Goodbye Fossil Fuels? Tesla Motors Battery Factory Could Be a Game Changer
Imagine a day when visiting a gas station is a rare occurrence, and the only reason for doing so is to take advantage of their dollar-coffee-Tuesdays. How could this be possible? Thanks to Tesla Motors, your car has no tank to fill — instead, it has a battery to charge. Of course, you can always take it to one of the many Tesla charging stations around the country, or you can just plug it in at home.
Why not? A battery-powered car that can do zero-to-sixty in four seconds sounds quite seductive indeed.
This is perhaps one of the major reasons why Elon Musk and JB Straubel have been able to succeed where so many others have failed. With TSLA trading at $242 to date, it would seem as if their shareholders agree: Tesla Motors doesn’t appear to be going anywhere, and Tesla’s innovation might just be the game changer we’ve been waiting for.
Tesla’s recent announcement of their plans to build their new ‘gigafactory’ is perhaps the biggest reason why their investors are downright giddy.
Reverse Déjà Vu: It’s Never Been Done
According to USAToday.com, the facility is said to come with an investment price tag upwards of $5 billion. However, it will also put around 6,500 people to work, making it a very attractive deal for the state that gets to host this project. Perhaps the most monumental aspect of this green behemoth is the fact that it will need an additional 1,000 acres, or 2 square miles, in order to accommodate its wind and solar energy facilities. Yes, the gigafactory will be completely self-sustaining. Eat your heart out, General Motors.
The new Tesla Motors facility will have the capacity to produce roughly 500,000 cars per year, placing it squarely on the map as a major car company. Interestingly enough, when Tesla claimed last year that they were aspiring to produce cars with a $35,000 sticker price, many couldn’t help but have smirking doubts about the feasibility of such a goal. After all, their cars were going for twice that amount. Before Tesla’s factory, this would have been a far cry from possible, but once the facility is built, thirty-five grand for a Tesla might in fact cross into the realm of reality.
Also, Tesla Motors is no stranger to dabbling in other industries — we’ve known for some time that Elon Musk was courting solar energy. This new 10 million-square-foot gigafactory might be the key to a rising possibility.
The Sun Rises On Tesla
Simply put, even though the feds have dumped oodles of cash into research and even been burned for investing in scandal-ridden solar energy companies, the infant industry hasn’t exactly been able to grow into something sustainable. Aside from poor management, the technological aspect of solar energy development has dealt with the problem that batteries have not been efficient enough to handle the task.
But Tesla Motors might just have the key: a very, very big $5 billion dollar key. Not only has Tesla’s tech proven its worth on the road, but implementing their battery innovations into the solar energy industry has the potential to push this goal over the precipice. According to TheStreet.com, Tesla will be supplying their batteries to SolarCity, and the new gigafactory has the potential to lower costs on smart, high-efficiency energy storage. These fridge-sized batteries have the potential to “store up to a third of the solar power,” says the Feb 28 article.
Tesla’s Lofty Claims Now Make Sense
Admittedly, many of us lacked faith when Tesla claimed they’d be able to cut the price of their cars in half, install 90-second battery swapping modules in their charging stations, develop a 400-mile lithium-ion/metal-air battery, and even batteries that will charge in 5 minutes flat. When they talked about getting into solar energy, we might have even chuckled at their adorable enthusiasm.
But, to our shameful glee, our cynical doubts of Tesla’s extravagant claims might just have been nullified. Their ticker price bears testament to that fact: Tesla means business.
Now, if Tesla claims that they’ll be developing a battery or solar-powered bulldozer, I might have a hearty laugh. Tesla’s becoming the Willy Wonka of the energy business, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for a golden ticket.
If anything, the trick is to keep an eye on their press releases, and then see what their shareholders think. Usually, companies like this have a habit of dazzling the public with grand claims of a technological green utopia — but ultimately it’s the markets that have the last word. However, Tesla’s track record for making stock price-verified announcements has proven to be uncommonly reliable.
All that’s left is to ask is this: what will they think of next?