Gigafactory ▪ July 14

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Steve Jurvetson, Tesla board member, and JB Straubel, Tesla’s CTO during a tour of the Gigafactory under-construction in Nevada – photo from Steve Jurvetson

Yesterday, Tesla’s CTO JB Straubel made interesting remarks about the future of transportation and energy storage during a keynote presentation at InterSolar, a major solar conference in San Francisco. expand full story

Gigafactory ▪ July 7

During a presentation about the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, Dean Haymore, from Story County Commission, said that Tesla purchased an additional 1,200 acres of land adjacent to their battery factory under-construction near Reno. According to Haymore, the new purchase made last week more than doubles Tesla’s land at the site and the company is looking to purchase another 350 acres. expand full story

Gigafactory ▪ June 26

AP reported that Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, presented a report to Nevada lawmakers on the progress of the Tesla Gigafactory in Sparks. The Governor’s Office expects the plant to be operational within a year, which is ahead of the original schedule, but in line with Elon Musk’s, Tesla’s CEO, recent comments on the pilot plant producing battery packs as soon as early 2016. expand full story

Gigafactory ▪ May 26

scty-tsla-3

SolarCity is currently building a solar panel factory in Buffalo. The construction site is not unlike Tesla’s Gigafactory under construction in Nevada. SolarCity’s facility, which could also be dubbed a “Gigafactory” since its planned output is also estimated in gigawatts, has a similar 2-storey steel structure as the one Tesla is building for its battery factory. 

Update: SolarCity and Tesla are not sharing any designs or contractors for their respective factory projects according to Kady Cooper, Director of Communications at SolarCity.

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Gigafactory ▪ May 18

A new video of Tesla’s battery factory in Sparks, Nevada was posted to Youtube today. The video shows the progress the company made in the last few months on the planned 10 million square feet facility.

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Gigafactory ▪ December 3, 2014

In case you missed it, Elon Musk sat down for an interview with GQ Magazine last week where the Tesla CEO commented on a random smattering of interesting tidbits.

While much of the interview treads on familiar ground, such as Tesla opening up their patents and Musk’s general thoughts on the state of the car industry, there are a few nuggets worth highlighting.

For instance, Musk talks briefly about development of the Tesla Model S P85D:

This is a halo car for Tesla. We didn’t do it from the beginning because it adds complexity, and we already had enough fish to fry just making a car that worked. But it was always something we expected to do. We wanted to position it as the fastest in order to change the public mindset. It had to be something dramatic. And getting those few extra 10ths of a second was hard.

As for consumer interest in Tesla’s highest-end model, it appears that the problem is supply more so than demand, certainly an enviable problem to have. Speaking to that, Musk notes that “demand for the P85D is off the charts.”

With respect to the highly anticipated Model 3, Musk noted that Tesla is hoping to get the sticker price down to just half that of the Model S, a goal which precipitated development of the gargantuan Gigafactory in Nevada.

We need the Gigafactory because there currently isn’t enough battery cell capacity for a high-volume, pure electric car at any price. The Model 3 is 20% smaller than the Model S, so the battery pack can be just 80% of the size, but we’re aiming for a 50% price reduction from the S, so we need the factory to make it affordable.

Musk is certainly a colorful personality, and the interview is well worth checking out in its entirety. Again, you won’t find too much new information to digest, but the story provides a good background of Tesla’s goals and Musk’s strategy to bring said goals to fruition.

Gigafactory ▪ July 31, 2014

From today’s Shareholder Report(PDF):

In June, we broke ground just outside Reno, Nevada on a site that could potentially be the location for the Gigafactory. Consistent with our strategy to identify and break ground on multiple sites, we continue to evaluate other locations in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. The final site for the first Gigafactory will be determined in the next few months, once we have full visibility and agreement on the relevant incentives and processes for enabling the Gigafactory to be fully operational to meet the timing for Model 3. We see these concurrent efforts as prudent. This vehicle will be
our third-generation product and will substantially broaden the addressable market for Tesla, helping to accelerate the transition towards sustainable transportation. Any potentially duplicative investments are minor compared to the revenue that could be lost if the launch of Model 3 were affected by any delays at our primary Gigafactory site.

Conference call will be at 5:30 here. Stock is down in after hours on unit shipment numbers.

Gigafactory ▪ July 28, 2014

Nikkei:
OSAKA — Panasonic has reached a basic agreement with Tesla Motors to participate in the Gigafactory, the huge battery plant that the American electric vehicle manufacturer plans to build in the U.S. Tesla aims to begin the first phase of construction this fiscal year. The plant would start making lithium-ion cells for Tesla cars in 2017. The automaker is shouldering the cost for the land and buildings.     Panasonic likely will invest 20 billion to 30 billion yen ($194-291 million) initially, taking responsibility for equipping the factory with the machinery to make the battery cells. An official announcement on the partnership will come by the end of this month.     Capacity at the Gigafactory will be added in stages to match demand, with the goal of producing enough battery cells in 2020 to equip 500,000 electric vehicles a year.     The total investment is expected to reach up to $5 billion, and Panasonic’s share could reach $1 billion.     The Japanese company owns a stake in Tesla and currently makes the batteries for Tesla cars. In a contract reworked in October 2013, the two agreed that Panasonic would supply Tesla with 2 billion battery cells between 2014 and 2017.
The partnership wasn’t ever a secret or really ever in doubt. Panasonic, I think, spent some extra time negotiating better terms. Both company’s stocks are spiking on the news.

Gigafactory ▪ February 26, 2014

Tesla just announced details of the Battery Gigafactory to be located in the Southwest US. The location hasn’t yet been selected but will provide 6500 US jobs and, in 2020, enough batteries for 500,000 electric vehicles.

Tesla also announced a $1.6B convertible notes offering to fund the Gigafactory and other ramping.

As we at Tesla reach for our goal of producing a mass market electric car in approximately three years, we have an opportunity to leverage our projected demand for lithium ion batteries to reduce their cost faster than previously thought possible. In cooperation with strategic battery manufacturing partners, we’re planning to build a large scale factory that will allow us to achieve economies of scale and minimize costs through innovative manufacturing, reduction of logistics waste, optimization of co-located processes and reduced overhead.

The Gigafactory is designed to reduce cell costs much faster than the status quo and, by 2020, produce more lithium ion batteries annually than were produced worldwide in 2013. By the end of the first year of volume production of our mass market vehicle, we expect the Gigafactory will have driven down the per kWh cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent. Here are some details about what the Gigafactory will look like.

Learn more about the Tesla Gigafactory

Press release follows: expand full story

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