After a hold on the expansion of the structure over the last year, Tesla has made some moves for an expansion at Gigafactory 1 in 2018.

Pictures from a new flyover the giant factory shows that Tesla completed a massive new parking lot, which is going to enable a new expansion of the building.

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Over the last year, Tesla’s focus at Gigafactory 1 has been on building up production capacity in the structure for Model 3 batteries and drive units as well as Powerpacks and Powerwalls.

It resulted in the actual structure remaining virtually unchanged throughout 2017, but Tesla has started making changes in 2018 – finally beginning to install its massive ‘world’s largest solar rooftop array’.

A few months ago, Tesla also started moving ground at Gigafactory 1 in order to build a new parking lot on the north side of the plant.

This is important because the company’s current parking lot is located on the west side of the factory – where the structure’s expansion is planned and therefore, they need to move the parking lot in order to keep building.

Paul Hollingworth recently flew his gyroplane (open cockpit aircraft) over the battery factory and took some pictures showing the new completed lot:

It also shows the completed first phase of the large rooftop solar array that Tesla is building at the factory.

As we previously reported, the current structure has a footprint of 1.9 million square-feet. Including several levels, the factory currently has about 4.9 million square feet of operational space. This represents only ~30 percent of the planned completed Gigafactory, according to Tesla.

Tesla’s goal is to produce 105 GWh of battery cells and have an output of 150 GWh of battery packs at the factory when at full production, which was originally planned for 2020.

At the Tesla shareholder meeting this week, CEO Elon Musk said that Gigafactory construction could expand for a few more years.

Electrek’s Take

There is a lot of construction still to be done before Tesla and Panasonic can reach the promised levels of production, but they are already producing a ton of batteries.

Tesla already built and deployed over 1 GWh of Powerwalls and Powerpacks, most of them at Gigafactory 1, and Musk said this week that they plan to build and deploy another GWh in less than a year.

Between the energy products and the Model 3 battery packs, Musk expects to ship more batteries from Gigafactory 1 than all other companies combined over the period.

Based on the images, there’s definitely a lot of activities at the factory, but enough to beat all the competition combined? Let’s see it happen.

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