The Tesla Gigafactory: A Clean Energy Planet
Tesla Motors is currently building a gigafactory. Some of you may be confused about what that is exactly, and why Tesla may need such a huge facility. When finished, the gigafactory will be the largest building in the world in terms of footprint, with 5.5 Million square feet. This will be second only to Boeing’s Everett factory (4.3 Million square feet). The endeavour is also very expensive, with an estimated cost of US$5 Billion. In line with Elon Musk’s goal to transition the world to renewable energy, the gigafactory will be entirely self-sufficient and powered by solar panels. The entire roof of the factory will be covered with solar cells, which are expected to produce 70MW of power. To give you an idea, the largest rooftop array in the world right now produces 11.5MW (in India).
A clean planet
Elon Musk recently stated in a Ted Talk that his ultimate goal is to make the world run entirely on renewable energy. To make this happen, he aims to produce 500,000 electric vehicles per year. This cannot be done economically if the parts have to be transported halfway across the world several times before the product is finished. Thus the need for a centralized facility, where the materials come in one end, and the finished vehicle comes out the other.
The gigafactory has already started producing the most innovative and crucial element of these cars: their lithium-ion batteries. And Tesla’s new 2170 battery cell is not only more efficient, but also cheaper than most on the market. The 2170 is around 10 per cent larger than its predecessor (the 18650 cell), but can store up to double the charge. It will also drop battery production cost by 25 per cent.
The essential element
In these super-powerful batteries is a crucial element: cobalt. For example, there is approximately 22.5 kilograms of it in Tesla’s Model S. The metal is currently mostly mined in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); where labour conditions are generally problematic and child labour is frequent. Consequently, Elon Musk has stated that all cobalt used by Tesla will only come from North America. Some have pointed out that it may be difficult to find enough ethical cobalt at feasible prices. But there is cobalt in North America, and King’s Bay (TSV:KBG, FSE:KGB1) is looking for it at the Lynx Lake Property in Labrador (Canada). The company is confident in the preliminary samples from the asset: “Grab samples from gossanous areas of the eastern rock pit have yielded assays up to 0.94% Co”. For the preliminary Versatile Time Domain Electromagnetic (VTEM) results, have a look at King’s Bay’s latest news release.
About King’s Bay
King’s Bay is a Vancouver based company focused on the exploration of cobalt, and other high-tech metals in North America. The company believes in this emerging fast-growth sector, and will continue to seek out and evaluate properties that show promise for development. King’s Bay Gold Corp is operating as “King’s Bay”.
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