Profitability: Telsa's Battery Strategy Vs. Nissan's
Tesla Motors Inc., the electric carmaker backed by Toyota Motor Corp., said cheaper batteries will make its Model S sedan profitable with much lower sales than Nissan Motor Co. is seeking for its Leaf car.
The $57,000 electric Model S, which uses cells similar to those in laptops, is designed to make money for Palo Alto, California-based Tesla at 20,000 annual deliveries, Chief Technology Officer J.B. Straubel said in an interview. Nissan Chief Executive Officer Carlos Ghosn has said combined battery- car sales for Nissan and affiliate Renault SA may need to reach 500,000 vehicles a year to be profitable without government aid.
Nissan’s choice of a larger type of lithium-ion battery means “they will have a cost challenge that will be more difficult to solve,” Straubel said yesterday in an interview. “It will require a lot higher volume before they really get to a cost point that is internally sustainable.”
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