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A Look Inside Tesla's $5 Billion Gigafactory (cnet.com) 60

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: A joint effort between Tesla and Panasonic, the Gigafactory is a $5 billion project that will create the world's premier battery manufacturing facility. The Gigafactory will not only be physically larger than any other cell-packing plant on the planet, it'll produce more batteries than the entire industry did back in 2013. That's a lot of batteries, enough to meet Tesla's 500,000-per-year manufacturing goals -- and potentially even more. When completed, the factory will cover five million square feet of the desert floor just outside of Reno, Nevada. Right now, the uncompleted but already-operational factory sits on 800,000 square feet. Over the next four years the building will grow and grow again, swelling to its full size while production dials up simultaneously. The roof will be covered in solar panels, with the goal of producing enough electricity to power the entire thing. Tesla is already assembling Powerwall units here, but the first Model 3 battery packs are expected to roll off the line by the middle of next year. From there, Tesla will have to scale quickly to meet the company's Model 3 production goals for 2018. And, once the company does, the cost savings will begin. The "Tesla Gigafactory Tour" video can also be viewed on YouTube via Roadshow.
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A Look Inside Tesla's $5 Billion Gigafactory

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  • It makes me feel like in a mix of Blade Runner and Total Recall.

  • The roof will be covered in solar panels, with the goal of producing enough electricity to power the entire thing.

    Solar panels are nice, but how will they store the power for when the sun don't shine?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The fact that Musk has just sunk a bajillion dollars into manufacturing lithium cells suggests there isn't going to be anything significantly better coming our way any time soon. Prepare for 2 decades if incremental improvements

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      There have been plenty of improvements over the last few years, several covered here on Slashdot, they improve lifetime, storage capacity and safety usually by "incremental" changes, but these changes are happening at break neck speeds, no traditional factory, once operational, can catch up.

      The only question is whether they will implement them right away (expensive short term but worth it long term) by modularizing their facility so changes can be implemented to the process or go for the quarterly profit an

    • It doesn't mean that. It means that Tesla can be profitable with this technology now. Would you rather they wait five years to earn those profits so the batteries can be smaller?

      They can use the profits from this generation to ensure the next. That's how and why capitalism works.

  • I rarely watch video links, but as a Tesla investor, I thought I should. And that video was not a look inside the Gigafactory. That video was a look at the outside of the Gigafactory, plus a few seconds of the Panasonic CEO (chairman?/spokesman?) being funny. And Elon Musk saying the final production capacity may be three times higher than originally designed.

    Mr. Musk likes to show off his factories to the world, for one reason or another. It appears that Panasonic believes in keeping trade secrets secr

    • Tours were given of the inside of the factory; and video was allowed. Not the most sensitive areas, though. Video link [youtube.com].

      • Tours were given of the inside of the factory; and video was allowed. Not the most sensitive areas, though.

        So I watched that whole tedious hour. I've had enough shaky cam to last me for another decade.

        I see I was completely and totally correct. They didn't show one square centimeter of the second floor, where Panasonic is building their cell production line. The presses Panasonic will use on the first floor were covered in solid black tarpaulins, according to the tour guide specifically at Panasonic's demand. Literally under wraps, not just figuratively. Even Tesla is being cagey, insisting that people usin

        • So I watched that whole tedious hour. I've had enough shaky cam to last me for another decade.

          Ouch. I probably should have put a warning on it. I guess I spent less than half an hour watching it. I downloaded it and used mplayer to play it. That makes skipping through it by minutes easy. That was still more than it deserved.

          They didn't show one square centimeter of the second floor, where Panasonic is building their cell production line.

          I said they excluded the most sensitive areas.

          I was amazed that s

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