Just as news arrives that Tesla Motors has selected Nevada as the location for its planned Gigafactory, a new report challenges the company's figures and stated goals for its giant battery manufacturing plant. The Lux Research report, "The Tesla-Panasonic Battery Gigafactory: Analysis of Li-ion Cost Trends, EV Price Reduction, and Capacity Utilization," predicts that in 2020 the Gigafactory will be running at significant overcapacity and be able to achieve only a "modest reduction" in battery costs.
Just as the location of Tesla's planned Gigafactory is being announced, a new report casts doubt on whether the giant battery manufacturing plant will be able to achieve the company's aggressive cost-reduction goals for lithium ion cells.
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Tesla has indicated that it expects the Gigafactory to reduce the per-kWh cost of its battery pack by more than 30% by the end of the first year of volume production of the company's planned mass market vehicle. According to Lux Research's Cosmin Laslau, however, based on likely sales in 2020 of less than half of Tesla's target of 500,000 vehicles, "the Gigafactory will only reduce the Tesla Model 3's cost by $2,800, not enough to sway the success of the planned lower-cost EV."
In product news this week, a battery analyzer from Fluke is capable of performing multiple tests at the same time. The BT521 can simultaneously capture voltage, resistance, and temperature on single cells of large batteries.
Linear Technology has introduced a 70 W triple-output step-down µModule regulator. Housed in a thermally efficient 15x15x5.01 mm BGA package with an integrated heat sink, the LTM4634 can deliver full rated current (5 A, 5 A, and 4 A) on all three of its outputs at 65°C with 200-LFM airflow.
Omron has announced a high-power DC relay aimed at renewable-energy applications. The G9EJ-1-E is capable of switching 400-V/15-A DC loads while drawing only 1.2 W.
A dual low-side driver from International Rectifier is automotive qualified. The AUIRB24427S provides an output in excess of 6 A per channel across -40°C to +125°C for SMPS applications in electric vehicles and high-power industrial converters.
Micrel has introduced ultra-compact camera flash LED drivers. The MIC2873 and MIC2874 each integrate a 1.2 A boost converter and LED driver circuit into a 9-pin, 1.3x1.3 mm chip-scale package; they switch at 2 and 4 MHz, respectively.
Wurth Electronics has announced two new wireless power transmitter coils. The 760308104113 (A13) single coil and the 760308104119 (A19) two-coil array comply with the Qi standard of the Wireless Power Consortium (WPC).
Finally, RECOM is expanding its R-78 switching regulator family. The R-78W is a wired version of the R-78 regulator series and supports applications that use few or no printed circuit boards.