Tesla Motors so-called Gigafactory could be much bigger than what was originally expected. It turns out the EV maker is planning 7 “blocks,” according to Story County official Dean Haymore. The term 7 “blocks,” does not sound that big, at least until you consider that the construction of one block is underway, and that block itself is the Gigafactory.
Biggest building on the planet
During a presentation at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, Haymore informed that Tesla acquired another 1,200 acres of land next to the land where Gigafactory is being constructed. With the purchase, the company more than doubles its acreage in the region, and it’s not stopping, as it plans to buy 350 more acres.
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If we combine all the seven “blocks,” then the factory would stretch from the original plan of 10 million square-feet to 24 million square-feet, making it the biggest building on the planet, in terms of footprint, says a report from Electrek.
The recent land grab is in-line with the comments from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who previously said that for the inevitable EV revolution, hundreds of Gigafactories will be required.
The first Gigafactory is expected to commence production in the not too distant future, and was initially supposed to make batteries for 500,000 electric cars a year by 2020. However, during a recent earnings call, Musk said that the company is planning to ramp up the battery production capacity following the impressive initial response for the newly unveiled stationary energy storage products. Musk also talked about adding more capacity to the plant currently under-construction near Reno.
Tesla has not announced new partners yet
Haymore revealed another interesting fact during the presentation. Panasonic, which for now is the only official partner for the factory, is bringing in 14 more companies to the Gigafactory.
“Panasonic is bringing 14 other companies, besides them, over here (Tahoe Reno Industrial Center) to provide for Tesla,” Haymore said. This is in-line with Tesla’s initial announced plan, when it said to bring multiple suppliers under the same roof to lower the costs, but a year later, the company has still not named another supplier apart from its long-time battery cell supplier, Panasonic. However, given that Panasonic is expected to bring in more suppliers, this at least partially answers why Tesla has not announced any new partners to date.