Elon Musk Shares New Details on Tesla’s Battery Costs


Moving onto the european battery conference interview with elon. Musk then that's was overnight about two. Am pacific time about a twenty minute interview and you did share quite a few things one of the things that caught the most attention at least on twitter today was elon. Musk's comments on long-term battery cost goals for tesla. So of course we heard at battery day. They aim to reduce those costs by about fifty six percent per kilowatt hour. So you on here. Finally gave us a dollar target. We had not heard that before he says quote the long term goal would be to try to get to a cost per kilowatt hour of perhaps around fifty cents or fifty five cents at the cell level for a long range battery and quote so you may have noticed the reason part of the reason this got so much attention today on twitter was because he on said fifty cents or fifty five cents per kilowatt hour at the sea level considering most estimates today put tesla above one hundred dollars per kilowatt hour down fifty cents per kilowatt hour obviously would be pretty insane so he llanos pretty clearly misspeaking there. Just run through a little bit of math year in case anyone has just a wild theory that maybe someday that would be possible. Nealon stock really long term. No that's not the case so to demonstrate that we can look nickel content in the battery pack for the model three that contains around thirty kilograms of nickel a kilogram nickel. Today costs about fifty dollars per kilogram. A little bit more. But let's just round down the scale discounts. You know whatever the case may be so. That's four hundred and fifty dollars of nickel in a battery. Pack for the model three assuming that seventy five kilowatt hours that works out to six dollars per kilowatt hour just for the nickel content in tesla battery so yeah that's just raw materials. There's no way they're ever getting down to fifty cents or fifty five cents per kilowatt hour. He also says at the cell level so even if you misinterpreted that and said that's a purse l. price of fifty cents or fifty five cents. Which will never make sense to quantify it that way. But let's say the new forty six eighties. There's going to be you know. Eight hundred nine hundred of those per mile three pack if each cell were fifty cents. You're then looking at a total battery cost of four hundred and fifty dollars but again just the nickel content alone costs around that much so pretty clearly ilan just misspeaking here any means fifty dollars or fifty five dollars per kilowatt hour so that shouldn't be too surprising with the math that we had worked through from battery day that fifty six percent cost reduction most estimates today. Put tesla at the pack level. You know somewhere around one hundred and five to one hundred and fifteen dollars per kilowatt hour so we can use these long-term targets and combine those with the battery percent reductions that we heard on battery day to get a gauge for those current cost estimates. But it's important to remember. That on here is talking about the cell cost and during battery day that fifty six percent per kilowatt hour reduction seven percent of that was actually four. Sell to vehicle integration. So i don't think we should be. Applying that percentage on this base cost here. So let's say than just at the cell cost level. They're targeting a forty nine percent reduction there if that's an accurate assumption that means yawns numbers here would imply that. Today's prices are somewhere between ninety eight dollars and one hundred and eight dollars per kilowatt hour at the cell level. So i don't know how much the additional cost to go from. Cell to pack would be per kilowatt hour but these do seem to line up pretty well with what estimates have been and can give us a lot more confidence in where tesla is currently and then of course. We're they intend to get to longer term with you on confirming that in this interview. So that means longer term you could be looking at a seventy five kilowatt hour. Pack costing just three thousand seven hundred fifty dollars versus today may be somewhere around seven thousand seven hundred so that's obviously very exciting for them locations for the car but one thing that i do also think is really interesting. Is the marginal impact of that as you. Add battery capacity because at that price. It just doesn't cost that much to add additional range adding twenty five kilowatt hours. There would only cost additional roughly twelve hundred dollars so in the case of a model three for example you could add an additional say hundred miles of range for only a final cost to the customer if you apply twenty percent margin on that of about fifteen hundred dollars. Obviously the batteries have to fit in the car. So there's going to be a limit. But i think as better costs come down. That limit is going to be more physical constraint versus pricing constraint.

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