Tesla's ambitious plans for turning electric vehicles into a mainstream mode of transportation will require more power. A lot more power, judging by the latest quarterly report from the company, which included comments from CEO Elon Musk about a potential battery factory that would be owned and operated by Tesla itself:
This is going to be a very green factory. There's going to be a lot of solar power. It's going to have essentially zero emissions and there are no toxic elements that are going to come out ... and we will build recycling capability right into the factory.
Old battery packs would be converted into new ones within this proposed facility, which Musk describes as a "giga factory" that would be comparable in size to "all lithium-ion production in the world." So, the man that introduced us to the idea of the Hyperloop, who happens to dabble in commercial space flight on the side, now also wants to build the world's largest battery factory as well.
Zero emissions, tons of solar power, and battery recycling — all on the checklist
What's most notable about these latest comments from Tesla is the fact that they come shortly after the EV maker agreed to renew a supply deal with Panasonic that greatly increased the number of cells provided by the Japanese company. Panasonic will produce 2 billion new lithium-ion cells for Tesla over the next four years — to be used in the Model S and 2014's Model X. Even so, Elon Musk has said that Tesla will likely need to keep sourcing batteries from other companies as well, showing a great deal of optimism for the growing popularity of his electric cars.
As to Tesla's own expansive battery production and recycling plans, Musk says the time hasn't yet come to talk about the specifics. Tesla is looking at a variety of locations and options, but the way its CEO speaks about it, the wheels are already in motion on planning the operational details of this giga factory.