Tesla opened its Gigafactory to members of the press last Tuesday for a very exclusive tour as well as a talk with CEO Elon Musk as reported by Inhabitat.
Reporters and other journalists/writers got a sneak peek at the factory’s progress, which is now two years in construction and just 2 days before the facility’s official grand opening on July 29.
The factory is just outside Reno, Nevada and is around 14% complete. Some sections are already bustling with automated and robotic assembly machines. Once the plant is operational at full capacity, Musk says that it will cut the cost of lithium-based car batteries by about 30%.
The construction of the massive battery factory is ongoing with the ambitious goal to reach completion by the year 2020. After that Gigafactory is expected to wind up being the largest building in the world at a head blowing 5.8 million sq. ft. Section A of the factory is already operational, with giant robot arms taking the battery cells manufactured at one of Tesla’s facilities and then assembling them into battery packs for the Tesla electric cars.
The reporters on the tour noted that Sections D and E will soon have floors poured, and it suggests that things are moving as planned. Gigafactory’s output is currently not clear, but once the whole plant is up and running with up to 3 floors of robotics, it’s projected to double the world’s production of lithium-based batteries.
The Gigafactory is a $5 billion project and the Japan-based Panasonic Electronics Company is making Tesla’s battery cells, invested $2 billion to make it happen. The reporters were not allowed to take photographs or see any of the factory’s equipment, like the other equipment already installed in the factory. It’s still a secret to prevent possible competitors from getting any ideas. During the tour, Musk talked about the Gigafactory’s progress and his vision for the future of the company.