Tata Motors’ (NYSE: TTM) electric Jaguar charges faster than Tesla’s vehicles.
The Jaguar I-Pace can be charged to levels of 80% in just 45 minutes, Wired claimed. That might be bad news for Tesla Motors (NASDAQ: TSLA) because it now takes around 10 hours to charge the Model S from a standard outlet, Inverse calculated.
If the Wired claim is true, it would make the electric I-Pace and other Tata electrics, more practical for everyday driving. The Wired claim is unreliable because no obvious source beyond vague claims about Jaguar is mentioned.
The superfast charging might be limited because it cannot be done on a standard household electric connection, Wired’s Matt Burgess claimed. The fast charging can only be done from a 100-kilowatt charger, most houses have only a 50-kilowatt connection.
The I-Pace can Help Tesla Make Money
Strangely enough, the I-Pace might create more business for Tesla Energy’s supercharger filling stations for electric cars. The only place in town where people will be able to charge the I-Pace quickly might be at the Tesla or Volkswagen chargers.
Tesla currently operates 1,130 supercharger stations with 8,496 superchargers in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Volkswagen and BMW are planning their own ultrafast High-Powered Charging network to compete with Tesla’s, Engadget reported.
That means the I-Pace can create additional revenue for Tesla and electric utilities like the Black Hills Corporation (NYSE: BKH) and Berkshire Hathaway Energy (NYSE: BRK.B). One way Tesla can make money from I-Pace is by building battery farms to provide electricity for the vehicles. Another is by selling or leasing its PowerPack batteries to charging station operators.
The public will be able to order the four-door five-passenger I-Pace on 1 March 2018, Autoblog reported. Jaguar claims the I-Pace will have a 220-mile range and has 400 horsepower. It would take around two hours to charge the I-Pace battery to 80% on a standard 50-kilowatt charger.
Tesla planning Massive Increase in Battery Production
Tesla is planning a massive increase in battery production, a Quartz article indicates. One wall of the company’s mammoth battery plant or Gigafactory in Storey County, Nevada, can be opened to receive lithium hydroxide ore shipments, Quartz reported.
Lithium hydroxide is the key ingredient in lithium-ion batteries. Tesla is moving to secure large sources of lithium hydroxide ore. Elon Musk visited Chile to start talks with that nation’s largest lithium miner the Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile (SQM). Tesla and SQM are discussing the creation of a joint lithium-processing facility in Chile, The Financial Times reported (paywall).
Tesla will need vast amounts of lithium for projects like the Model 3, the battery farms, and the Tesla Semi-tractor. It goes without saying that a major source of revenue for Tesla in the future will be selling batteries to competitors like Tata and Ford Motor (NYSE: F) which have no battery plants of their own.
Tesla Suffering Brain Drain
Tesla is suffering a serious brain drain, several of its top designers and engineers have left, CNBC reported.
High-profile departures at the company include senior battery module designer Ernest Villanueva, senior manager for battery pack development Celina Mikolajcza, senior director for manufacturing engineering Jason Mendez, and senior manager for manufacturing engineering Will McColl. These departures are bad for Tesla but good for the future of electric vehicles.
The engineers will take their brains and talent to other companies like Tata, Ford, GM, Fiat Chrysler, BMW, Volkswagen, and startups. Mikolajcza is working on Uber’s electric vertical takeoff and landing (eVTOL) vehicle or flying car project, The Verge reported. That means Tesla’s loss of talent is making Musk’s vision of a world of electric-powered vehicles possible.