- Construction, and production, at the $5 billion Tesla gigafactory in Reno, NV, is in full swing with Powerwall and Powerpack battery manufacturing underway and the construction on the factory 14% complete, Bloomberg reported.
- Despite the unfinished factory, the schedule for production of Tesla Model 3 batteries has been compressed since Tesla founder Elon Musk announced the company will deliver 500,000 electric vehicles in 2018 — two years sooner than originally planned.
- There are already 350 Tesla employees working at the factory, which will span 5.8 million square feet when completed. The interior of the factory will feature twice as much floor space, according to Bloomberg, as some parts of the complex will be four stories. The company has already bought surrounding land so that it has the option to expand the factory in the future.
Tesla Chief Technology Officer JB Straubel said in an earnings call last week that the first electric car batteries will start production at the end of 2016 to meet Musk’s accelerated schedule. Straubel said that although the factory's stated capacity is 35 gigawatt-hours of battery cells and 50 gigawatt-hours of battery packs per year, the company has room to increase output so that it can meet Musk’s timeline and Tesla Energy (Powerwall and Powerpack) goals as well.
Curious eyes have been focused on the gigafactory's progress ever since crews began prep work at the site in May 2014. Tesla has led the influx of massive projects and major companies into the Reno area, especially at the Reno Industrial Park. Some state officials credit the company with increasing corporate interest in Nevada, as well as boosting the local business economy as construction activity continues to increase.
Tesla, which is acting as its own contractor, has also made a point of incorporating the latest green technology into the gigafactory. The company announced last November that the factory would be a net-zero energy facility and will maintain carbon neutral operations with a vast solar array planned for the gigafactory's roof and surrounding property.