Tesla took less than two years to complete stage 1 of the Gigafactory construction where Tesla Energy batteries are being built
Ahead of the Gigafactory site announcement, the Gigafactory had started breaking ground at Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center in Nevada in July, 2014, while Tesla Motors Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA) was nearing a deal with Panasonic Corporation. Although it would still take at least four years to be fully-built, the auto maker has been rapidly building the world’s second-largest production facility.
The $5 billion battery plant, which will likely produce more lithium-ion batteries than all other batteries in the world combined, is expected to have total operational space of roughly 13 billion square feet upon completion. Up till now, Tesla has completed the first phase of the facility along with its partner, having a footprint of 800,000 square feet and total space of 1.9 million square feet. The Gigafactory will likely be inaugurated in the coming months. Most of the projects within the Gigafactory have been far ahead of their schedule. Let’s take a look at the time lapse of the Tesla Gigafactory through March 2016:
July ’14 – September ’14: retention basin and Stormwater Pollution Prevention Pond (SWPP) site, retention pounds, and construction of temporary job-site trailers.
October ’14 – December ’14: temporary power project completion, commercial coaches’ installation, temporary construction trailers building, first phase of structural steel erection constructions, and foundation work.
January ’15 – April ’15: 1,600-square-foot shell building, mass grading, installation of a 1.5 million gallon welded steel water tank, modification of the Gigafactory’s initial steel structure, its switchyard concrete for its main substation, and concrete flatwork projection on the site.
May ’15 – July ’15: completion of switchyard structural steel work, fireproofing on the steel structure/factory floors, electrical build-out of a switchyard, under-slab plumbing, mechanical piping work, temporary construction work related to power and light, mezzanine steel and concrete work
August ’15 – December ’15: architectural interiors, siphonic drains, electrical infrastructure, a fire command center, guard shack, first phases of the roofing and civil hardscapes, data centers, and Tesla Energy production.
January ’16 – March ’16: architectural interiors completion, roofing completion, Tesla Energy production ramp-up, Nevadan lawmakers’ visit, and stage 1 completion.
Tesla is expected to start the Gigafactory’s first cell production by the end of this year. It will be the world’s largest lithium-ion cell produced by 2020, with a capacity of 50GWh per year of battery packs and 35GWh per year of cells. Both the battery packs and cells will be the most-advanced technologies in the world. Combined together, they would help Tesla produce the Model 3.
At the Model 3 event, Elon Musk said: “In order to produce half a million cars a year, we would actually need the same battery production, we basically need to absorb the entire world’s lithium-ion production. That is why we are building the Gigafactory.”