An Update on Tesla's Gigafactory
【Summary】Tesla's Gigafactory started producing a high performance cylindrical '2170 cell' in January of this year which was jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic to offer the best performance at the lowest production cost in an optimal form factor for both electric vehicles and energy products.
Now that the Model 3 set to begin production and delivery later this year to the nearly 400,000 people that preordered one, Tesla is needs to be able to build all of the batteries required to power them.
The company has a planned production rate of 500,000 electric cars per year in the latter half of this decade, this total includes the Model S, X, and 3. To do so, Tesla will require the current entire worldwide production of all lithium ion batteries. The Tesla Gigafactory was born of necessity and will supply enough batteries to support the projected vehicle demand.
The factory started producing a high performance cylindrical '2170 cell' in January of this year which was jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic to offer the best performance at the lowest production cost in an optimal form factor for both electric vehicles and energy products.
The new battery cell is called ‘2170' because it's 21mm by 70mm. The cell is larger than the previous cell that Tesla developed with Panasonic, which was in an ‘18650' cell format. The battery cells will be used in Tesla's Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products.
Tesla's new 2170 battery cell
Cells for Tesla's much anticipated Model 3 sedan cell will follow in Q2 this year, and by 2018, the Gigafactory will produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells, nearly as much as the rest of the entire world's battery production combined, Tesla revealed.
Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy. To achieve that goal, Tesla must produce electric vehicles in sufficient volume to force change in the automobile industry.
In cooperation with Panasonic and other strategic partners, the Gigafactory will produce batteries for significantly less cost using economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing process under one roof. We expect to drive down the per kilowatt hour (kWh) cost of our battery pack by more than 30 percent. The Gigafactory will also be powered by renewable energy sources, with the goal of achieving net zero energy.
The name Gigafactory comes from the factory's planned annual battery production capacity of 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh). "Giga" is a unit of measurement that represents "billions". One GWh is the equivalent of generating or using one billion watts for one hour—one million times that of one kWh.
Tesla first broke ground on the Gigafactory in June 2014 in the barren desert outside Sparks, Nevada. By 2018, the Gigafactory is expected to reach full capacity and produce more lithium ion batteries annually at the gigafactory than were produced in all of the world in 2013.
Now the company wants to open more locations to build batteries. Tesla stated in January that it expects to "finalize locations" this year for as many as three new Gigafactories. That would bring the total number to five, including a solar plant in New York. It's unclear if the new factories will be as large or costly as the 5.8 million square foot Gigafactory in Nevada.
Tesla also plans to double the number of Supercharger stations in North America in 2017, boost production of solar tiles later this year and begin production of the Model 3 in July, according to its fourth quarter earnings report.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
Lucid Group Officially Starts Production of the Fully-Electric Lucid Air Sedan in Arizona, Customer Deliveries Will Begin Next Month
Ford Motor Co to Invest $11.4 Billion in 2 New Mega Campuses to Lead the U.S. in Electric Vehicle Production
The First Pre-Production Low Earth Orbit Satellite to Support Automaker Geely's Future Self-Driving Vehicles Rolls Off the Assembly Line
Volvo’s Electric-Performance Brand Polestar to Go Public in a $20 Billion SPAC Deal With Gores Guggenheim, Inc.
HT Aero, an Aviation Company Backed by Chinese EV Startup XPeng, Details its Latest ‘Flying Vehicle’ Named the X2
General Motors Invests $300 Million in Chinese Autonomous Driving Startup Momenta
The Volta Zero Electric Truck Will Be Powered by a ‘Connected Vehicle Software Platform’ Developed by Silicon Valley Startup Sibros
Ford to Partner with Tesla Co-founder’s New Startup Redwood Materials on EV Battery Recycling & U.S. Supply Chain
- Tesla Challenger Xpeng Launching Hong Kong Public Offering Following its U.S. IPO in 2020
- Electric-Only Ride-Hailing Startup Revel Gets Approval to Deploy its Fleet of Tesla Model Ys in New York City on Aug 2
- Tesla Reports Record Deliveries of 201,250 Vehicles in the Second Quarter of 2021
- China’s Baidu Inc. Opens its ‘Apollo Go’ Robotaxi Service in Shanghai
- Here's What We Know About the Upcoming 2023 Cadillac LYRIQ
- Tesla Ordered to Turn Over Autopilot Data to the NHTSA After the 12th Crash Involving an Emergency Vehicle
- Automaker Stellantis Announces its Bold EV Plans, Will Invest $35 Billion to Electrify its Global Vehicle Lineup
- Battery Maker LG Chem Loses $6 Billion in Market Value After GM Announces Chevy Bolt EV Recall
- Audi Confirms Plans to Go All-Electric By 2026
- Tesla Challenger XPeng to Officially Launch the P5 Sedan, its 3rd Electric Model, on Sept 15