Tesla's Batteries Are Downright Superior

Tesla battery platform. Source: Tesla Motors.

Competing with Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) is harder than it looks.

The company is still selling every vehicle it can make and demand doesn't look like it will slow down any time soon. In fact, the company expects sales to double next year. But despite the electric-car marker's success, no auto company has responded with a long-range, fully electric vehicle. Sure, maybe fully electric just isn't their style. But even if it were, would they be able to replicate Tesla's success? Tesla's superior batteries and charging technology have left the competition in the dust.

Range leader
First of all, no competitor has launched a battery that can even come close to achieving the 265-mile range of Tesla's Model S.

Source: Tesla Motors Sept. 14 corporate presentation. 

Charge rate leader
Not only do Tesla's batteries achieve the highest range, but (thanks to Tesla's Superchargers) they're able to charge much faster than competitors, too. Superchargers aren't just a little faster than typical charging stations -- they are way faster. Exclusively available to Tesla vehicles, Superchargers represent the world's most advanced charging technology, charging the Model S 20 times faster than most public charging stations.

Pack cost leader
According to a 2011 study, battery pack costs are estimated to be around $650 per kWh. That would mean Tesla's 85 kWh battery would cost the company $55,250. If this were true, Tesla's aspirations for a $35,000 fully electric vehicle with a 200-mile range points to a break-even business model at best. Even more, the study predicts that by 2020 the cost could come down to $345 per kWh. At this price, even Tesla's 60 kWh battery would still be expensive, accounting for $20,700 of the company's planned $35,000 price tag

Fortunately, Tesla follows a far different cost curve. The company says it's already in the $200-$300 per kWh range -- and that number includes all cells, electronics, packaging, and labor costs.

Competitors won't be able to imitate the technology without a few hurdles. Tesla boasts 140 battery-related patents and has more than 240 pending.

Swappable batteries
Finally, and probably the most often overlooked feature of Tesla's strategy, is what I refer to as Tesla's swappable production strategy.

"When we designed the Model S, we created a platform," said Tesla CEO Elon Musk at the Model X unveiling. "So it's not just a single car; we created something on which we could build many cars, and we are able to leverage that and bring a car to market fast."

It makes perfect sense. With one standard platform, achieving scale becomes easier. The only things in production that will vary are the motors (just about one foot in diameter on the Model S) and bodies. The battery platform can be scaled across models.

Even more, the platform can be swapped out with ease -- in less than half the time it takes to fill a gas tank, in fact. Investors were able to witness this first-hand when Tesla showed off its automated battery pack swapping that the company is piloting at a few of its Supercharger stations in California this year. The service swaps out Model S owners' batteries for fully charged ones while the driver remains seated.

Demonstration of battery swap. Source: Tesla Motors website.

A meaningful first-mover advantage
General Motors CEO Dan Akerson appointed a special team earlier this summer to study Tesla's success. And now the company has finally developed battery technology that can go 200 miles on a single charge, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. But there's a big problem: It costs too much.

Meanwhile, Musk has said that he sees a "a fairly clear path" to its affordable car, which Tesla plans to launch as early as 2016.

No proof has surfaced yet that suggests competitors could keep up with Tesla in fully electric vehicles even if they wanted to. Sure, this isn't an epiphany. But Tesla's lead-in battery technology does indicate that the company still has an open runway to accelerate to mass-volume and achieve meaningful scale.

This doesn't mean Tesla is worthy of its current valuation, but it is another sign that Tesla's mass-market success is very probable. On that note, a game-changer like this may be worth a nibble if the stock price ever pulls back.

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  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2013, at 3:04 PM, damilkman wrote:

    I'm curious of your opinons of TMFGemHunter's as your information contradicts his. In summary Adam claimed that TSLA's moat was due to the controlling software that allowed TSLA to use cheaper batteries, not the batteries themselves. The implication is that if the cost of specialized batteries for automobiles dropped or other companies figured out how to write similiar software, they could beat the TSLA moat. You seem to be a TSLA bull. I would love to see a debate between you and TMFGemHunter as most of our comments tend to be "YES HURAY, ROCK ON!!" or "ACK PFCKT BLEH" Maybe something along the lines of publishing a point counter point article would be useful. Then the FOOL's would get two different perspectives.

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2013, at 4:34 PM, weaponz wrote:

    Damilkman - It is not that Tesla is using cheaper batteries, the batteries are more expensive due to the NCA chemistry used. But they end up cheaper due to economies of scale of the 18650 form factor.

    NCA chemistry is more volatile then other chemistry but is the best one in terms of energy density, power and lifespan. By using smaller cells not only is Tesla cutting down costs due to economies of scale but they are also able to manage the cells better. This requires more than just software but also requires hardware which is patented by Tesla and SpaceX. These batteries were actually developed by Space X and are used in the SpaceX Dragon.

    Of course there is a downside to using smaller cells as you end up using more packaging which adds costs and weight. But the advantages of NCA chemistry energy density far outweighs those at the moment.

    Overall, Tesla took the best route and for obvious reasons. The problem is the auto manufacturers are too used to thinking the old way of doing things and not realizing the short term vs long term. If you look at the big picture if the economies of scale hit on the large form factor, they will be cheaper then the 18650 cells. But the problem is by the time that does happen, we will most likely already move on the metal air batteries.

    Tesla is positioning themselves for what is best now without investing into it. The other manufacturers are investing into what will be better in the future assuming there is no change in batteries.

    The reason is simple, the other manufacturers are not committed to electric cars and even those that are, are thinking hybrid. So their goal is to find the cheapest battery in the long run.

    Tesla is betting that electric cars are the future, so they are picking what works best now and are preparing themselves to adopt to new battery technology.

    Even if the other manufacturers change course, unfortunately it is a bit too late. As it would take them years to make the smaller cells balance out correctly. (because you have to make sure the batteries last so your limited by testing time). The only way I can possibly see other manufacturers catch up to Tesla is if they quickly standardize their batteries bringing down price.

    Other then that they would have to wait till the next generation batteries, but by then Tesla will be as big as them.

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2013, at 7:20 PM, chrischamb1 wrote:

    Weaponz......

    Very well put! I agree that the single biggest factor for Tesla's both current and future success is its commitment to being a "strictly electric" vehicle manufacturer while ALL the other manufactures continue to "hedge their bets" by going the way of the hybrid or these very low range all-electrics. It's vault of current and future patents may make it a prime candidate for a take-over or buyout (perhaps by industries or people who once again want to kill the whole electric vehicle concept) but I truly hope that Musk holds his ground and takes us all into the future of transportation on his well intentioned and revolutionary shoulders!

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2013, at 8:04 PM, Frankus2 wrote:

    Comparing the range of electric vehicles that cost $35k with Tesla models that START at $65k isn't a valid comparison. It's like saying "Indian car maker Tata hasn't released a vehicle that come close to achieving the Porsche 911 Turbo's 0-60 time of 3.4 seconds." Let's talk about what Tesla could do now for $35k or what Ford / Nissan / Honda and others could do now for Tesla's $70k - $120k. When GM says their 200 mile battery technology costs too much, they probably mean that it costs as much as Tesla's. Just because Tesla can do more with more money, doesn't mean that their technology is necessarily better.

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2013, at 9:26 PM, biggdog110 wrote:

    twice a week you write negative articles and twice a week you are positive on Tesla.

    What's wrong with you???

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2013, at 10:18 PM, normgarry wrote:

    #1 FULLY ELECTRIC VEHICLES are a "niche" product. In other words: they are a "stroke job for the rich".

    A Model S costs deep into the $65,000 range. The average American is buying cars BELOW $30,000 - or a used car. The Teslas are selling like hotcakes because RICH PEOPLE and upper middle class people want to buy them.

    Add to that the MEDIA HYPE (I'm looking at you Motley) and you make it seem they are selling better than they really are. They are selling 100% of what they build because the supply hasn't caught up to the demand. NOT EVERYONE WANTS A FULLY ELECTRIC PLUG-IN because many people have no place to plug them in.

    #2 The vast majority of America's ELECTRICITY is a byproduct of fossil fuels. The "Superchargers" get their electricity mostly from the local power grid and there is NO WAY they can fully charge a Model S (let alone several of them) without using the power grid. Solar panels are NOT that efficient.

    Therefore, this car is not "green". It's just the latest toy designed to get Materialistic hippies to spend a few dollars more.

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2013, at 11:21 PM, tkeracer619 wrote:

    The day Musk said he would sell a car in a few years that will be half the price I started saving for it.

    My shingles are being replaced in the spring and a net zero solar system is being installed.

    The tech is here. It's time to make some changes.

    I'm using ethanol in both sports cars due to its high octane rating. (530hp Acura Integra & 780hp compound turbo NSX)

    The only thing that uses gasoline as a fuel is my lawn mower, weed whacker, and my Hemi but if I ever boost the Hemi it will switch to ethanol as well.

    Just about the time the Hemi and tesla is payed off I will also be getting free power. Will be cool to commute in a car that needs very little maintenance that doesn't cost me a cent in fuel.

    I drove a model s a few weeks back and it was amazing. Cannot wait for a more affordable version.

  • Report this Comment On September 27, 2013, at 11:30 PM, rotorhead1871 wrote:

    electric cars pollute MORE than gas cars....because to charge them you are pulling KW's from the grid which is coal powered for the majority.....for electric to be really GREEN....the GRID needs to go GREEN.....and that will take 200 years....!!!!!!!!!!!!!...so just keep fooling yourself...

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 12:07 AM, damilkman wrote:

    Thanks weaponz for the explaination. So we just have to decide if the short term decision is the right move. I would say the way you describe it not investing in what you seem to be describing as a dead end technology is a prudent thing to do for the conventional auto companies. After all they are in the buisness of having to make money. I am not convinced if Musk is in this for the long haul and will look to sell out. If first to market was all that mattered we would all still be using Blackberries with Netscape browsers. I'm in the telcom buisness where a similar decision had to be made. There was 40G with POS chips out there now. Or you could hold out for 100G Ethernet. A few folks spent the big dollars on 40G. Most everone else held out for the more economical 100G.

    So us fools have to decide if the short term decision makes the company a long term investment. Telsa in my opinion has to stay ahead of the technology curve. When you are talking about the masses they will not spend an extra 10K just because Tony Stark is the CEO. They will buy the cheapest car which is why they shop at Walmart. The only loyalty is to the dollar in my opinion. Of course it could be Musk never intended to sell an everyman car.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 12:13 AM, CrazyDocAl wrote:

    Stay away from Tesla. While the cars may be great the fact is parts are all but impossible to find. Teslas are sitting for months after getting into accidents because Tesla cares so little about the owners they will not ship repair parts.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 1:25 AM, tgordi wrote:

    Normgarry, Not everybody can buy a Porsche or Ferrari or Lamborghini. That doesn't make these car companies not making money or being awed by others. When it comes to your #2 comment, please do some research before writing statements. The non-partisan Union of Concerned Scientist had looked at this and their conclusion is that even in those states, where most of the electricity comes from coal burning plants, electric cars are as good as many low-emission cars with over 35 mpg equivalent of emissions. Fortunately, most states do have energy from renewable sources in their portfolio, which makes electric cars by far much cleaner than any internal combustion engine vehicle. Furthermore, many EV owners also install photovoltaic systems to generate their own electricity, practically driving truly zero emission vehicles, while not paying a dime to oil companies and shaikhs.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 1:28 AM, billybalut wrote:

    What is not being addressed is just how much a new battery change is going to cost? I have a feeling that in years to come the roads of America will be lined with deceased electric cars much like the 80's with Vegas and Pintos.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 1:33 AM, chrischamb1 wrote:

    To everyone of the negative comments about Tesla the company and it's vehicles (not the stock) above I really only have this to say:

    1. You are ignorant about the subject.

    2. Your statements that electric cars aren't green (Tesla's or anyone else's) due to the fact that they take power off the grid that runs on coal is REALLY pathetic! Since Tesla's get up to 300 per full charge, there is no reason to charge more than once a day (unless on a road trip where you would then use the FREE Supercharger network) so you only need to charge at night when the "grid" has huge amounts of unused capacity. Thus not a single extra gram of carbon will be added to our atmosphere from electric cars.

    3. Why are Tesla's a rich man toy?? They cost the same as a comparably equipped Audi, Mercedes, BMW etc, and with MUCH LOWER operating costs. All all the buyers of those other manufacturers just frustrated rich people??

    4. The comment about "all these Tesla's sitting around after accidents due to no replacement parts" is just an asinine and ignorant statement with absolutely NO basis in fact or truth.

    Are you all in love with the ancient technology commonly referred to as an ICE vehicle??

    Where is your common sense?? These are American made vehicles using state of the art technology creating jobs fir Americans??

    Are you also so in love with your fathers GM that you can't admit to yourself that MAYBE someone could do something better than them??

    Please....get over yourselves!

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 3:32 AM, weaponz wrote:

    @ normgarry - Even if many people don't have a place to plug them in, there is more than enough people that have a place to plug them in to sell millions. On top of that, most electric infrastructure is already there, it is mostly a matter of wiring it up and changing a few circuit breakers. You can easily convert every lamp post to a charger.

    Also, I would not say that there is no way that the superchargers can be green. It is a matter of how Tesla buys their energy, many companies offer green option. And I am also willing to bet that Tesla buys most of their power from SolarCity. (yes solar city does sell electricity)

    @rotorhead - only a few states are mostly coal powered like WV. Coal only makes up 37% of the grid on average. My state for example has 5% coal. That said, in the US, even if you were to power it with 100% coal it would still be cleaner than a gasoline car.

    @CrazyDocAl - You must be mistaken, most parts Tesla ships out fairly easily and timely.

    @billybalut - A battery change after warranty runs out Tesla charges 12k for the 85kwh. Which is cheaper then most engine replacements for comparable cars.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 4:24 AM, weaponz wrote:

    @damilkman - I will note, short term in automotive world and short term in investment world are somewhat different. Tesla is 10 years old and had the roadster out for 5 years and they are still called a "start up" by most people.

    As far as conventional manufacturers thinking, well as I mentioned before, the manufacturers are more committed to hybrids. So they are committed to whatever achieves the cheapest battery for their hybrids. Which as you said they are chosen for financial reasons. Even if the new technology comes out (I estimate in 7-10 years) it will be expensive and the manufacturers would not be able to use them in hybrids. So the manufacturers will try to bring the current cells to as cheap as possible rather. (And it is very tempting too, imagine if your profit margins for the same car grew every single quarter). Tesla on the other hand can just stick the new technology in their Model S until it becomes affordable. (Of course other premium manufacturers will probably do the same)

    Assuming your contemplating to stick with Tesla till the very end. The bet here is on how much growth Tesla will see in the next 7-10 years. Normally, for a car company the answer would be "not much". But the fact that Tesla is a car company and a tech company changes the equation. It wouldn't be out of the question for Tesla to produce a million cars per year by then. A lot of people underestimate Tesla's drivetrain technology and how scalable it is. Once they get production up and running, they can easily make everything from sedans, to SUVs to pickup trucks and etc, all on the same platform. I wouldn't be surprised that after Gen III is released, Tesla would be able to output a new type of car every year,

    Overall though, I don't think any of them are taking the wrong path. Even if Tesla becomes as big as the big 3. It doesn't mean that any of them are going to go out of business. Once the electric market begins to expand, it will most likely be bigger then the current gasoline car market. Simply because people will drive more. Electric cars bring to the table cheap mileage and future self driving technologies will make it more convenient. The market will be big enough to fit all of them.

    There is a wild card though that may cause the big companies going their route to run into serious issues. The danger of the gas infrastructure collapsing. The reason is while oil companies are very profitable, gas stations are not. Gas stations make 1-3% profit margins on gasoline and most of their profit comes from their convenience stores that people visit while filling up. So what would happen as hybrids, electrics and high mpg cars start filling up the roads? Effectively the maintenance cost of the pumps and gas stations will be worth more then they make. Every year, over 1000 gas stations have been going out of business. In the last 10 years, we are at 10% less gas stations. And this is just from small improvements in mpg. Imagine if mpg doubled and most people stopped visiting gas stations because their hybrid battery is enough for their commute? But here is how this can impact the manufacturers. If this collapse does happen. Then hybrid cars will effectively lose their range extenders and electric cars would pretty much be the only ones unaffected. This can end up pretty badly for those not invested in a good pure EV. Since none of the manufacturers put in the money to make an EV platform from scratch(with exception of BMW), their platforms are not scalable(so its not as simple as people make it out of just putting in a bigger battery, that won't work) . The odds are not high though because I am sure the oil industry and the government will notice early signs of this and take preventive measure but the possibility still exists and it is something to look out for

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 7:34 AM, cyberterrorist wrote:

    Tesla doesnt make batteries. They buy from Panasonic and wire them together. There is no magic that cant be duplicated by any manufacturer.

    Tesla is a great car, and the company is a great short.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 7:56 AM, Dadw5boys wrote:

    Remember when GM use to announce contracts for things like Air Bags and Electrical Wiring Contracts? People would buy Gold Stocks and when the price went up as they Dipped the Electrical Contacts of the Air Bags in Gold they could sell and make a huge profit .

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 8:54 AM, Barmil wrote:

    I love reading all the comments being made!

    This story started over 100 years ago with the Franklin and Baker automobiles. These very issues were big time news back then.

    To make things more current I seem to remember in the 90's a company called GM had a platform called the skate board for it's electric car plan.

    They also had a big head start on everybody with the EV-1 back them. But the idea was dropped.

    Think of the advances over a 20 year period that are now being brought about by Tesla.

    As for the environmental issues of the electric source that depends on us the people. We decide on the way power is being generated.

    Elon Musk knows he has to not only produce the true zero emission cars but he also is establishing a clean recharging station network.

    At least he knows how you investors think. eventually you will get on board and recognize this could be a worth while future not only environmentally but economically as well.

    Is the electric car really the ultimate vehicle,is it the most achievable? I think it is. Does it have hurdles to address, yes. The difference is they can be over come and probably with less cost.

    To make a hydrogen car such as BMW has done is very impressive and it retains the same I.C.E. engine with zero emissions every body has been exposed to.

    Their killer is a non-existent economical fuel source in quantity and infrastructure to support the vehicles. Another fact is it remains at 30% efficiency.

    I thank Elon for being the dreamer that he is and investing in the U.S. and it's future.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 9:48 AM, TMFDanielSparks wrote:

    @cyberterrorist,

    Thanks for your comment. Don't forget that you don't need to manufacture something to have related patents on the design. Think of Apple's A7 chip. Fabricated by Samsung and Designed by Apple in California. Also, battery-related patents don't have to be directly regarding the design of the battery. They can be about the controlling software and things that affect the battery as well, like charging.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 11:52 AM, damilkman wrote:

    This has probably been one of the best Tesla threads in my opinion. My basic opinion is that Tesla will succeed as a company in its current form and direction but not as a long term investment. The problem is two fold. First even if Tesla hits all of their goals and retains all of their moats I am of the opininon that for them to hit 30% gross margins they will have to convince customers to pay a premium for their product. I do not think they can be the cheapest and hit 30%. You have to have brand like Porche does, which will be tough for the Walmart crowd.

    The second item is that Tesla has to be a real technology company. When I buy a router or a switch I am not just buying into the present. There is an upgrade path that ties me into that chassis for the next several years. Even if 400G and 1000G cards will not exist for a number of years I know the chassis is capable of supporting it with a fabric and linecard upgrade.

    Think about how cars are sold. Even if a car or truck is solid and retains its value after ten years it is still an old out of date car. It is really hard to update new features as you just have to incrementally add as you can. Musk needs to treat an automobile like a piece of computing gear, not a throw away item that becomes obsolete and loses value the minute you drive off the lot.

    I would be willing to pay more if I knew I could drive my four year old Tesla into a factory and get it retrofited with all the new bells & whistles or perhaps even change it completely. Change my sports car into a minivan. That is not how the conventional automobile companies think. If Tesla did that I think they would be worth their current valuation.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 11:54 AM, damilkman wrote:

    And I forgot to mention I think Joe Public would be willing to pay more up front for the ability to retain value and retain the ability to change and update their automobile

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 1:20 PM, highgrowthcarson wrote:

    According to Deutsch Bank in a July note, Tesla batteries cost them around $250/kwh while other companies cost is well over $400/kwh. This advantage seems abiding and will likely prove the determining factor in EV leadership down the road.

    While Tesla spent over a decade perfecting small cell battery packs and ringing their technology with a firm picket fence of patents, other mfgrs went down different paths and are many years behind.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 1:42 PM, EdwardInFlorida wrote:

    To those who think Tesla is a "good short", don't use your rent or mortgage money to bet against Elon. It's tough being homeless.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 1:49 PM, ashaskevich wrote:

    Not a single comment here was about what is really driving Tesla's Sales which in return drives Tesla's stock price.

    GASOLINE COST $3.25/GALLON

    ELECTRICITY COST 11CENTS/KILOWATT

    200 MILE RANGE, SUPERCHARGING NETWORK

    QUALITY PRODUCT, 5 STAR NHTSA RATING

    NOTHING MORE TO SAY.

    Wanna make some money. Buy TSLA now, wait a month or two, then sell. Want a retirement account, put 10k in TSLA and in 5 years you will be set for life.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 2:01 PM, weaponz wrote:

    @damilkman - Tesla actually does this already. You can retrofit your car and at a later time pay more money for upgrades. So if a new feature comes out, they let you upgrade it for a fee. According to Musk, they have a 500 mile battery in the works that will be used in the next Model S in 4-5 years. And the current Model S would be able to be upgraded.

    Tesla also has another way they let you upgrade a car. If you use a loaner, you have the option of paying the difference between your current car and the loaner. So you can upgrade to a new model at any time.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 5:16 PM, coll1951 wrote:

    Daniel, Tesla batteries are just larger, not superior. They use the same Panasonic NCR 18650b's as everybody else. Contrary to all the misinformation Tesla does not use NCA batteries, it's not a cell phone. Everybody is working on larger battery packs, and all the electric auto manufacturers will equal Tesla with 9 months on battery range, per KWH. BMW, has also developed a superior cooling system than Tesla. Something to consider, if the Tesla is impacted at over 30 mph, it is a total loss, it cannot be rebuilt. It appears that because of the floor plan, battery pack construction it deforms the cars body, and can not repaired use conventional body repair.

  • Report this Comment On September 28, 2013, at 6:55 PM, DaivdGoldbg wrote:

    Gen 3 in 2016? Or more likely 2018?

    Daniel, you say "Meanwhile, Musk has said that he sees a "a fairly clear path" to its affordable car, which Tesla plans to launch as early as 2016."

    As far as I know, post the Q2 quarterly report announcement interview, Musk was asked about the making of the Gen-3 and he said 2017/2018. As we all know Elon Musk has delayed most of his launches by a year or more. Model X was supposed to be 2013, then 2014, now 2015. So, do you have any information about the 2016 release date that I am not aware of? And if the release is 2018 rather than 2016, does this put a damper on your stock price enthusiasm?

  • Report this Comment On September 29, 2013, at 12:42 AM, weaponz wrote:

    @coll1951 - Who is everybody else? Tesla is the only one using small size batteries. Tesla does use NCA battery cells, the NCR18650 are NCA battery cells. What does it have to do with cellphones? cellphones don't use NCA, they use LCO. What does battery range per kwh suppose to do with the discussion? Also BMW's cooling system is not superior and it doesn't have to be and for obvious reasons, BMW i3 is limited in performance so they don't need much cooling.

    @DavidGoldbg - 2016/2017 is the accurate date. Tesla records and Musk both gave those dates. I have been following things for a while and never heard 2018. There were a few misconceptions after Q2 when Musk said that the Gen III will probably not qualify for the rebate. So some people assumed it means 2018. But reality is Tesla will hit their 200k cap in 2016.

    Also, what a lot of people don't realize is the Gen III includes 2 cars. a sedan and an suv/crossover.

  • Report this Comment On September 29, 2013, at 7:05 PM, AjitC wrote:

    The Tesla NCA cells do not have the electronics that are needed to control charging, discharging. That is done at pack level. Thus, they are cheaper than comparable Li-ion 18650 cells. At this stage, may be $1/cell or $7,500 for the lot. Packaging cost fall with economies of scale. Add it up and cost/KW-hr should be < $200.

    In the annual cc, Elon said they are on the way to increasing battery performance. Enable a light weight 40-50 KW-hr pack for $35k Gen3. Or a 500 mile battery for Model S/X. With a widespread SC network, it is a combo hard to beat.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 10:33 AM, jeffhre wrote:

    cyberterrorist. I have wired batteries together since I was 5 years old, on my Mom's kitchen table, using dry cells.

    I did not need a team of some of the worlds most inventive engineers, recruited from some of the most successful companies and the most prestigious universities, and a sprinkling of stock options to do this. My work at Mom's kitchen table did not result in hundreds of patents being issued.

    I am not the brightest analyst ever, but your analysis is lacking something. By a long shot, I believe.

    Never-mind, I am probably just nitpicking, and the short position may just be a sound investment strategy.

  • Report this Comment On September 30, 2013, at 10:46 AM, TMFDanielSparks wrote:

    @daivdGoldbg

    "As early as 2016" comes from Tesla's most recent investor presentation on Sept. 14. You can find the PPT slides here: http://ir.teslamotors.com/events.cfm

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