According to CEO Elon Musk, Tesla could resolve its current production issues by constructing a lithium-ion battery factory that will likely be the largest in the world.
Having enough battery cells has been the biggest problem for the electric automaker, who recently announced an expanded purchase deal with Panasonic for acquiring three times as many cells than usually. Cell supply is weighing down on Tesla’s ambitious stride to expand globally. Musk notoriously discussed the trouble of securing enough cells.
“This will be a giant facility. We are talking about something that is comparable to all of the lithium-ion battery production in the world — in one factory,” Musk said during a conference call with analysts to discuss the third-quarter earnings. “It’s big.”
Musk added he didn’t want to give too many details about the battery facility plan, but he did have this much to say: “The factory will most likely be in North America, and will have eco-friendly features, such as the use of solar power and a recycling program that makes use of old battery packs to make new battery packs.”
He also said Tesla may or may not develop or modify the format of the battery cells. The current ones coming from Panasonic are the common cylindrical type – and if they did have some design changes then the cells wouldn’t be much bigger, as large format cells aren’t actually cheaper on a cost per kilowatt-hour basis.