Tesla Gigafactory Headed To Nevada (Unofficial Leak)

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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.

tesla gigafactory number of cars

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.

Tesla's Gigafactory plan and timeline

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:

Tesla's planned Gigafactory (Tesla)


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  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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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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8 thoughts on “Tesla Gigafactory Headed To Nevada (Unofficial Leak)

  • It’s a lovely goal, and I hope they succeed, but did they need to take money from the states to do it?

    I hope Navada got a piece of the action: stock in both tesla and this venture.

    • This sounds like the open letter to the states to do collective bargaining with Tesla to see which one would get the Gigafactory. Which is totally ridiculous, due to an excellent product, good treatment of employees, and a stated goal of getting all manufacturers to expand the production of EV’s they are thriving in the current political and market conditions. To the extent that they even agreed to give away their patent knowledge on batteries and EV drive systems this past spring, in order to encourage the other manufacturers to do the same.
      If you want to stop the current system of companies making the best deals to be profitable with various states, then it does no good to complain about Tesla dealing with the system. Change the politicians, so the legal and market conditions get changed that Tesla has to use to be profitable. With everything they do to make things better for this country, you can’t blame them for working within the current system.

      • Totally ridiculous for the states to legally collective bargain ? really?

        I like Tesla and and Munts, but why should they get money out of the mouths of babes?

        I totally agree it’s a worthy project, should we all bow down and worship them thus?

        Why shouldn’t states makes the best deal they can for their citizens? It’s their duty.

        You seem to object to the states extracting a piece of the action for breaks that will directly hurt their citizens at least in the short term.

        How did you get so corporate subservient?

        • I shouldn’t have rushed my previous reply to cause you to misunderstand, but there has been an ongoing discussion with the author of the original letter to the states that has caused me to get sort of aggravated on this subject.
          Corporate subservient?? Totally not. I hate the what our supreme Court has done in allowing individuals and businesses to have influence over our political system just because of the financial superiority that can be used.
          For the idea of the states being able to collectively bargain on corporate deals like this would be great, if it was part of our current system. But it isn’t.
          The original letter, if you haven’t had a chance to see it, blames Tesla for the behind closed doors aspect of these bargains. Which is just a typical action of corporate non disclosure agreements, and goes on to complain about the five hundred million in tax considerations without bothering to recognize the multiple billions that will be spent in the first state to build the factory. And then be multiplied many times in payroll, and residual services, and the benefits to be seen throughout the years of operation.
          My point to the original author of the letter and I guess now to you, is that it is ridiculous to blame Tesla for how our political and market system works. The politicians in these states are far from being ‘babe’s in the woods’ as you put it, and are very used to making these types of deals, or they wouldn’t have the positions that they do.
          The big contest now is over who will get the first Gigafactory and have a lead on the financial benefits from “Munts” (incidentally it’s Musk) first battery factory. Because as he has explained and proven out with the success of his car and solar installation companies, several of these will be needed in the future to get our transportation and energy systems off from fossil fuels and reliant on renewable energy.
          If you don’t like the way our political and market system works now, and the deals that companies make in order to go into production here in this country, then go after the ones that cause it to be this way.
          But blaming Tesla, with their excellent product, above standard treatment of employees, and corporate mission of getting our country and transportation self reliant on EV’s for thriving in the current fossil fueled market is as I said ridiculous.

  • Bravo Elon! I especially enjoy the fact that the factory will generate it’s own power with it’s own P-V panels (and of course it’s own battery storage system). When corporations do the right thing, treat their employees well, and further the common good, I am a bigger booster than the Chamber of Commerce.

    • The American Chamber of Commerce is truly an evil and dangerous entity with far too much control over the rest of us.

  • We just got a graduate level class on public/private partnering, when public realizes it has a hand in the deal. Rather than caving in. Here’s a wonderful quote last week from the Nevada senator Harry Reid last week:

    “I would not start counting jobs on Tesla now, anyway,” Reid said during a news conference in his Reno office, according to the Gazette-Journal. “I will say, I’m not sure they aren’t playing us.”

    Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/215468-reid-thinks-tesla-could-be-playing-nevada-on-battery-factory#ixzz3CMNgoGHA
    Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

    It also helps that Harry Reid is the Senate Majority Leader. Nevada is the number one gold mining state in the US by far. There’s stuff in those giant heap leach piles that remained after being washed down by a solution of cyanide and other things. Maybe that stuff could go into batteries. Reid is heavily invested in mining. He’s not even remotely green or clean. He’s a businessman. On gold mining per state:


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