By on June 25, 2020

No, Tesla isn’t resurrecting an intermediate-sized Mopar muscle car. It’s something far less sexy than that.

According to documents, Tesla aims to build a battery research and manufacturing facility, staffed 24/7, in the dreaded state of California.

According to municipal documents seen by Reuters, the electric automaker wants to expand a fledgling battery-building operation in Fremont, California and staff it around the clock. The plan carries the name Roadrunner.

Tesla believes it can have the operation up and running in three months if given the go-ahead, with 470 employees working at the facility — at least 100 of which would be on site at any given time. In the document, the automaker claims it already has a “small-scale” battery operation ongoing in Fremont.

For its U.S. products, Tesla sources batteries from its Nevada Gigafactory under an agreement with Panasonic. At its Shanghai assembly plant, batteries come by way of LG Chem and Contemporary Amperex Technology; the latter supplier is the source of the low-cost, long-range battery Tesla touted back in May.

Earlier this week, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said his company will host a “Battery Day” on September 15th, prompting speculation about a big breakthrough in EV propulsion technology.

[Image: Tesla]

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4 Comments on “Report: Tesla Eager to Get Started on Roadrunner...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’ve often wondered what would happen if the battery breakthrough actually came, how Tesla would retool for it.

    The Gigifactory is a big operation. My math says they are producing and assembling 20 cells per *second* (24/7/365) just for Model 3 production, not to mention Model S, X, Y, and Powerwalls. So you don’t just turn that operation on a dime.

    Another consideration would be redesigning the battery pack for each vehicle, plus new gas gauging code, safety/crash testing, and certification. You’d have to be very committed to such a change to embark on a worldwide change to the product design and mfg, since the cars are essentially designed around the battery.

    • 0 avatar
      mcs

      The Fremont facility is just a pilot plant. Austin/Del Valle will probably get a full scale operation. There is also some new construction in Shanghai as well. The single crystal, tabless, and dry electrode technologies should give their battery tech a good boost.

      It’s tough to define “breakthrough”. Even Toyota’s solid-state battery was preceded by numerous patent filings over several years. There are numerous labs working on small pieces of the puzzles I think we’ll see a steady stream of improvements made up of lots of tiny little breakthroughs. Even beyond that are the even smaller technology breakthroughs that enable the small battery improvements. There’s is a huge demand for better batteries for all sorts of devices. Lot’s of momentum.

      Don’t forget motor technology advancements. They’re important too and there have been breakthroughs there as well.

  • avatar
    James2

    Elon apparently forgot his vow to move Tesla out of California.

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