Back in a podcast interview in May, Nevada resident and long-time EV enthusiast Bob Tregilus mentioned to me that he thought he saw Tesla work being done on a site nearby (just outside of Reno), presumably work related to the Tesla and Panasonic’s Gigafactory. Indeed, it seems Bob was right.
Reports are out that Tesla has indeed broken ground on a Gigafactory site outside of Reno. The news comes from an anonymous source in Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s office. A press conference by the Governor about a “major economic development announcement” is planned for tomorrow, so it may not be long until we have more details. However, the official deal may not be nailed down for another week or so.
Regarding the Gigafactory: “That’s a go, but they are still negotiating the specifics of the contract,” the source told CNBC on Wednesday afternoon.
However, that doesn’t conclusively mean that Nevada is the last contender. Tesla previously announced that it might break ground on two sites in order to be absolutely sure that one of them was completed.
The Tesla Gigafactory has probably been the biggest cleantech news story of the year, so despite little information from Tesla since the concept was unveiled, there has been a pretty steady stream of stories about it. As we wait for more information about the Nevada Tesla Gigafactory site (if it is indeed coming in the morning), here’s a quick summary of top stories I’ve seen about the Gigafactory:
1. First of all, I think it’s worth noting that the original Gigafactory site rendering seemed to be based on a photo of the Reno Stead airport. Also, practically since the discussions began, many of our readers have contended that Nevada looked like the most likely location.
2. The Gigafactory could produce the equivalent of the entire world’s 2013 production of lithium-ion batteries, and about ⅓ the world’s 2013 production of graphite.
3. Panasonic expects to be Tesla’s sole producer of batteries at its first Gigafactory.
4. With the Gigafactory, Tesla will be producing more-American-made cars than Ford.
5. Thanks to the Gigafactory, moving off grid could be reaching a real tipping point.
6. The Gigafactory should allow for the production of 500,000 Teslas by 2020, mostly the Tesla Model III. Production should begin in 2017.
7. Once any major Gigafactory announcement is made, the interwebs are going to go crazy.
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