Tesla is preparing to unveil the earliest stages of its massive Gigafactory to select members of the press tonight, but before the big grand opening, we’ve had a peak at some of the permits that have been issued for the construction site. Keep in mind that although the grand opening is set for tonight, the facility is nowhere near being finished. In fact, only 14% of the Gigafactory is completed so far.
Part of Tesla’s Gigafactory already up and running
Buildzoom has been tracking the permits issued to Tesla and its battery partner, Panasonic, since before construction began. So far the automaker has taken out permits for nearly $386 million worth of work, although that’s still only a fraction of what the finished facility will look like. The most recent permit is dated July 19, and it’s for a “2170 module line 1” project worth more than $5.9 million.
Engadget was one of the media outlets invited to the Gigafactory’s grand opening tonight. Although the facility isn’t close to being finished, Tesla does have something to show off. Section A is already up and running, turning out the battery pack for the automaker’s solar energy storage product Powerwall. Crews are reportedly installing equipment for even more battery cell manufacturing capacity in Sections B and C. They’re also preparing both of the sections to open up for production.
According to Engadget, there’s still a lot of work to be done on Section D of the Gigafactory, which has only one exterior wall and floors. Construction crews also have a long way to go on Section E, as the work there only just began a couple of days ago. The website describes it as “a skeleton of steel.”
More parts of Tesla’s Gigafactory being prepped
The third floor of the massive Gigafactory will be a single assembly line, and apparently one line has already been installed. That line is already being prepared for testing. Crews are also preparing to install the same equipment in the room next door to that room.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has said that batteries for their electric vehicles will begin rolling off the lines at the Gigafactory next year. According to Wired, robots will be doing a lot of the work at the Gigafactory. When the facility is finally complete, at least 10,000 humans will be working there as well. Musk announced this week that they will employ about 50% more workers than they initially were expecting to employ there.
Tesla desperately needs the facility to be up and running as quickly as possible because it needs the battery cells for its Model 3, which was met with demand that was much greater than expected. Aside from simply needing battery cells for the hundreds of thousands of cars that have been preordered, the automaker also needs to bring down the cost of the batteries so that it can keep the price tag within the range promised by Musk.
Shares of Tesla Motors rose by as much as 1.81% to $234.78 during regular trading hours on Friday.