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Retirely in The things you own end up owning you,

Once Tesla’s new Gigafactory is up and running at peak, the cost of batteries should drop by 70%

I’m leasing a Leaf right now.  Lease payments are about equal to gas cost savings, and as a bonus there’s no real maintenance.  No oil to be changes, no transmissions to be flushed, no valves to be adjusted. One or two weekends a month I get out the old car and use that for a longer trip that’s not feasible in the Leaf, but for a daily commuter with some side trips on the way home, it’s been working just great. I fully recognize that an electric car, even a Tesla for $30k, still isn’t a viable option for a lot of people, and electric cars may never fully replace gas cars for certain professions/situations.  But I do think, even today, they are a good option for a lot of people, and they will only continue to improve. I haven’t worked on a car in 20 years.

Why, did they do away with valves?  Most cars still need valve adjustments, they’re just not as frequent as they used to be or the damage as catastrophic if you don’t since most modern cars are designed to have them get looser rather than tighter.  Honda still recommends checking the valve clearances every 30k miles.  Most people will probably go 100k+ miles before actually needing to have them adjusted.

My motorcycle on the other hand, still has the shiatty valves that tighten up over time and they are a pain in the ass to inspect and adjust.

I can’t wait to see what the model 3 is like.  Please let it be hatchbacky with a trunk, a frunk, and fast as hell like the S. Most wild ass guesses are that the 3 will be quite quick as there is little advantage of reducing performance and Musk doesn’t seem interested in following the classic auto sales model of crippling the car to sell an upgrade.  The battery pack will likely be capable of lower performance but it should be largely offset by the reduced weight of the car. It won’t have an insane mode standard but it will still be very quick. That’s what I’m hoping for.  Recognize that a $35k car won’t have the performance and features of a $70k car, but considering there’s some nice entry level cars at that price point from most luxury brands, they can’t skimp too much.  That price point hinges pretty much on how much the batteries cost though; if they can’t drive the price down as much as they’re expecting with the gigafactory, then the price is going to creep up and it will be outclassed by similar hybrids or other electrics entering the market.

Nissan just announced that their 2016 LEAF will get 27% more range out of the same physical size battery pack, while bumping the price of the car up only 5%. They figured out how to cram 30 KWh worth of battery in what was formerly 24 kWh of space.

Considering Tesla is creating a factory that will need no outside energy input (because they own all the solar panels on the roof, along with all the windmills on the hill), along with the highly automated processes to keep labor costs down, I see no reason why they won’t be able to drive the cost of their own battery packs down dramatically. When it’s fully operational, that one building will be manufacturing more lithium batteries than the entire world produces today. With that kind of volume, they can drive prices into the floor.

a clip from that:

We believe that Tesla’s use of an efficient nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA) cathode (ie the positive electrode), use of a silicon synthetic graphene anode (ie the negative electrode) that has 2-6x the lithium-ion storage capacity of today’s standard graphite anode, and a possible use of water-based anode solvent, are key advantages. […] Our analysis details a potential path to a 30% cell-level cost reduction to ~$88/kWh by using a more efficient lithium-rich nickel cobalt manganese cathode (vs. NCA), doubling the percentage of silicon in the synthetic graphene anode, replacing the liquid electrolyte with an ionic gel electrolyte which eliminates the need for a separator, and using a water-based electrode solvent for the cathode. The Gigafactory, which is expected to begin production in early ’16, should drive down pack-level costs by 70% to ~$38/kWh via economies of scale, supply chain optimization, increased automation, and production domestication.