Posted on January 15, 2016 by Matt Pressman
Trying to wrap your head around the massive Tesla Gigafactory is no easy task. However, Tech Insider* provides insight and perspective explaining: "Tesla is on track to complete construction of its Gigafactory by the end of this year. And like Tesla’s cars, the giant battery factory will be an engineering marvel. Once it is complete, it will not only be the largest lithium-ion battery factory in the world, but it will also be the second largest building by volume on Earth. But its size isn’t its only impressive feature. Tesla has revealed a number of other impressive details about its new site. Check out some of the highlights below."
*Source: Tech Insider
This year, the much-anticipated Tesla Gigafactory will come into sharper focus. Wired UK reports Tesla will: "build, turn-on and tune its absurdly huge Gigafactory battery plant in Sparks, Nevada... [and, in the future] By 2020, Tesla plans to be making more battery cells than all the lithium-ion battery makers combined managed in 2013. The upshot of all this? A 30 percent battery cost saving, and a Model 3 that costs $35,000." Tesla Motors VP of Business Development Diarmuid O'Connell explains, "The fundamental property of the Gigafactory, which will unlock the substantial amount of 30 percent economic improvement [in the Model 3] is involved simply in economies of scale, and a vertically integrated facility."
Source: Wired UK
"Panasonic have expertise to share, and money to spend -- it recently announced another $1.6 billion investment [in the Tesla Gigafactory]. Alone, though, they can't power the EV market of the future. '[In Japan] there are multiple suppliers feeding into multiple facilities, in order to deliver a finished product. They are doing so in a geography where some of the input costs are quite high -- electricity, labour, some of the raw materials -- so simply by bringing together multiple operations into one facility, a facility where logistics, labour, utility inputs and other factors of production are cost-advantaged, you're going to make significant improvements there. With the Gigafactory we're now going that final step where, in partnership with Panasonic, we are making that cell together in a single factory.' O'Connell says."
Source: Wired UK
And battery production at the Tesla Gigafactory has already begun. Motley Fool reports: "the company's progress on its Gigafactory, which is being built in conjunction with Tesla's expected sharp increase in demand for lithium-ion batteries due to the company's Model 3 launch. Production wasn't initially supposed to begin at the Gigafactory until 2017, but Tesla had already started producing its energy storage products at the factory before 2015 ended. Further, the company has accelerated its plans for cell production..."
And, Electrek reports: "When Tesla announced the premature move of production to the Gigafactory, the company also said that it would accelerate the ramp up during the first quarter of 2016 and apparently, Tesla already started shipping the home battery as evidenced by sightings of custom crates made for the Powerwall [see image above]."
In 2015, Tesla hit some impressive milestones -- it delivered over 50,000 cars and began production of the long-awaited Tesla Model X. And in 2016, plans will get even bigger as Tesla introduces its Model 3, Tesla Energy, and its Tesla Gigafactory to the world.
Note: Toyota is cited incorrectly on Tech Insider infographic above - Toyota was an early investor in Tesla Motors; not (as of yet) the Tesla Gigafactory