Technology

Tesla Gigafactory construction ahead of schedule [UPDATED]

Tesla is way behind in its Gigafactory construction and has also failed on its promises to the State of Nevada about the number of construction workers and Gigafactory workers it will employ, claimed many reports. But this was not confirmed by the EV maker until recently. When the automaker was recently guiding journalists through the Gigafactory, it confirmed these reports.

Tesla Gigafactory construction ahead of schedule [UPDATED]
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Tesla postpones Gigafactory completion

During the tour, a company spokesman stated that the electric car maker has adjusted its schedule and postponed the completion of the entire factory (13.6 million square feet) to sometime in 2020. Previously, it was scheduled for October 2017, says a report from Seeking Alpha.

“Originally, we were going to build the whole building all at once, but that didn’t make a lot of sense. We needed to begin producing faster. We are stepping into it in modular fashion so that as we build we can learn from what we’ve built,” the executive said.

Such explanation does not clear up all doubts. It has been said all along that the Gigafactory is important to the large savings the electric car company is hoping to achieve on the Model 3 (which is promised for 2017). But now we are noticing that the company has stopped the construction after only 1.9 million square feet, which is only 14% of the promised total. What’s interesting to note is that the Gigafactory won’t be finished until three years after the Model 3 is set to go into production.

“Also, could Tesla have chosen a more casual, anonymous, off-hand way to acknowledge something as fundamental as a three-year delay to its much-ballyhooed Gigafactory?” says Montana Skeptic of Seeking Alpha.

Departures before a major event

Another negative for the electric car maker is the recent departures of the key executives. Earlier this month, its vice president of Global Communications, Ricardo Reyes, left. Also there are reports that Michael Zanoni, executive vice president of Finance and Worldwide Controller, was returning to Amazon.

For big companies, these developments may be normal, but they cannot be seen as positive when Tesla is so close to the Model 3 launch. The departures underline that the electric car company is not only competing with Silicon Valley tech companies for engineering and financial talent but also with automobile OEMs and parts manufactures.

Tesla sent ValueWalk the following statement:

Tesla is currently ahead of schedule on both construction and production at the Gigafactory.  To date, we have built 1.9 million square feet of manufacturing space and have started production in a portion of the facility while equipment installation continues throughout other areas.  As stated previously, we will be building in phases over time and while our original forecast was to begin production in January, 2017, we actually started battery pack production in October, 2015, over a year ahead of schedule.

In terms of hiring, the Gigafactory will employee up to 6,500 people at full production. As we build the Gigafactory, Tesla continues to show an overwhelming commitment to the Nevada workforce. We have gone way beyond the state’s intention that 50% of the Gigafactory workforce be Nevada residents. Nevada residents currently comprise 80% of the construction workforce at the Gigafactory, and each and every contractor at the Gigafactory exceeds the 50% threshold. Additionally, 94% of Tesla employees at the Gigafactory are Nevada residents.

They also noted that readers can check out the following resources to learn more:

Gigafactory

Nevada Selected As Official Site for Tesla Battery Gigafactory

Panasonic and Tesla Sign Agreement for the Gigafactory

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  • Lonnie Raines

    Exactly. I can’t believe Seeking Alpha’s garbage gets repeated. All amateur articles.

  • Raf

    There is a useful option offered in the google search engine; You can input a custom date range to fin older articles. I just did that to search for articles in September, 2014, (which is when the factory was announced), and within 2 minutes found a news article that stated that the factory would be built by 2020. Please fact check before writing an article, and never use as a source an opinion piece such as many of those Tesla-related articles found in Seeking Alpha. There are events that have occurred and things that have been said, and then there are interpretations of those events and statements, and then there are spurious interpretation of those same events and statements, and finally there are spurious interpretations about things that never occurred nor were said. This article falls in the domain of the last category.

  • Lonnie Raines

    Exactly. Idiots like Aman Jain should be barred from reporting. What a joke.

  • Lonnie Raines

    For originally quoting Seeking Alpha, you, Aman Jain, are completely without journalistic merit. Seeking Alpha is an amateur site,and the author you cited regularly bashes Tesla with insane ramblings. Shame on you.

  • Ticobird

    LOL – FUD – LOL

  • Ken

    This article is full of lies.

    The fact is the Gigafactory is actually ahead of schedule. It also became operational earlier than planned.

    Tesla is also completely on track to hit all hiring requirements made by the state.

    Tesla is 100% on track to be at full production in the Gigafactory exactly when they said they would.

    ValueWalk and the incompetent reporter who wrote this need to apologize and write a retraction if they ever want to have any credibility with any thinking person.

  • Alf

    Silly article. Tesla builds according to the output they need to achieve at any point in time and will scale as appropriate. I’m glad you’re not in charge over there.

  • Jeff Alberda

    You don’t just build 13.6 million sqft and start using it all at once. imo Tesla is just being smart about things

  • Jay Hawke

    Ahead of schedule, no rules broken. Wall st. toured both facilities and were very impressed.

  • Jay Hawke

    That was funny.

  • Patrick James Bayham

    F**K YOUR FUD!

  • Jpeg

    Way too misleading, it’s more of an early April Fools joke. And get rid of that 1 1/2 year old picture, I’ve seen the Gigafactory and she’s beautiful, not a steel skeleton.

  • rsexton

    What garbage. Tesla is doing exactly what they need to be doing. As for the departures, these guys move around for whatever they like.
    Also obviously using SA as a source when it isn’t a source it’s an opinion by a pronounced skeptic.

  • Michael B

    Siting ‘Seeking Alpha’ as a source, LOL. Stopped reading right there.

  • SkyHunter

    The factory is designed to be modular. They made the decision last summer to stop expanding and focus on the pilot facility. This way they can start producing cells sooner.
    Panasonic has been there since last September setting up the equipment. It makes perfect sense to me.This way they will be producing cells as needed, instead of producing too many too late.

  • Najeeb Ullah

    This report is totally misleading. Intitially the company was supposed to start battery prodution in 2017 but they started producing it in late 2016. They are ahead of schedule Not behind.

  • John

    I have noticed the increase in BS from ValueWalk / Motley Fool as they pop up in the news search results. Not sure what disturbs me more; lack of journalistic oversight or the beyond speculative (imaginary logic 1+2=8) nature of the articles

  • Patrick James Bayham

    FUD!
    at least make it interesting.

  • Bert

    Don’t forget to mention that Tesla has broken no employment promises that they made with Nevada. Not meeting a third party’s employment estimates is not at all the same as not meeting the employment goals that were promised to Nevada. The reason that none of the Nevada officials have made any fuss yet is because there haven’t been any major problems or missed promises yet. From my understanding, even the contractor, which the unions were complaining wasn’t hiring enough locals, was actually hiring enough locals to meet the agreement with Nevada. The union just wanted them to go beyond those goals like the other contractors had. The time to start taking these claims seriously is when Nevada officials start giving them validity.

  • Stephen Ritchie

    What a hack job of reporting. It is very misleading and full of false information. First of all the Gigafactory is ahead of schedule and is already producing product. Second the factory was never intended to be fully completed until 2020 and the original estimate was for 10 million sq feet. So now that it’s been increased to 13.6 million sq feet and still on a timeline of 2020, I’d say they are still on track wouldn’t you. As for the employees that’s another false misleading statement. Tesla as anyone doing a construction higher’s contractors to build the factory. They have hired most of the contractor company’s from within Nevada but they aren’t responsible for whom the contractor hires it’s employee’s. If there’s not enough qualified workers from within the state of course they are going to hire from outside. What are they suppose to do, say your from out of state we can’t hire you so we’ll just put the whole construction on hold. Give me a break. Tesla’s deal is to ultimately have the employee’s Working for Tesla it’s self IN the factory on the batteries.