Tesla has already begun production at their $5 billion battery factory, according to the company’s third quarter 2015 shareholder letter. In October, production of Tesla’s Powerpacks and Powerwalls moved from Fremont to an automated assembly line at the Gigafactory.The early move, which appears to have occurred months before originally planned, was due to growing demand for Tesla Energy products. The move will delay many deliveries of energy products from late 2015 to early 2016, but overall, will position Tesla for stronger growth in 2016.
Additionally, Tesla expects battery cell production to begin in late 2016, several quarters ahead of their initial plan.
The Gigafactory currently only occupies a fraction of its final footprint, and is expected to be fully operational by the year 2020. At full capacity, the project is expected to produce 35 GWh of battery cells and 50 GWh of battery packs, enough for about 500,000 vehicles per year.