Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
[flagged] VW Just Gave Tesla a $25B Battery Shock (bloomberg.com)
25 points by JumpCrisscross 4 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments



I wonder more and more where the massive battery production increase will get their cobalt from. Production in the coming 5 years will be multiplied, maybe even towards a different magnitude! As such, the cobalt and lithium demand will scale in the same fold. Lithium is relatively widespread (compared to cobalt), so while it gets harder to get lithium (and more expensive), it will not be impossible.

Cobalt however is quite a different story. What are the producers planning to do? Dig up half Congo?


Tesla say they are going to source their cobalt from North America, here's an in depth analysis from techcrunch that looks at the feasibility of that:

https://techcrunch.com/2017/01/01/no-cobalt-no-tesla/

Tldr: it _might_ be feasible


How exactly? the only producer of Cobalt in North America on a large scale is Canada and it doesn't look like even if Tesla reserves Canada's entire production of Cobalt that it would be enough.

https://minerals.usgs.gov/minerals/pubs/commodity/cobalt/mcs...

Edit: It could be enough for the time being as Tesla seem to still source a lot (likely most) of it's batteries from the global supply chain and not making everything in house, but if the Gigafactory goes full steam and Tesla does start producing even low to mid double digit percentage of the cells they predict they'll need for both EV and their energy storage (SolarCity) I think Elon might need to buy whatever Blackwater is calling themselves today and invade the DRP.


Almost every week there's a headline about VW/Audi and electric cars which becomes far less exciting once you read past the first paragraph and see that it's "by 2022" or often later.

They are doing their best to look forward moving and progressive in the wake of dieselgate. But to me it seems like all optics and vapourware. Even the e-Golf, not really a bad product, is only available in very tiny numbers. They've dropped all hybrids from their lineup in North America except for the weakly sold and rather mediocre spec'd A3 e-Tron.

Basically, I'll believe it when I see the cars in showrooms and dealer lots and in monthly sales reports. Until then, I'm still angry about what happened with my diesel Jetta.


Warning: article has auto-playing video with sound.

(Rule query: is it appropriate to suggest a [video] tag for articles like these?)


In chrome navigate to chrome://flags/#autoplay-policy and change to "document user activation is required".


Clutter-free link (without video) https://outline.com/gPZxu5


Isn't tesla's competitive advantage that they don't buy their batteries from the current supply chains? Even the total world's supply of lithium ion batteries wouldn't be enough to provide for model 3 program.


That and they have some of the best battery scientists working for them. John Goodenough was a co-inventor of the lithium ion battery and works for/with Tesla on refining their chemistry and battery tech. JB Straubel is also widely considered one of the world's foremost battery experts, who happens to have been at Tesla longer than Elon Musk. Then there is Jeff Dahn and his university's partnership with Tesla on longevity, etc. Tesla is a battery company who happens to sell cars (and giant battery packs for electric grid storage).


I give Musk a lot of credit for giving JB Straubel the latitude to just Get Shit Done. It’s clear he’s adopted the “hire smart people and do what they tell you” mantra, and it’s paying off.


Entirely agreed! I was just pointing out that Tesla's "business moat" is in their people, who literally lead or created the industry which they're dominant in (battery tech for their electric vehicles).


Tesla are transitioning into building their batteries in partnership with Panasonic in the biggest factory in the world. Do you mean the raw materials rather than the batteries?


Nice.

Though I still wish we had 'something other than batteries'. Batteries can barely charge at their max discharge rate, meaning you can discharge at 75mph but charge at 30mph :(


The question is what $ per kWh are VW going to get out of the deal? The challenge is not just sourcing lots of batteries, the challenge is to make them cheaper.


I wonder how CATL is getting their cobalt. Is it coming from the conflict mines in Congo, where 4 year old kids are sorting the rocks?


> Manufacturing the powerpacks themselves is not in the cards. “This is not one of our core competencies,” said Mueller, who has faced pressure from employee representatives to invest in battery-cell production. “Others can do it better than we can.”

Well at least we don't have to worry about the power packs cheating on on range tests.


What does this title even mean? Down with clickbait. Flagged.


This might be a better version of the same story:

https://arstechnica.com/cars/2018/03/volkswagen-bets-big-on-...


Willtheir electric cars be as clean as their "clean" diesel?




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: