Just in the past 50 years the automotive industry has revolutionized the way vehicles are designed and manufactured, including more technology than ever before. These technological additions put extra strain on the standard vehicle battery, because the battery itself was not designed to withstand this amount of continual load on top of generating the power needed to run smoothly. The amount of integrated technology may even reduce the life of the “standard” battery altogether. In conclusion, battery innovation is a necessary milestone as we add even more gadgets to the vehicles themselves.

A significantly improved battery would also change the face of the electric vehicle (EV) market. The battery is the one current drawback for most consumers when considering an EV. In addition to a better battery life, it also has a weight advantage that would be more than suitable for the EV market currently holding a battery that is very heavy. So together, an EV would not only weigh less and perform better, but it would cost less, too.

And the solution is coming to Nevada.

tesla-gigafactory-nevada

Construction on Tesla’s lithium-ion battery factory has started East of Reno.

“This is great news for Nevada. Tesla will build the world’s largest and most advanced battery factory in Nevada which means nearly one hundred billion dollars in economic impact to the Silver State over the next twenty years. I am grateful that Elon Musk and Tesla saw the promise in Nevada. These 21st century pioneers, fueled with innovation and desire, are emboldened by the promise of Nevada to change the world. Nevada is ready to lead,” stated Governor Brian Sandoval.

The company is expanding its manufacturing footprint into other areas, including in Tilburg, the Netherlands, where it has an assembly facility, and Lathrop, California, where it has a specialized production plant. To reduce the costs of lithium ion battery packs, Tesla and key strategic partners including Panasonic have begun construction of a gigafactory in Nevada that will facilitate the production of a mass-market affordable vehicle, Model 3.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said his company will start producing the car, priced at about $35,000, in 2017. He says the gigafactory—intended to double worldwide lithium-cell production—will cut battery costs by more than 30%, helping make the new car affordable. Tesla’s current Model S starts at about $70,000.

Battery production at the gigafactory is supposed to begin in 2017 and peak battery production should be reached when the gigafactory is fully complete in 2020. When finished, he says, the building will likely total between five and six million square feet—nearly as big as the Pentagon. By 2020, the gigafactory will produce more lithium ion cells than all of the world’s combined output in 2013. The gigafactory is expected to cost $5 billion and employ about 6,500 workers.

Tesla owners enjoy the benefit of charging at home so they never have to visit a gas station or spend a cent on gasoline. For long distance journeys, Tesla’s Supercharger network provides convenient and free access to high speed charging, replenishing half a charge in as little as 20 minutes. Superchargers now connect popular routes in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.

Tesla’s vehicles are produced at its factory in Fremont, California, previously home to New United Motor Manufacturing Inc., a joint venture between Toyota and General Motors. The Tesla Factory has returned thousands of jobs to the area and is capable of producing 1,000 cars a week.

The gigafactory will also produce battery packs intended for use in stationary storage, helping to improve robustness of the electrical grid, reduce energy costs for businesses and residences, and provide a backup supply of power.

Musk has said Tesla plans to generate all the power for the project from renewable sources, including geothermal energy, and he hopes to make the battery plant a “net zero-energy factory.” Tesla is not just an automaker, but also a technology and design company with a focus on energy innovation.

For more information about Tesla Motors click here.

What is a Lithium-Ion Battery?
A lithium-ion battery (sometimes Li-ion battery or LIB) is a member of a family of rechargeable battery types in which lithium ions move from the negative electrode to the positive electrode during discharge and back when charging. Li-ion batteries use an intercalated lithium compound as one electrode material, compared to the metallic lithium used in a non-rechargeable lithium battery. The electrolyte, which allows for ionic movement, and the two electrodes are the consistent components of a lithium-ion cell.

Lithium-ion batteries are common in consumer electronics. They are one of the most popular types of rechargeable batteries for portable electronics, with a high energy density, no memory effect, and only a slow loss of charge when not in use. Beyond consumer electronics, LIBs are also growing in popularity for military, electric vehicle and aerospace applications.[6] For example, lithium-ion batteries are becoming a common replacement for the lead acid batteries that have been used historically for golf carts and utility vehicles. Instead of heavy lead plates and acid electrolyte, the trend is to use lightweight lithium-ion battery packs that can provide the same voltage as lead-acid batteries, so no modification to the vehicle’s drive system is required.

Other Battery Alternatives
There is a lot of research being done to create the ultimate battery, but that end-all be-all in battery technology still eludes us. There have already been announcements that there are more efficient options than even the Lithium-Ion Battery: Lithium-Sulfur Battery Design.

What Does This Mean for Gas Powered Vehicles?
Battery innovation is great news for the world and comes when energy is emerging as a global crisis and renewable energy sources are becoming a real alternative. Does this spell the end for gas powered vehicles? Not in the near future. This marks the beginning of the transition from gas to electric power in the next 10-20 years though.

One thing is for certain, you can count on Sierra Car Care and MST Tire Center to keep your vehicle on the road, now and in the future. Big changes may be coming, and we’ll be ready and here to help!

Advertisements