Tesla has so many projects going on at the same time that i is often easy for one to be forgotten – like the fact that it is currently building a big battery cathode material factory in Texas.
A new drone flyover shows that the building is coming together.
Things move quickly in Texas.
It was only back in February 2022 that we learned that Tesla applied for building permits on a new project called ‘Project Cathode’ next to Gigafactory Texas in Austin.
Now a drone flyover of the Gigafactory Texas campus shows that the building that is going to house Tesla’s battery cathode factory is already coming together.
Joe Tegtmeyer, who regularly flies drones over Gigafactory Texas, flew over the new ‘Project Cathode’ building that is rising fast:
Obviously, it is not as big as the main Gigafactory Texas building, which is one of the biggest in the world, but it is quite a large building on 3 stories for its sole purpose of producing cathode battery material:
Tesla originally announced plans to build its own “cathode facility” during its “Battery Day” presentation in 2020.
Drew Baglino, Senior Vice President of Engineering, said at the time:
We’re gonna go and start building our own cathode facility in North America and leveraging all of the North American resources that exist for nickel and lithium, and just doing that, just localizing our cathode supply chain and production, we can reduce miles traveled by all the materials that end up in the cathode by 80%.
At Battery Day, Tesla unveiled a new cathode chemistry that allows for a much more simple and cheaper production.
It was later revealed that Tesla acquired the technology from a Canadian startup.
In an update on its progress in producing its new 4680 battery cell last month, Te
Tesla has since made moves to also secure lithium and nickel supply from North American sources, including deals with Piedmont Lithium and Talon Metals.
With the reform of the tax credit including new eligibility criteria that include both sourcing battery minerals and components in North America or in countries with free trade agreements with the US, Tesla would be in a great position by sourcing the minerals from those companies and producing its cathode at this new factory in Texas.
The new facility makes more sense from a logistic standpoint since the cathode material will then go into battery cells produced next door, but it will also likely secure significant incentives for Tesla buyers.
While this is Tesla’s first cathode factory, the automaker is expected to invest in several more once it has managed to hone its new production process.
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