Tesla is finally planning to expand the Gigafactory Nevada building after years of being “stuck” at about “30% of its final size.”
Tesla Gigafactory Nevada was the first major step in Tesla’s effort to secure battery cell supply for its ambitious growth.
The automaker partnered with Panasonic to deploy new battery cell production capacity at the facility, and Tesla used those cells to build battery packs for its vehicles and energy storage products.
When originally announcing the plan for the factory, Tesla was talking about the plant producing 105 GWh of battery cells per year and 150 GWh of battery packs per year once completed.
It was supposed to become the largest building in the world.
However, the factory is currently about 30% complete, and Tesla hasn’t expanded the facility for years as both the automaker and Panasonic have focused on optimizing the current production capacity.
Here’s what the factory is supposed to look like once completed (yellow) and the existing sections with Tesla’s operations (red) and Panasonic’s (blue):
However, Tesla hasn’t expanded the footprint of the factory in five years at this point, as it focused on optimizing this one and building new ones that include vertically-integrated vehicle production.
Now Electrek has learned that Tesla is finally expanding the factory’s footprint with a building expansion.
According to sources familiar with the matter, Tesla plans to start building at Gigafactory Nevada again, starting with an expansion of the “C” section of the building:
As shown above, the new section is expected to be used for battery cell manufacturing.
Tesla and Panasonic are currently working together to produce Tesla’s new 4680 battery cell format that is expected to support the production of the automaker’s future electric vehicles.
There’s no clear timeline for Tesla to start the construction project, but it sounds like it’s going to happen as fast as possible, like everything else for the automaker.
Currently, the building has a footprint of “more than 1.9 million square feet,” but it houses “approximately 5.3 million square feet of operational space” since it has several floors.
The expansion project is expected to bring the factory’s output closer to its original goal of about 105 GWh of battery cell production and over 150 GWh of battery packs.
Tesla would eventually like to also have raw material processing at the factory location.
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