Tesla had a special invite-only event last week to unveil its “Gigafactory”, a gigantic battery manufacturing factory on the outskirts of Reno, Nevada and is still under construction.
Parts of the event were broadcast live on July 29 and the press was given a tour early this week at the massive complex in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.
Elon Musk believes the factory will change the face of manufacturing and in his exact words said – “I’m really excited about revitalizing manufacturing, It needs love, and we’re going to give it.”
The gigafactory is essential to the company’s goal of accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy. Tesla believes that the factory will reduce the per-kilowatt-hour cost of Tesla lithium-ion battery packs by over 30% and in turn reduce the cost of Tesla electric vehicles. The company plans to mass manufacture its Model 3 car at a $35,000 price which will be made possible with a cheaper battery.
The factory will cost at least $5 billion to build and has only been 14% completed. At completion, the factory is to occupy 6 million square feet of land – that’s very large. Musk said “It’s about making enough electric cars, enough stationary battery packs that it actually moves the needle from a global carbon production perspective—that it actually does really change the world,” Musk said, explaining the purpose behind the gigafactory. “It has to be big because the world is big.”
The factory’s initial goal is to produce 50 gigawatt hours of battery packs a year(capable of powering 500,000 electric cars) and the company hopes to achieve that by 2018.“There just wasn’t enough factory capacity anywhere else in the world,” said Straubel, explaining why the company decided to build the gigafactory. “We didn’t have an option.” Musk added.