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Tesla Considers Building The World’s Biggest Lithium-Ion Battery Factory

TSLA +0.92% is looking at building a lithium-ion battery factory that will likely be the biggest in the world, said CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday.

“This will be a giant facility. We are talking about something that is comparable to all of the lithium-ion battery production in the world — in one factory,” Musk said during a conference call with analysts to discuss the third-quarter earnings. “It’s big.”
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Securing enough battery cells has been the biggest challenge for the electric car maker, who announced an expanded purchase agreement with Panasonic on Tuesday that will see it buying three times more cells than it did previously. Tesla plans to get a minimum of 1.8 billion cells from the Japanese companies over four years.

Cell supply is crippling Tesla’s ambitious effort to expand its global reach. Musk repeatedly talked about the trouble of getting enough cells and how that has caused the company to not market its cars as aggressively as it would like.

In fact, the company has had to temper its Model S delivery in North America in order to please some of its European customers who have been waiting for their Model S deliveries for a few years. Tesla recently opened its Beijing store without much marketing efforts partly because it didn’t want to drum up demand it couldn’t meet

“It doesn’t make sense for us to amplify demand if we aren’t able to deliver on that demand,” said Musk, who discussed the supply trouble earlier in the year.

While Musk said he didn’t want to divulge too many details about the battery factory plan, he did have this much to say:


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