He called Tesla "maybe the most interesting" company he's ever invested in over his 46 year career.
"I think in this investment from here in the next 15 years, we can make 30 to 50 times our money," said Baron on the sidelines of the annual Baron Investment Conference in New York City.
Baron owns about 1.5 million Tesla shares, valued at around $300 million. "That represents 1.5 percent of our assets," he said.
"The stock was $33 when we started to invest," he said. Tesla closed on Thursday at $187.42 per share. He said his average cost of buying the stock over more than three years is "over $200 now."
"[But] it's risky," the founder of Baron Capital told "Squawk Box." "Initially they have to prove the concept; then they got to prove they can make them; [and] they got to prove they can make them profitably."
JB Strauble is the CTO of Tesla Motors. In a video of an Energy Summit Keynote, he talks about the energy density of batteries doubling every ten years and how this will not only enable electric cars to beat combustion engine cars but also to transform energy storage on the grid.
If 100 million homes in the USA had 4 kilowatts of nameplate solar capacity (1kw net power) and needed to store that power for 8 hours (10AM to 4PM power to 6pm-midnight and 6AM-8AM) that would be 800 GWh. This would be the capacity of 16 Gigabattery factories. This would be less than 10% of the grid energy storage needs of the United States. The US uses 4500 TWh of electrical power (and 10 times that amount when currently non-electric transportation and industrial power usage is counted.)
100 Gigabattery factories would be needed to produce the batteries for 50 million cars each year. Complete domination of energy grid storage could see a demand for 900 more Gigabattery factories.
$100-150 per kwh would displace combustion engine cars and also signal Energy Grid Storage Transformation
A summary paper in Nature, presents an original systematic review, analysing over 80 different estimates reported 2007–2014 to systematically trace the costs of Li-ion battery packs for BEV manufacturers. We show that industry-wide cost estimates declined by approximately 14% annually between 2007 and 2014, from above US$1,000 per kWh to around US$410 per kWh, and that the cost of battery packs used by market-leading BEV manufacturers are even lower, at US$300 per kWh, and has declined by 8% annually. Learning rate, the cost reduction following a cumulative doubling of production, is found to be between 6 and 9%, in line with earlier studies on vehicle battery technology. We reveal that the costs of Li-ion battery packs continue to decline and that the costs among market leaders are much lower than previously reported. This has significant implications for the assumptions used when modelling future energy and transport systems and permits an optimistic outlook for BEVs contributing to low-carbon transport.
The International Energy Association has a roadmap for energy storage to 2050
SOURCES - Youtube, wikipedia, MSNBC