*Pic: Tesla’s Gigafactory under construction – Image – Maxres. youtube
Image – Tesla Motors
First published November 9
Australia has just witnessed the last Holden vehicle to come off the factory conveyor. This signals the end of a once vibrant national manufacturing industry, which has ultimately fallen to international competition through cheaper imports and the removal of tariffs. American car manufacturing on the other hand is moving with the times, and the Tesla initiatives are setting the world stage alight with advanced renewable technology, electric vehicles and energy storage.
Tesla’s new Gigafactory 1 in Nevada will produce Lithium batteries to power the Tesla electric vehicles and renewable energy storage systems. The factory is currently incomplete, though when finished it will be as big as the Vatican City, and completely powered by renewable energy. It is estimated that by December the factory will be producing 20,000 Tesla vehicles per month, and employing 6000 workers.
Tesla’s projected capacity for 2018 is 50 (GW h)/ of battery packs and its final capacity upon completion of the entire factory is 150 GWh/yr. This would enable Tesla to produce 1,500,000 cars per year.
Telsa expects their mass production will bring down battery prices significantly, which will further boost demand. It is estimated that Nevada construction impact to be at $2.4 billion, and the state will receive around $100 billion in economic benefit over the next two decades.
Tesla is also constructing Gigafactory 2 in New York, and another one in Europe is to be announced later this year.
Elon Musk thinks that 100 of these Gigafactories could power the entire world.
Electric cars on the rise
Meanwhile back in Australia vehicle manufacturing has become a bygone era. With little effort and some business incentives the Australian government could have transitioned some of the country’s manufacturing of vehicles into making renewable energy products.
Instead our conservative politicians have stuck with the stone-age ideology of digging up, burning and exporting coal, which also like fossil fuel-powered vehicles will become obsolete in the next few decades.
Such a scenario will see Australia’s resource extraction driven economy limp into non-existence leaving the country with a flaccid economic base in the foreseeable future.
*Ted Mead is bewildered as to how Australia, which was the leading country in the world on renewables back in 1975, has now become a lagging nation on neo techno innovations in alternative energy. With the ousting of the Whitlam government, most of our advances and personal expertise went offshore, leaving the country to bumble on in the dark ages of fossil fuel madness.