Over the weekend, Tesla shared, via a Tweet, news of a second Megafactory opening in Shanghai, China. Construction is expected to begin in the third quarter of this year, with operations coming online by the summer of 2024.
The Megafactory will manufacture Megapacks, offering 3.9 MWh of storage capacity each, and available with a power rating of either 1 MW or 1.9 MW. The 4860-sized battery cells within the Megapack are expected to be manufactured in a collaboration with China’s CATL.
Recently, the battery chemistry of Megapacks transitioned from a cobalt-containing, manganese, and nickel-heavy NMC cathode formula to lithium-phosphate LMP models. With this shift to LMP cells, Tesla has extended its warranty to twenty years for a “majority of the battery’s capacity.”
Tesla’s first Megafactory, located in Lathrop, California, became operational in 2022. It also boasts a declared capacity of 40 GWh of batteries per year. At 3.9 MWh each, this translates to over 10,000 units annually, or just over 28 Megapacks per day.
Dedicated Tesla observers who measured the facility’s production via drone in February suggest that the factory was producing between four and nine Megapacks per day.
Even at partial operation, the Lathrop facility’s impact is already evident. Tesla set record energy storage deployment volumes in the third and fourth quarters of 2022, with 2,100 and then 2,462 MWhs of capacity, respectively. These figures exceeded historical peaks that were averaging near 1,000 MWh/quarter.
In total, Tesla installed 6.5 GWhs of energy storage products in 2022, averaging 4.5 Megapacks deployed per day.
The Nevada facility has a manufacturing capacity of about 3 GWh. When combined with the two new Megafactories, this raises the total potential capacity to 83 GWh/year.
Should the Lathrop and Shanghai facilities reach anywhere near their 40 GWh annual capacity by the end of 2024 and 2025, Tesla’s energy storage business will have experienced greater than 1,000% growth from 2022.
The company initially saw its capacity nearly double, deploying just over 3 GWh in 2020. Then, in 2021, it grew by approximately 25%, achieving 4 GWh, followed by a 62% increase in 2022.
Assuming a 50% manufacturing capacity factor at the Lathrop facility this year, Tesla’s 2022 record capacity deployments would triple to greater than 20 GWhs deployed. Further scaling of the Lathrop facility in 2024, and adding the Shanghai facility, could result in another doubling of capacity, reaching 40 GW deployed.
Tesla’s Megapack ordering page currently lists availability for new Megapack deliveries in the first quarter of 2025.
According to Tesla’s recently released third Master Plan, 2,310 GWh/year of stationary e-chem factories, such as Megapack style batteries, are required to achieve 100% clean electricity globally. By this measure, 57 Megafactories would fulfill this goal, and Tesla is soon to be operating two of them.
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