Exciting stuff, and Tesla seems to be excited as well as they're talking about hosting a "battery" conference soon
Tesla simply doesn't have the money to spin up a mass-production Lithium Ion cell production line.
With all of this great industry insight and informed speculation flying around this thread, can anyone venture a guess when hybrids or EVs will reach price parity with ICE?
Iron is significantly cheaper to mine, refine, and machine than Cobalt / Lithium / Rare Earth Metals. Its basically impossible for EVs to be mass-produced on the scale of ICE within 10 years. Battery technology will need a significant advancement away from rare-earth metals mined from unfriendly nations (or... a large-deposit of the metals need to be found in a "friendly" 3rd world country and distributed to the western world) before EVs can be built on the same scale as ICE.
Realistically, companies are going to be buying cells from Panasonic, LG Chem, and other chemical companies for quite some time into the future. Eventually, new battery chemistry will change everything for the better, but car companies aren't really making the investments in this hard science yet. No, not even Tesla.
I know Tesla / Elon Musk likes to pretend that they're doing things. But just take a look at their R&D expenses, they simply can't afford new R&D research on top of everything else they're doing. There's no Tesla Semi yet, there's no Tesla Truck, the Model Y needs to be rolled out, and the Model S and X need a refresh. And their R&D budget hasn't changed at all
. Its all just hype, you can't fund all of these research projects unless you have... well... funding.
You look at all the projects that Tesla is hyping, and the ONLY
feasible project with their current budget is the Model Y, maybe the Model S & X refreshes. Maybe
the Tesla Semi, if its a "small" enough project (non-mass production. Very small production lines. Etc. etc.). Otherwise, expect these moonshot projects to go the same as the "Tesla Solar Roof". Completely nowhere and ignored in just a year.