Newswatch: Tesla sketches out roadmap for the future?

March 04, 2014 // By Paul Buckley
Last week, Tesla Motors revealed in a blog entry some future statistics about the company's proposed Gigafactory which is expected to feature 6500 employees in a plant that will take up an area of up to 10 million square feet.

By 2020 the company's is forecasting theTesla vehicle volume would be @ 500 000 per year with the Gigafactory's cell output estimated to be 32 GWh/yr.  The 2020 Gigafactory pack output is forecast to be 50 GWh/yr. 

Planned 2020 Gigafactory production exceeds 2013 global production
 (Source: Tesla Motors Blog)
Tesla also revealed a process flow diagram that indicates how the company plans to bring several key phases of battery manufacture all under one roof where traditionally lithium-ion batteries would be put together using at least three different manufacturing plants.

Gigafactory process flow (Source: Tesla Motors Blog)

Tesla says that the company and its partners (which are still to be revealed) will invest $4-5 billion in the Gigafactory through to 2020 with capital expenditure being shared by Gigafactory partners. Tesla has revealed the company plans to directly invest about $2 billion in the project. The Gigafactory's projected timeline will see facility construction start some time in 2014 with the aim to start manufacturing batteries in 2017.

Gigafactory projected timeline (Source: Tesla Motors Blog)

Tesla Motors' current Model S is a rear wheel drive electric vehicle that features a liquid-cooled powertrain includes a 60 kWh microprocessor controlled, lithium-ion battery battery, motor, drive inverter, and gear box.

Tesla Motors Model S electric vehicle

The Model S is offered with three battery options which use automotive-grade lithium-ion cells arranged for optimum energy density, thermal management, and safety.

Tesla often claims that the company's battery packs strive to have the highest energy density amongst all its electric vehicle competitors.

Where is the roadmap heading?

Although Tesla Motors intially started being focused on the electric vehicle market. The Gigafactory concept is already reminiscent of Henry Ford’s early factory scale and vertical integration plans  that halved the cost of internal combustion-based cars at a stroke.  But is clear  now that the company is looking to embrace a number of other major industry sectors in its roadmap for