Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
With so much buzz surrounding Tesla's new Gigafactory in Shanghai, some of those newer Model 3 owners might be secretly wondering — a Giga-what? So let's take a second to explain what this moniker really means. Mike Brown at Inverse dives (head first) into this topic, reminding readers: "One of the most impressive machines from Tesla isn’t a car, but a factory."

Batteries

What’s A Gigafactory? Here’s A Quick Summary Video

With so much buzz surrounding Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Shanghai, some of those newer Model 3 owners might be secretly wondering — a Giga-what? So let’s take a second to explain what this moniker really means. Mike Brown at Inverse dives (head first) into this topic, reminding readers: “One of the most impressive machines from Tesla isn’t a car, but a factory.”


Originally published on EVANNEX.

With so much buzz surrounding Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Shanghai, some of those newer Model 3 owners might be secretly wondering — a Giga-what? So let’s take a second to explain what this moniker really means. Mike Brown at Inverse dives (head first) into this topic, reminding readers: “One of the most impressive machines from Tesla isn’t a car, but a factory.”

So, what exactly is this special Giga-factory? According to Brown, “Musk is believed to have first coined the term ‘Gigafactory’ in November 2013, when he told investors during the company’s third-quarter earnings call that ‘there is going to need to be some kind of giga factory built’ to handle the company’s upcoming high-volume production vehicle, the Model 3.”

Later, “Musk went on to say that the output would need to be ‘something that’s comparable to all lithium-ion production in the world in one factory.’ The word comes from the prefix ‘giga-,’ which is used to denote a measurement that’s been multiplied by one billion. A common example of this is with the kilogram, which adds the prefix ‘kilo-‘ onto ‘gram’ to denote one thousand grams. ‘Giga’ is believed to come from the Greek word ‘gigas,’ meaning ‘giant.’ In short, Musk is saying he wants a really huge factory.”

 Explaining the real meaning behind Tesla’s “Gigafactory” (YouTube: Inverse)

And, according to Brown, this will be a very, very big factory indeed: “When complete, the Nevada Gigafactory is expected to cover over 4.9 million square feet of space over numerous floors. This is expected to make it the largest building in the world. The building is only 30 percent complete at this stage, though, covering a space of 1.9 million square feet. The total plot of land measures five square miles.”

And output from this Gigafactory is equally impressive: “In August 2018, [Tesla] announced that it had reached an annual production rate of 20 gigawatt-hours, more power than all automakers combined. … Alongside the batteries, the factory produces electric motors for the Tesla Model 3, the company’s cheapest-ever car, plus the Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage systems designed to work with renewable sources.”

And, Brown notes that the Nevada Gigafactory’s “planned annual production rate is set to reach 35 gigawatt-hours by 2020, exceeding the total global production of batteries in the year 2013. It’s enough to send 500,000 vehicles onto the road.” With Shanghai’s Gigafactory officially launched and talk of “building more Gigafactories, including one in Europe,” Tesla is poised to be the reigning king of batteries for the foreseeable future.

Editor’s note: While the video explanation captures core facts about Tesla’s gigafactories, it seems to have skipped over the most obvious point: gigafactories produced gigawatt-hours worth of batteries or gigawatts worth of solar panels. Those are technical figures of measurement and explain the name of the factories. You can shrink giga down to “a lot,” but that’s overgeneralizing, imho.

 
Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
 
 

Advertisement
 
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.

Written By

Matt is all about Tesla. He’s a TSLA investor, and he loves driving the family's Model 3, Model S, and Model X company cars. As co-founder of EVANNEX, a family business specializing in aftermarket Tesla accessories, he’s served as a contributor/editor of Electric Vehicle University (EVU) and the Owning Model S and Getting Ready for Model 3 books. He writes daily about Tesla and you can follow his work on the EVANNEX blog.

Comments

You May Also Like

Electric Cars

There was a time when traditional automakers could have stymied Tesla’s growth story. Is it possible they missed their window? Christiaan Hetzner at Fortune reports,...

Cars

Driving an EV is fun and surprising! Luxury, confidence, and being visionary are also themes that emerge in automakers' recent shift to EV marketing....

Clean Transport

First Pennsylvania, now Australia, then Europe: Wabtec is taking its 100% electric locomotives on the road.

Cars

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) revealed the results of its Tesla Model Y crash safety tests recently. Like all Teslas, the Model...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.