Tesla has always been clear about its ambitious goal to produce more batteries at its Gigafactory in Nevada than the entire industry combined, but the production ramp up has been less clear.
In order to give an idea of the current capacity, CEO Elon Musk now says that the factory is already producing more batteries than any other factory in the world.
According to two sources talking to Electrek, Musk made the comment during a conference call hosted by Goldman Sachs for bondholders following Tesla’s new bond issuance yesterday.
Gigafactory 1 started battery cell production for Powerwall and Powerpack in January and in June, they started Model 3 battery cell production.
The current structure has a 1.9 million square-foot footprint and including several levels, the factory has about 4.9 million square feet of operational space, but it represents only ~30 percent of the total finished Gigafactory.
As we recently reported, they are also still deploying production capacity within the current structure.
Musk still refused to disclose the capacity, but he said that it is already higher than any other factories.
Some of the biggest battery factories in the world currently produce about 4 GWh of li-ion batteries per year, which would indicate that Tesla Gigafactory 1 can at least produce as much energy capacity on an annual basis.
There’s still a lot of production ramp to go through since Tesla aims to be at a production rate of 35 GWh in 2018 and they will need to reach at least half that production rate just to support their planned production ramp for Model 3 by the end of the year.
Furthermore, Musk again refuses to disclose the battery costs of Model S, Model X and Model 3, but he insisted that they are significantly ahead of the competition. He did disclose though that he expects the cost of Model 3 battery packs produced at Gigafactory 1 to drop below the cost of Model S and Model X packs starting in Q4 2017, when the volumes are expected to increase.
Musk added that he expects it will coincide with Tesla Energy’s stationary energy storage business, Powerpacks and Powerwalls, starting to generate positive cash flow, which he expects will start to be significant in 2018 – even though they still plan to complete their massive Powerpack project in Australia by the end of the year.
To give an idea of where they stand at Gigafactory 1 right now, Musk said that they currently see about 40% uptime at the factory, while they expect to be at over 90% uptime when they hit full production.
Featured Image: Tesla Gigafactory: take a close look with a new drone video – by Duncan Sinfield