Friday 9th December 2016

Resource Clips


Posts tagged ‘Tesla Motors Inc (TSLA)’

Infographic: 41 interesting facts about Tesla Motors

September 30th, 2016

by Jeff Desjardins | infographic by Jennings Motor Group | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | September 30, 2016

For investors, Elon Musk is a polarizing figure.

He clearly sees the big picture and has started multiple companies that could be considered extremely successful by almost any criteria: Paypal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX and Solar City are all valued at over $1 billion—an impressive feat, to be sure.

Musk also continually aims to bring us game-changing technologies that will improve society. The Hyperloop, Gigafactory 1 and a colony on Mars are just some of his recent ideas or contributions. Like them or hate them, they are bold and audacious plans. That’s just something we don’t see enough of these days.

By the same token, Elon Musk often gets ahead of himself. He sees things so well in advance that his projections and goals often don’t end up being grounded in reality. For example, the Wall Street Journal has reported here that Tesla failed to meet more than 20 of his projections, missing 10 of them by nearly a year on average.

These types of misses don’t sit well with investors, some of who already think the stock could be overvalued. After all, despite the optimism around future prospects for Tesla Motors, the company has technically lost $2.5 billion since its inception.

Regardless of where a person stands on Tesla and Elon, the story remains downright fascinating for many reasons.

The following infographic comes to us from Jennings Motor Group and it covers 41 facts on Tesla as well as Elon Musk—the driving force behind the company.

Infographic: 41 interesting facts about Tesla Motors

Infographic by Jennings Motor Group | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Battery infographic series Part 3: Explaining the surging demand for lithium-ion batteries

August 24th, 2016

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | August 24, 2016

The Battery Series will present five infographics exploring what investors need to know about modern battery technology, including raw material supply, demand and future applications.

Explaining the surging demand for lithium-ion batteries

 

Parts 1 and 2 examined the evolution of battery technology as well as what batteries can and cannot do. In this part, Visual Capitalist looks at demand in the rechargeable battery market with a major focus on the rapidly growing lithium-ion segment.

For many decades, lead-acid batteries have been the most important rechargeable batteries in our lives. Even in 2014, about 64.5% of all revenues in the rechargeable battery market were from lead-acid sales, mainly to be used for automotive starters.

Why?

Despite not being the most energy-dense batteries, lead-acids are proven and can supply high surge currents. They are also extremely cheap to manufacture, costing around $150 per kWh of energy capacity.

Enter lithium-ion

The first lithium-ions were not cheap. In fact, early batteries produced commercially in the mid-’90s typically cost upwards of $3,000 per kWh of energy.

Luckily, the cost of lithium-ion batteries has come down dramatically, making it the battery of choice for consumer electronics throughout the 2000s. And recently, scientists have made even more progress, opening the lithium-ion to many more applications, especially electric vehicles.

In 2008, analysts estimated that lithium-ion battery packs cost $600 to $1,200 per kWh, but this range would drop to $500 to $800 per kWh over the following four years. Tesla Motors now claims that a Tesla Model S battery costs $240 per kWh and that the expected cost for a Model 3 is $190 per kWh.

At $240 per kWh, lithium-ions become competitive with gas at $3 per gallon. At $150, the batteries can even compete with $2 gas.

Giant megafactories such as Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 will also help bring economies of scale to lithium-ion production, making them even less cost-prohibitive. Soon battery packs will cost closer to $100 per kWh, which will make them essentially cheaper than all gas-powered vehicles.

Demand for lithium-ion batteries

Major advancements in lithium-ion battery technology have been a game-changer. Cheaper, more-effective lithium-ions are now taking over the battery market.

In 2014, lithium-ions made up 33.4% of the rechargeable battery market worldwide, worth $49 billion. By 2025, it is estimated that the rechargeable battery market will more than double to $112 billion, while lithium-ion’s market share will more than double to 70%.

The key driver? The automotive segment.

In 2010, the automotive sector was a drop in the bucket for lithium-ion battery sales. Five years later, automotive made up more than $5 billion of sales in a sector worth nearly $16 billion.

The EV goes mainstream

In 2015, almost half a million cars were sold in the U.S. with an electric drive component. Fourteen percent of those sales were battery electric vehicles (BEVs):

  • 71,000 battery EVs (14%)

  • 43,000 plug-in hybrids (9%)

  • 384,000 hybrids (77%)

= 498,000 electric drive vehicles

But as a part of total U.S. auto sales, BEVs still made up less than 1% of sales:

  • 71,000 battery EVs (0.4%)

  • 43,000 plug-in hybrids (0.3%)

  • 384,000 hybrids (2.3%)

  • 16,900,000 gas/diesel sales (97%)

However, in the near future this is expected to change fast. By 2040, approximately 35% of all global sales will be BEVs.

This will put electric vehicle sales at close to 40 million per year globally, meaning a lot of energy will need to be stored by batteries. Bloomberg New Energy Finance expects that at this point electric vehicles will be pulling more than 1,900 TWh from the grid each year.

How much is 1,900 TWh? It’s enough to power the entire U.S. for 160 days. And to meet this demand for lithium-ion powered vehicles, a massive amount of battery packs will need to be manufactured.

Part 4 of the Battery Series looks at which materials will be needed to make this possible.

See Part 1 and Part 2 of the battery infographic series.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

July 27th, 2016

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | July 27, 2016

Tesla Motors officially unveils its massive new Gigafactory 1 at a grand opening on July 29.

The ultimate objective of the first Gigafactory is simple, but it is not for the faint of heart. Battery costs are the most expensive component of electric vehicles and the multi-billion-dollar Gigafactory aims to combine scale, vertical integration and other efficiencies to bring lithium-ion battery costs down.

Costs have already come down faster than most analysts predicted and the Gigafactory could be the final catalyst to get below the industry’s holy grail of $100 per kWh. Cheaper battery packs could make electric vehicles competitive with traditional gas-powered vehicles—and if that happens, it is a game-changer for the auto industry.

It’s important to note that the Gigafactory is fairly modular by design and construction is not complete yet. That said, here is what we know about the Gigafactory and its possible impact.

 

The Tesla Gigafactory 1 will be the largest building in the world by footprint.

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

The Gigafactory will take up 5.8 million square feet of space, making it bigger than Boeing’s giant facility in Everett, Washington. That’s roughly equivalent to 100 football fields.

While the Gigafactory will certainly be one of the largest factories by volume, it will be hard to compete with Boeing for first place there. Boeing’s Everett facility, which is six storeys high to accommodate construction of the giant planes, has a total of 472 million cubic feet of volume.

 

The scale will make production of lithium-ion batteries way cheaper

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

Tesla recently stated that its current battery cost is $190 per kWh for the Model S. The Gigafactory aims to reduce battery costs by 30%. Tesla expects this to happen through vertical integration, adding economies of scale, reducing waste, optimizing processes and tidying up the supply chain.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has also stated that the company is changing the form factor of the batteries from the industry standard. Lithium-ion cells used for notebook computer batteries are typically produced in an 18650 cell format (18mm x 65mm), but Tesla will produce them in a 20700 cell format (20mm x 70mm).

 

Tesla initially planned to produce 50 GWh of battery packs by 2020

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

 

However, Tesla has now moved that target forward by two years

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

Now it’s anticipated that Tesla could triple battery production to meet this demand. This means it could produce up to 105 GWh of battery cells and 150 GWh of completed battery packs. Musk says the current factory size will be sufficient for this ramp-up.

 

This will require serious amounts of raw materials

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

We previously showed the extraordinary amounts of materials needed to build a Tesla Model S. The batteries, which currently use an NCA cathode formulation, need lithium, graphite, cobalt, nickel and other base metals that aren’t used as much in an internal combustion engine.

This has created a significant rush for suppliers of these raw materials. It’s also something we are covering in our five-part battery series, in which we are looking at lithium-ion battery demand, as well as the materials that will need to be sourced as electric cars go mainstream.

 

If Tesla hits its 2018 projection, it will be a serious milestone for EVs

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

Tesla aims to sell 500,000 cars in 2018. If it hits the mark, it will be a big milestone for the electric vehicle market.

To put that number in perspective, the total amount of sales (all time) for the three most popular EV models (Leaf, Volt, Model S) added up to only about 404,000 cars as of December 2015.

 

This would also put Tesla on par with major auto brands

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

Tesla is still a small auto manufacturer—but if it meets its stated production goal of 500,000 vehicles in 2018, that will be comparable with brands like Chrysler, Land Rover, Isuzu, Volvo and Lexus.

This still doesn’t compare to a giant like Ford, which sold 780,354 F-series pickups alone in 2015. But it is a step in the right direction for Elon Musk’s company.

 

Every 500,000 electric cars on the road saves 192 million gallons of gas

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

That’s equal to 290 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled with gasoline or 21,333 tanker trucks. Even taking into account coal power and pollution, driving a Tesla is already far better for the environment in most American states.

 

Other Giga-facts

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

The Gigafactory will be 100% powered by renewable energy. It’ll have solar panels covering the roof while also drawing power from wind and geothermal.

It will employ 6,500 people and it will have a state-of-the-art recycling system to make use of old battery packs.

Musk says the “exit rate” of lithium-ion cells from the Gigafactory will literally be faster than bullets from a machine gun.

 

Bonus slide

Visual Capitalist puts the new Tesla Gigafactory in perspective

Last week Musk unveiled the “master plan” behind Tesla. The Gigafactory will ultimately help make these ambitions possible.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

June 22nd, 2016

Tesla announces plan to acquire SolarCity to form an Elon Musk (not so) super group Equities.com
What Brexit is all about: Taxation (and regulation) without representation Stockhouse
Three bullish views on NexGen Energy Streetwise Reports
Let’s talk prices: Graphite, lithium, fluorspar and TiO2 Industrial Minerals
Analyse this: Central bank intervention GoldSeek
Limestone: Commodity overview Geology for Investors
Lithium penny stock soars on sample results SmallCapPower
Elon Musk: Our lithium-ion batteries should be called nickel-graphite Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500

The real backbone of green technology

June 15th, 2016

Posted with permission of Resource Works

Renewable energy has an enviable position in the court of public opinion. All the while, natural resources that make renewables possible are regularly decried by self-proclaimed progressives pushing to leave everything in the ground.

It’s true—our planet’s climate is changing and humans are the central instigators. Though even as the reality of carbon emission strikes home, we must be careful that our understanding of the state of energy transition doesn’t become mired in conflicting agendas with contrasting narratives about the path to an effective shift into clean tech.

The real backbone of green technology

The simple reality is that we subsist on energy produced by carbon emission and goods built on mineral extraction. Think it ends with renewables? Not a chance.

To serve as a viable alternative to fossil fuels, already a major task for the brightest innovators we’ve got, green technologies depend on mineral development, as well as global production and supply chains that are almost entirely driven by petroleum products.

A Tesla car battery or a solar panel doesn’t just come into existence and begin creating limitless energy. Before ingenious technologies built to harness the sun’s power or that of the wind can come online and begin feeding into a power grid, the raw materials that make them must be sourced and transported. Mining is the first step. A solar panel is just one good example of the complexity of high-tech manufacturing.

Once minerals like neodymium (a rare earth metal used to make magnets in wind turbines) or quartz (the most common ingredient in the panel part of a solar panel) are sourced, they go to refining to render them suitable for industrial application.

An 80-foot-tall wind turbine typically carries 19,000 pounds of steel in the tower itself. Steelmaking, in case you didn’t know, requires coal both as an energy source and as a source of carbon, which when combined with iron is used to create steel. Based on the steel industry’s global annual figures, the total coal used in making steel is about half the weight of the total steel output.

Next these materials must be assembled, often in many places cumulatively. By the time a typical wind turbine starts moving, its parts will have traversed thousands of kilometres.

Here’s the point to take with you: “Fossil fuel-free” favourites like wind, solar or even hydro rely on extracted natural resources. With enough research and development, the methods of manufacturing them will continuously become more efficient and we may reach an entirely zero emissions lifestyle. Until that point comes, mining and fuel extraction remain essential activities not just to our daily lives, but also to our best hopes for a shift to renewable energy production.

Resource Works is a non-profit society that encourages “respectful, fact-based dialogue on responsible resource development in British Columbia.”

Visual Capitalist: Is driving a Tesla better for the environment? It depends…

June 13th, 2016

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | June 13, 2016

Are Teslas and other electric vehicles perfect for the environment?

The answer is no, since nothing can be perfect. Electric vehicles are still a source of GHG emissions as a result of the manufacturing and raw material extraction processes. Further, and more importantly, lifetime emissions for electric vehicles also depend on the sources of fuel used to power the local grid.

So is driving a Tesla better for the environment?

This infographic, which looks at the well-to-wheels impact of electric and gas vehicles, was created in association with Delbrook Capital, a financial services company that has launched the CO2 Master Solutions Fund.

Using info from south of the border, we explore the latest data on the lifetime emissions of gasoline and electric vehicles, and how they compare in different parts of the U.S.

Is driving a Tesla better for the environment? It depends…

Is driving a Tesla better for the environment than using a comparably sized gas-powered vehicle? In the majority of examples considered here, the answer is yes.

However, the true environmental impact depends greatly on the specific power sources that the local grid uses to generate electricity.

The power mix

According to a study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the average new gasoline vehicle generates the equivalent of 29 miles per gallon of emissions over its lifetime. The study found that the average electric vehicle has emission equivalents in a range between 35 MPG to 135 MPG depending on the power grid of the region in which it’s driven.

Electric cars in the American northwest, for example, have the emissions of an equivalent 94 MPG gas-powered car. This is miles better than a new Honda Fit (36 MPG) or even hybrids such as the Prius (50 MPG) or Honda Accord hybrid (47 MPG). This is because 52% of all power in the region comes from hydro.

In Colorado, about 70% of all electricity is coal-fired. This means the electric car has the equivalent emissions of a gas-powered Honda Fit with 35 MPG. In Florida, natural gas has replaced coal usage, and now accounts for two-thirds of all electricity generated. Powering an EV on Florida’s grid for an estimated 51 MPG equivalent is better than driving a hybrid such as a Prius (50 MPG) or a Honda Accord hybrid (47 MPG).

The future of emissions

Today, the study by the Union of Concerned Scientists concludes that 66% of Americans would generate fewer emissions by driving electric vehicles based on the compositions of their local power grids.

In the very near future, plugging in will be better in 100% of places in America. Here’s why:

  • Battery technology will continue to get better. More efficiency means lighter and better cars.

  • Coal use is falling. It’s gone from 44% of all U.S. power generation in 2009 to 33% in 2015. It’s forecast to fall to 22% by 2020.

  • Many states also have committed to specific targets for green energy as a portion of their energy mix. More renewables for the grid means fewer emissions.

These changes could create many opportunities for investors.

As the electric car era is ushered in, some experts are predicting that entire power grids will need to be re-wired. Automobile dealer networks will be profoundly affected.

Car part manufacturers will also have to adapt. How many pieces are in a typical gas-powered vehicle? According to energy expert Gianni Kovacevic, there are about 100.

Is driving a Tesla better for the environment? It depends…

For an electric vehicle, which only needs about 20 components,
many of these parts will become antiquated.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.

June 1st, 2016

Can the TPP save the global economy? Stockhouse
Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Maybe they’re quaint, but some people do invest as “some sort of movement” GoldSeek
Tesla’s rise has inspired a dozen new electric vehicle rivals Equities.com
Lithium 2016: Demand on the rise Industrial Minerals
A new golden bull, or has the market gone too far too fast? Streetwise Reports
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500
Total makes $1.1-billion battery bid for foothold in the new oil Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

May 31st, 2016

Lithium in Las Vegas: A closer look at the lithium bull The Disruptive Discoveries Journal
Maybe they’re quaint, but some people do invest as “some sort of movement” GoldSeek
Tesla’s rise has inspired a dozen new electric vehicle rivals Equities.com
Lithium 2016: Demand on the rise Industrial Minerals
A new golden bull, or has the market gone too far too fast? Streetwise Reports
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500
Gold takes a breather. Is this the buying opportunity investors are looking for? Stockhouse
Total makes $1.1-billion battery bid for foothold in the new oil Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

May 30th, 2016

Tesla’s rise has inspired a dozen new electric vehicle rivals Equities.com
Lithium 2016: Demand on the rise Industrial Minerals
A new golden bull, or has the market gone too far too fast? Streetwise Reports
A tale of two gluts: Oil and ore approach $50 on opposite paths NAI 500
Q1 silver maple leaf coin sales surge to highest record ever SilverSeek
Gold takes a breather. Is this the buying opportunity investors are looking for? Stockhouse
Total makes $1.1-billion battery bid for foothold in the new oil Benchmark Mineral Intelligence
Gold stock rally’s market cap bias may surprise you SmallCapPower

Volkswagen ponders a German Gigafactory

May 28th, 2016

by Greg Klein | May 28, 2016

A multi-billion-euro electric vehicle battery factory could be coming to Germany if Volkswagen approves the idea. The German business daily Handelsblatt said VW has the plan under consideration and might make an announcement at the firm’s annual meeting on June 22.

Volkswagen ponders a German Gigafactory

Volkswagen hopes models like the E-Up will improve
the company’s image as well as its revenues.
(Image: Volkswagen)

Citing unnamed company sources, Handelsblatt stated, “The company’s executive board looks likely to approve the plan, which is also supported in principle by the works council and the state of Lower Saxony, its major shareholder.”

The Dieselgate-bedevilled company hopes to expand its electric car sales to one million within a decade, according to the journal.

Earlier this month Benchmark Mineral Intelligence said at least 12 mega-factories are expected to be producing lithium-ion batteries by 2020.

While unveiling Tesla Motors’ Model 3 on March 31, CEO Elon Musk announced the company’s Nevada Gigafactory is “already operational today.”

Interview: Chris Berry discusses the lithium boom.