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Tesla's MegaFactory in Lathrop, California plans to achieve a production capacity of around 50 GWh by the end of 2023. This will be possible thanks to the new generation of Megapacks, which will be larger in size and have a bigger capacity. The new product will be presented by the end of Q1 2022.
Tesla offers a wide range of services and products, most of which are aimed at accelerating the world's transition to sustainable energy. One of the company's most important products is Megapack, an energy storage system designed to stabilize the grid and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. To expand the influence of this product, in September 2021, Tesla began construction of a Megapack factory in Lathrop and has big plans for this facility.
According to the company's report for Q3 2021, initially, Tesla planned the MegaFactory capacity of 40 GWh per year, however, it seems that the plans have been changed. According to a Tesla Drive source, who attended the general meeting of the Tesla Energy division late last month, the manufacturer plans to produce 47.48 GWh per year by 2023. Almost half of this capacity, namely 20.73 GWh, should be available by the end of 2022. Currently, with production in Giga Nevada, the company produces 4 GWh of Megapack storage per year.
This significant increase in capacity will also be possible thanks to the next generation Megapack. According to Tesla's plan, by the end of the year, it will abandon the production of the current generation of storage, called internally, MP1. After the MegaFactory launches at the end of 2022, Tesla will begin production of a new generation of energy storage systems called MP2.
According to the source, MP2 will be presented before the end of Q1 2022 and will have a number of improvements. Its first version—MP2-XL 24—"will be 8.5m x 1.57m in size." Its second, more powerful version—MP2-XL 33—"will be 11.2m x 1.57m in size." It will be presented later, but there is no set production date yet. The source said that the new generation Megapacks, in addition to being larger, will have a much bigger capacity. In parallel with this, production costs will be reduced thanks to the use of CATL Prismatic LFP cells.
This information is in line with information provided by Tesla CEO Elon Musk that the company is going to switch to cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate (LFP) batteries in its stationary energy storage products. The bulk and cost per cell fall on the cathode, Musk explained during the Q1 2021 Earnings Call. For high-energy cells, such as those that the company uses in most of the cars it produces, nickel-based lithium-ion cells are utilized. They have a higher energy density and yield longer range than iron-based cells. However, for stationary storage, the energy density is not that important because it just stays on the ground. That is why the vast majority of stationary storage facilities produced by the company will technically be iron-based lithium-ion cells with an iron phosphate cathode. In fact, the phosphate part is not needed and it's just iron or nickel, Musk explained.
"However, stationary storage, the energy density is not as important because it's just staying on the ground and so I think the vast majority of stationary storage will be iron-based lithium-ion cells with an iron phosphate cathode, technically. But the phosphate part is unnecessary. It's really just the iron or nickel."
The elimination of the controversial cobalt makes production not only more affordable from a financial point of view but also more acceptable from a moral one. Another factor is that the availability of such materials is relatively low, while iron is a very common material. Thus, the production of energy storage with cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate batteries will solve several serious problems and lead to a quality, cheaper, and uncontested product.
© 2022, Eva Fox | Tesmanian. All rights reserved.
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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.