Tesla’s battery-making facility, the Gigafactory, is found on Electric Avenue in a city called Sparks.
The factory is set to open in 2017 before reaching full capacity in 2020. It is will be essential in allowing the electric carmaker to reach its target of manufacturing 500,000 vehicles per year, writes Dave Smith for Tech Insider.
Gigafactory crucial to future success of Tesla
Once it reaches full capacity the Gigafactory will make more lithium ion batteries per year than the entire world did in 2013. At 5.5 million square feet the Gigafactory will have the largest footprint of any building in the world, and will be the second-largest factory in the world by volume.
According to Tesla the Gigafactory will be powered entirely by renewable energy, a large proportion of which will be provided by solar panels which cover its roof. The entire facility will cost $5 billion to build, and CEO Elon Musk says that the site will be the first of various Gigafactories.
After the Model 3 received 276,000 pre-orders in just three days it has become clear that Tesla will have to significantly ramp up production from the 50,000 cars it delivered in 2015. Musk says that the aim is to deliver 500,000 cars per year by 2020.
Musk has some thinking to do to keep up with demand
The Gigafactory is essential in order to provide batteries for all of these vehicles. Tesla may struggle to keep up with demand given the fact that the facility won’t be fully online until 2020.
“Thought it would slow way down today, but Model 3 order count is now at 198k. Recommend ordering soon, as the wait time is growing rapidly…Definitely going to need to rethink production planning,” Musk wrote on Twitter.
Musk has said that Tesla is now “focused on accelerating the ramp,” a reference to boosting production. It is not clear whether this will mean plowing more resources into finishing Gigafactory 1, or starting work on Gigafactory 2. There is plenty for the company to do if it is to avoid becoming a victim of its own success.
Photos and video recorded by a DJI Phantom 4 drone show how work at the site is progressing. It’s an impressive sight, and those that have pre-ordered a Model 3 are presumably hoping that work is completed quickly so they can get their cars.