Is Tesla's gigafactory for production of batteries only or is there research going on there? The battery is a major key to this whole thing. I periodically read that we are making improvements in the battery but then those stories fall flat and we don't read anything on new battery technology for awhile again
The biggest technological issue electric carmakers face is batteries, which restrict vehicles' range and make them much more expensive to buy than combustion-engine autos. Much of the faith in the electric car is based on progress made in this area, particularly by Tesla. Battery prices dropped by roughly 80 percent between 2010 and 2016.
Elon Musk says Tesla is way ahead of schedule on efficiency and costs
Both the McKinsey business consultants and the independent think-tank International Energy Agency (IEA) believe that if car batteries can reach an efficiency of $100 (94 euro) per kilowatt hour, they will become cheaper to buy and run than conventional vehicles without subsidies.
Musk says Tesla may be able to achieve that by 2020, which is one major reason McKinsey concluded earlier this year that "consumer demand is starting to shift in favor of electrified vehicle and has strong disruption potential." And if there are massive oil shortages and commensurate price increases by 2022, as the IEA predicts, Tesla and other companies could succeed in revolutionizing the market.