Tesla starts building four new sections at the Gigafactory to meet production demand of the Model 3
Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) been rapidly building its lithium-ion battery plant, the Gigafactory, in multiple phases. Following the completion of the first phase (consisting of four sections), the automaker has started working on the second phase to fulfill demand for its all-electric compact sedan, the Model 3.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Tesla has also doubled its construction workforce to over 3,000 workers at the $5 billion battery plant, who have been working seven days a week on two shifts to ensure that cell production starts by the end of this year. The Journal quotes Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel: “We’re accelerating our construction plans and accelerating our planned ramp up of cell production.”
The Gigafactory currently covers 1.9 million-square-foot of workspace, representing just a portion of the final footprint of 13 million square feet. While the initially-planned battery pack output was 50GWh per year, Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently said that it could triple cell and battery output at the plant. The battery cost is expected to drop down by at least 30% after that plan materializes.
Last month, the company acquired permits for a new section at the Gigafactory. A new photo published by Tesla shows four new sections being constructed at the plant.
The photo shows that concrete has been poured in the new sections which are ready for a structure. While there is still a long way to go to complete construction of the Gigafactory, the company is indeed moving faster to do so.
Tesla raised $1.7 billion via an equity offer to accelerate production of the Model 3, whose cells will be produced at the plant, possibly in these new sections. The company is already building battery packs for Tesla Energy products, the Powerwall and the Powerpack, but the cells are being imported from Panasonic in Japan.
Panasonic will start producing battery cells with the new 20700 format at the Gigafactory later this year, instead of the 18650 format which is currently used to power the Model S and the Model X. Both the companies are ramping up hiring for advanced manufacturing positions.
The report comes just days ahead of the Gigafactory Grand Opening, which will take place at the factory on July 29. The event includes free test drives and factory tours, as well as a “remarks” session. The company has also been preparing for the opening.Teslarati published this photo which highlights areas for the security guard shack, helicopter landing zone, parking space, and tent the part: