During the European Conference on Batteries, Tesla CEO Elon Musk spoke about the company's overall goals in battery research and the planned production of battery cells in Giga Berlin.
Making the production of battery cells cheaper is the main goal of the company because it will potentiate truly affordable electric vehicles for the masses. In addition to improvements at the battery cell level, serious efforts must be devoted to building factories that will produce them. Musk stressed that prototyping is an easy task, but the real challenge begins when you endeavor to achieve safe and reliable production at scale.
Tesla plans to undertake this difficult task by developing its own machines, basically from scratch, utilizing the specialized know-how of its acquisition of Grohmann Engineering. “With the shortened cycle times in production and the extreme precision required at the same time, we have to develop new machines,” said Musk. “It sounds simple, but it wasn’t. There are no such machines, we are developing them first in Germany and with other countries in Europe."
At the time being, Tesla is piloting its new battery cell production at Fremont. But Tesla plans to ultimately move this production to Giga Berlin, where it will continue to scale this new cell production technology. Musk said that 100 GWh of annual cell production is possible for the German battery plant, but that is not the limit. “I can even imagine expanding to 200 to 250 GWh,” he said. “I’m pretty sure that that would make it the largest battery factory in the world."
Musk stressed that residents of Brandenburg do not need to worry about the location or environmental impact of a new battery manufacturing plant. As Musk explained, the company is developing new methods that will eliminate environmentally harmful aspects of production. “You can live close to a battery plant and not worry about toxic substances,” he said.
Tesla's pilot plant is located in the San Francisco Bay Area, which has the most stringent environmental regulations in the United States. So if Tesla's battery cell manufacturing was polluting, it wouldn't be allowed to be operational.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.