Does anyone know who the main current battery manufacturer is and what their stock symbol is?
Does anyone know if the future is for Telsa to manufacturer their own batteries or will they always use a third party?
For the foreseeable future it will be Panasonic...
Tesla is likely partnering with someone on a battery giga-factory. I don't think they've announced any details on that yet.
Currently Panasonic (PCRFY ?) is the main battery supplier.
Probably other battery cell manufacturers will supply battery cells as well in the (near) future (Samsung, LG, etc.).
And Elon Musk has mentioned that he wants to start a Gigafactory for the production of battery cells (in cooperation with Panasonic and maybe others as well).
i would rather see Panasonic open their shuttered 18650 factories to meet the demand from Model S, X. It would not tie Tesla capital. Model S demand and production could reach 50,000 autos rate in 2014. Model X demand for 2015 could be huge too. Especially with the SC network fully deployed in the US, Western Europe and may be even China.
I think the Gigafactory will be likely for the Model E. Who knows what kind of chemistry and format will be used by then.
Panasonic already opening shuttered 18650 plants to supply increasing Tesla production. And more information on giga-factory is promissed for conference call on 19 Feb.
I myself considered buying some Panasonic stock, but couldn't figure out which one was the right one. There is a PCRFY and a PCRFF and I don't know what the difference is.
^^^ Spam! Flagged.
I prefer to invest in Business to Consumer (B to C) companies rather a Business to Business (B to B). Exceptions would be some company like Intel that has a proprietary barrier to entry, hi switching cost, etc. A company like Panasonic that 1 degree away from the consumer can loose to a new tech from companies like Samsung, etc. Panasonic makes a lot of stuff that is barely profitable.
Anyway, it takes a lot conviction to hold a stock like Tesla, even in moderate quantities. They key is the battery tech. What is the trend in $/KW-hr? How fast will it fall? How about energy density of the batteries? Will they increase significantly in the next 3 years? Battery is the key enabling tech for Tesla. Supply? Ultimately, it will determine how successful the company will be. $100-150/KW-hr installed and even a 30% increase in energy density in the next 3 years, will result in explosive demand. Especially with a nationwide SC network.
Panasonic is not good play for paralleling Tesla. The batteries are only a small part of their total business. So the company as a whole will not get a huge bump from Tesla business.
My Panasonic stock is up 37% in 7 months.
Elon said cost per kWh in Model E will be 30% to 40% less than in Model S, so that gives an idea of where he's headed. A 35% drop in cost in a 5 year period is solid.
I think that buying batteries from Panasonic was the right move so far and that partnering with a battery expert company to build a giga-factory that will reduce the battery cost to Tesla or increase the profit margin is a good idea for the future as the volume increases. On the one hand, being fully invested in battery technology and production is not a wise move for Tesla, because a breakthrough could occur and Tesla should not have a conflict of interest preventing it from adopting the best technology. On the other hand, battery is expensive, and Tesla could save a fair bit of money by being involved in making them, which could help reach a low cost for gen 3 and further. Besides, they will need so much that they could benefit from the economies of scale and it might be less risky for Tesla in partnership than for a pure supplier who would be afraid that Tesla would eventually change supplier or product. Finally, the giga-factory is consistent with the Tesla pholosophy that it is better to bring production in-house, with which I greatly agree. I think that buying from suppliers makes sense in the short run, for lower volumes, or when quality and cost as not crucial, but in the long run it is better to make most of the components yourself so you keep control and don't have to deal with an extra level of bureaucracy. In other words, better spend your energy managing production to you high standard than dealing with suppliers who might let you down or could back-stab you if they get the chance.
I'm so drawn to learning about Tesla because in my view they do virtually everything right, or at least have the right goals. I've long dreamed of starting and running a company, and I would want to follow Tesla's example.
I like where you were going with this. What about the lithium? I looked into it earlier this year and it looks like Chile has 60-75% of the worlds lithium. Not citing that data, so it's just an estimate based on what I have read, but they have the majority of it.
I searched for lithum companies in Chile and it doesn't look like there is an entry point?
Where would Panasonic get their Lithum?
Even if a better battery tech comes out from another company, it won't hurt Tesla's business in the short to mid term using current chemistry and form factor. The supply chain of the better battery tech would have to develop and scale to meet demand and that does not happen overnight. They would have to go through the same growing pains Tesla had to go through. Scale and quality is the name of the game and Tesla is doing that more so than any other competitor out there now... and they have a few year head start.
So, better battery or not, Tesla will have the commercial tech that will win the day for a long time to come, especially with a Panasonic deal relating to the giga factory.
Ubiquitous fast charging solutions are more important than mere range. A compelling and affordable line of Teslas having a range of 300 miles at 70 mph, and a fast charging solution always in reach, would be fantastically successful. The big problem would be making enough of them, not battery stuff.
Fast charging means Supercharger capability or better. All else will prove to be embarrassing at best.
The more I think about it, it makes sense for Tesla to partner with a company like Panasonic to build a dedicated battery factory, preferably a hi performance proprietary chemistry. Tesla will be able to control the venture. Otherwise, it will be just be creating a battery supply chain for competitors.
The worst would be partnering with somebody like Samsung or any of the Chinese companies. They will steal the IPRs, sell to the competition or make competing models. Just ask Apple and what Samsung did to them. For the same reasons, it also makes sense to set up the factory in the US in some low cost state like Texas. Use the leverage to revise the dealer laws too!
The main problem will be the capital required. Tesla has barely enough capital to expand the manufacturing for Model S, X, SC network, service/sales network, etc. Even before Model E, I would like to see Tesla bring the cost of Model S, X down with economies of scale, lower battery costs, etc. Scale the production of the S, X with just incremental investment. Model E manufacturing is going to cost $$$.
You're thinking wrong. If the batteries are supplied to the marketplace, TM doesn't give a rats' who does it. Just so long as it gets done.
@4humanity, Chile might have 60-75% of the worlds lithium production. Lithium is pretty much everywhere, it is not rare earth material. Also it doesn't go anywhere in Li-ion batteries, when battery gets old, it can be recycled. Can't recycle burned gasoline.
Don't think Tesla will spend much capital, if any, on the giga factory. Tesla will give stock to Panasonic in a giga factory deal. It is public now Panasonic is making a substantial investment and strategic shift into battery production capacity and will bend over backward to keep the Tesla relationship going. My feeling is it is just a matter of finalizing details before an announcement on the giga factory soon.
Tesla might announce some of the giga factory details at the Q4 conference call, but no later then Q1 earnings conference call.
Giga factory will break ground by late 2014/early 2015 and be partially running by late 2016/early 2017, IMO.
Why Panasonic will accept this deal... Tesla will purchase many batteries for many years to come. As the electric car market expands, Panasonic will be positioned, with a robust supply chain, to give the greatest cost savings and scale compared to the competition(if any). In a trillion dollar+ a year transportation industry that is in the beginning stages of transitioning to electric based propulsion, having a head start through partnering with Tesla Motors is a no brainer.