Tesla Motors Inc CEO – Elon Musk – is contemplating building a ‘Gigafactory’ in Cape Town for making Powerwall batteries, says a report from Times Live. The report of Gigafactory in Cape Town follows the hiring reports of Evan Rice, former CEO of GreenCape, as Tesla’s business development manager for SA, the report says.
Tesla Gigafactory good for economy
Tesla Motors Inc intends to provide its energy storage solutions to local consumers and businesses for which it is already planning to open an office in SA soon. The US firm claims that its Powerwall can be used to power home, and it also allow customers to even go off the grid. Powerwall is a home battery that gets charged with the electricity generated from solar panels.
MyBroadband states that Tesla’s production of the first batch of Powerwalls at its Gigafactory in Nevada is almost completed, and by the end of January, the stock of batteries is due in SA. Rubicon’s – an authorized Tesla energy reseller in SA – sales director, Greg Blandford told MyBroadband that the expected selling price would be in the range of $3,600-$4,000 depending on the external factors.
Speaking to Times Live, Alan Winde, Western Cape MEC for economic opportunities, said, “We very much want to have a gigafactory here. If we get that right, it will make nuclear power generation obsolete.” Hinting on more such factories, Musk said previously that the Nevada Gigafactory, which is a $5bn project, would be known as ‘Gigafactory 1.’
Panasonic betting big on Tesla
Separately, Tesla’s partnership with Panasonic is set to continue for the foreseeable future as is evident from the recent comments of the firms President Kazuhiro Tsuga. Panasonic has been reported to invest up to $1.6bn into the ‘Gigafactory’, informed Tsuga.
It is expected that the total project cost will be in the range of $4-5bn, and this makes the amount Panasonic is investing really significant. “We are sort of waiting on the demand from Tesla. If Tesla succeeds and the electric vehicle becomes main stream, the world will be changed and we will have lots of opportunity to grow,” Tsuga said at CES last week.
Tesla Motors Inc has big plans ahead, and aims to sell 500,000 cars on an annual basis by 2020. Therefore, it does not come as a surprise that the two firms have developed a solid partnership. There are a few major firms that are taking transition to EV’s very seriously, and these two are surely among them.
On Friday, Tesla shares closed down 2.16% at $211. Year to date, the stock is down over 12% while in the last one-month, it is down over 7%. In pre-market trading today, shares were trading up. The stock has a 52-week high of $286.65 and a 52-week low of $181.40.