Lion cars per annum in 2030.
WAIT, ONE MORE THING...
0-100 km/h < 2 sec, quarter mile < 9 sec, yours for $139,990. in the United States. And as can be expected from Elon Musk and his team, Tesla has figured out a new method of extracting lithium from clay using salt and water. This proprietary process makes a compelling case for the sustainable mining of lithium on a 4,000 hectare parcel of land that Tesla has acquired in close proximity to its Gigafactory Nevada. Cost reductions based on the new method of extraction and location close to manufacturing makes this another coup for Tesla in its drive towards a sustainable future for humankind.
Recycling Cheaper than Mining – % reduction in $/ KWh cost to be determined
While Tesla remains dependent on third parties for recycling battery materials, Musk and Baglino went to great lengths to point out that the recycling of batteries is an order of magnitude more efficient and cost effective for retrieving battery cell materials than even the most efficient mining. Typical nickel ore yields only 1.2% battery grade nickel, compared to 20% for recycled batteries. Similarly, recycling yields 20 times more cobalt, and four times more lithium than mining. With such vast cost savings potential in recycling, Tesla is starting its own recycling pilot project at Gigafactory Nevada this quarter.
Amidst the announcements of revolutionary breakthroughs, Tesla also unveiled its Model S Plaid, the quickest accelerating production car ever. Fitted with Tesla’s new 4680 battery cells feeding a trimotor all-wheel drive powertrain, this electric hyper sedan boasts an electric range of over 840 km, and
is claimed to accelerate from 0-100 km/h in under two seconds while scorching the quarter mile in under nine seconds. On top of that, the Model S Plaid recently set the fastest lap time ever for a production sedan on the Laguna Seca Raceway. This follows a similar unofficial record lap time on the Nürburgring in 2019. Originally announced for 2020, the new Tesla Model S Plaid will be available in late 2021, and can be ordered on the Tesla website for $139,990 (approximately R2,374,986) – a very reasonable price when compared to the much more expensive Porsche Taycan and the Lucid Air, not to mention the luxury internal combustion engine offerings from MercedesBenz and BMW in the same price bracket.
Tesla’s revolutionary 4680 battery cell, combined with breakthroughs in factory design, anode and cathode materials, as well as its epochal battery/ vehicle integration promises a total reduction of 55% in $/KWh cost at the pack level, increasing range by 54%, and reducing capex investment per GWh with 69%. The implications of such cost savings, not to mention the increase in range, are legion. As the teardown expert Sandy Munro from Munro & Associates quipped, this should have the CEOs of every OEM wetting their shorts. And if they are not quaking in their boots, hopefully this will motivate them to strap on their boots to attempt a similar march towards revolutionary breakthroughs, cost savings, and a sustainable future for all. Elon Musk’s aspirations tend to be of the giga variety, but given his vast accomplishments across numerous industries, only a fool would bet against him.