s success and the direction of the EV market
- EV battery technology: Tesla vs. conventional
- Tesla battery intellectual property
- EV battery cost
- The Gigafactory: cost, challenges, benefits
- Tesla battery annual production cost estimate
- Tesla’s impact on the battery industry
- EV market forecast to 2020
- EV battery market forecast to 2020
Author Dr Menahem Anderman points out that “Tesla has already shattered many of the [auto] industry’s deep-rooted convictions” about EVs, and explains the advantages of custom-designing a vehicle as an EV, and of small-format vs large-format cells. Tables break down the costs of battery packs into their individual components and manufacturing costs.
The report includes an assessment of Tesla’s planned Gigafactory, and how it will affect the company’s battery costs. Dr Anderman is skeptical of Elon Musk’s confidence that Tesla can build battery packs for under $100 per kilowatt-hour in less than 10 years: “Our assessment shows that pack pricing for the 2025 time scale could be as low as $167/kWh…Pack cost much below $200/kWh is unlikely before 2020.”
Dr Anderman’s deep knowledge of the battery industry is obvious, as is his admiration for Tesla’s accomplishments in the field. However, a couple of his statements make one wonder if he truly understands the company’s mission. He says that the Gigafactory’s use of solar energy is “mostly for image and political reasons,” and that, in the most likely scenario, “the price of the 2017 new model will be in the range of $50-80k.” Devoted Tesla-watchers know that solar power is an inseparable part of Mr Musk’s grand plan, and that a mass-market EV is the ultimate goal of the whole decades-long endeavor. Until Tesla can sell Model 3 for around $35k, the only scenario will be back to the drawing board.