Tesla doesn’t like to talk about its battery cost as it complicates an already complex supply chain with several suppliers, including long-time partner Panasonic, and new ones like LG and Samsung. But the company felt the need to comment this week following a new analysis of the Model 3’s cost by Jon Bereisa, CEO of Auto Lectrification and former chief engineer of the Chevy Volt program.
Colin Langan, a UBS analyst covering Tesla for the firm, hosted a call with Bereisa to gain some insights for its financial model of the company. Expand Expanding Close
Tesla has never hidden the fact that the Model 3 and especially its $35,000 projected starting price are closely linked to the Gigafactory, which aims to reduce battery costs by more than 30%.
The automaker expects to achieve such a significant cost reduction through economy of scale with a factory output greater than the total world production of li-ion batteries in 2014 – when Tesla announced the project.
Taken at face value, the Tesla Roadster 340-mile trip from San Jose to Santa Monica in California is a significant milestone. The direct drive in under 6 hours all without refueling will leave most EV owners’ mouths agape. There was even 40 minutes with the heater turned on and that huge climb (and subsequent decent) out of the Grapevine.
As we announced in December, the Roadster 3.0 upgrade will feature enhancements in battery cell technology, aerodynamics, and rolling resistance. These modifications should boost the Roadster’s range by 40 to 50%.
But I think this is bigger. This shows what the technologies Tesla has developed mean for the next generation of EVs. It means the Model X, even with its higher profile and expanded room, will be able to still handily be able to make it between Superchargers in the winter. Even more importantly, it shows that Tesla can make a BMW 3-series sized car go 200 miles with a lot less battery that previously expected.
If the new pack in the Roadster has 70kWh and goes 400 miles, doing a little math and guesswork, you only need about 45kWh to get a slightly bigger car to go 200 miles. (Assuming the car lies between the 35kWh and the 60kWh for the Model S with 200 mile range).
And that’s assuming technology stands still between now and then.