Power use in the Gigafactory

Discussion in 'Tesla Gigafactory' started by Jan Kjetil Andersen, Mar 21, 2018.

  1. Jan Kjetil Andersen

    Jan Kjetil Andersen New Member

    Feb 13, 2017
    #1 Jan Kjetil Andersen, Mar 21, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2018
    From time to time we hear claims that the energy to produce the batteries in electric vehicles is similar to several years of driving them. It will therefore be interesting to see if these numbers add up when the production hits 35 GWh per year.

    Let us see what we get by doing a back of the envelope calculation when we suppose that battery production consumes just one year of driving.

    The 35 GWH is enough to produce 350 000 cars with 100 KWh battery packs. If a typical car use 0.2 KWh per km and drives 15 000 km/year. We get an annual power usage of 3000 KWh (=3 MWh) per car.

    Multiplying that with 350 000 cars gives 1 050 000 MWh (1050 GWh) per year.

    I would be surprised if the factory uses that much.
  2. Roy_H

    Roy_H Member

    Jan 12, 2018
    Ontario, Canada
    Using your numbers, if electricity was 10¢/kwh and it took 3MwHr per car it would cost $300 just for the electricity to make a battery pack not counting labor and materials. Assuming Tesla can make a pack for about $10k this may be quite reasonable.

    Of course people making claims on how BEVs are just as polluting as ICEs always cherry pick one item to complain about. If you looked at the total energy required to make a BEV vs ICE car, that would be fair. If you compared say the energy/pollution to build a gas engine, I would be confident that it would be higher than battery + electric motor + controller in a BEV. But of course they don't want to do a fair comparison. I don't see big chimney stacks on the Gigafactory spewing pollutants into the air like iron foundries casting ICE engine blocks.

    The other claim they make is disposing batteries in land fill is more polluting than ICE gas pollutants. I don't really know the numbers, but Tesla has had a relationship with a battery re-cycling company (in Oregon I think) and is now adding recycle capability in the Gigafactory, so this argument is only possibly true if the battery is not recycled.

    Another claim made by ICE proponents is the pollution by the "long tailpipe" usually based on the electricity being produced by a coal plant. However, when they make their comparison, it is always vs EPA published specifications for a mid-sized car. They never take into account the pollution produced by drilling for oil, transporting to refinery (if by sea this can be a lot of pollution), pollution produced by the refinery, and lastly by the diesel powered tanker truck that delivers the gas from the refinery to your local gas station. Funny how they conveniently leave out these details.

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