Tesla to reveal details of battery 'Gigafactory'

Tesla Motors' CEO Elon Musk says that this week, he will detail his plans to build a huge plant to make electric car batteries — so big that he calls it the "gigafactory."
 
Compared with Tesla's swoopy electric luxury cars, making lithium-ion battery packs sounds decidedly unsexy. But Tesla apparently views the plant as critical to its strategy. Reasons:
 
•Steady supply. Tesla will make the case that it needs its own source of battery packs. It has made no secret of its inability to get enough batteries through its deal with Panasonic to keep up with demand for its Model S electric sedan. It says the current shortage will last through the first half of the year.
 
•Other revenue streams. The plant could supply batteries to other carmakers and for other uses. Musk also is chairman of SolarCity, which has announced plans to sell Tesla battery packs to companies to use for emergency backup power storage.
 
•Future models. Tesla is developing a more mainstream electric car for sale in several years. But it will need to dramatically lower battery costs and increase supply to create a mass-market vehicle.

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