Tesla’s New Gigafactory and the Future of Auto Manufacturing
Tesla is here to stay, despite its many naysayers when it first emerged in the mainstream. Spearheaded by its ambitious CEO, Elon Musk, to say that Tesla is an innovative company is a vast understatement.
The company as a whole has simply changed the game and pushed the boundaries when it comes to electric vehicles and what was thought possible.
But while their vehicles themselves are game changers, they are looking to further change the game when it comes to manufacturing processes thanks to its still-being-built Gigafactory. So what exactly is it, and why is it so important to the future of manufacturing and electric vehicles? Read on to find out:
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It’s Absolutely Massive.
The factory itself, once finished, will be gigantic by manufacturing standards. Located in Sparks, Nevada, which is just outside of Reno, it will be close to 6 million square feet. To put this size into perspective, consider that it will be able to hold close to Boeing 787 Dreamliners. This will make it the biggest building in size in the world.
What’s the Need for It?
The reason that it’s so massive, according to Elon Musk himself, is that “It’s about making enough electric cars, enough stationary battery packs that it actually moves the needle from a global carbon production perspective—that it actually does really change the world.” (See: http://fortune.com/2016/07/30/tesla-gigafactory-elon-event/)
The main goal of the Gigafactory is to help Tesla manufacture over 500,000 of its vehicles per year by 2020. Batteries are one of the main components of Tesla’s vehicles, and the reality is that no other battery supplier can match their production needs. It’s expected, when it eventually runs at full capacity, to increase the current global level of lithium-ion battery production by over 100%.
Additional Mind-Blowing Facts.
Costing a cool $5 billion to create, the Gigafactory boasts some impressive facts. It’s expected to eventually be able to create battery cells faster than the bullets that exit a machine gun. That’s just one of the reasons why it will eventually exceed, in just one year of production, the global level of all lithium-ion batteries that are produced.
In addition, the Gigafactory:
- Runs on 100% renewable energy, in which it will eventually reach net zero energy for all of its production;
- Will be using solar panels (which makes sense given its location in Nevada) and have a white-painted roof to ensure a cool internal temperature;
- Is completely earthquake-proof;
- Will be operating 24/7;
- Will employ over 6,500 employees by the start of 2020.
Though parts of it have been shown off to journalists, the Gigafactory is still under construction and won’t be completed and ready to start cell production until 2017. When it does, the future of lithium-ion battery production will have arrived. Considering the push for EV vehicles, Tesla could potentially change the way automobiles are manufactured in the future. Elon Musk has always been ambitious, and this is no exception.