Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
“It’s big,” says every journalist who has visited Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory (and more than a few who haven’t). “It’s a big place. Really big.”

Batteries

Tesla Gigafactory Bigger Than You Expect — Truly Gigantic

“It’s big,” says every journalist who has visited Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory (and more than a few who haven’t). “It’s a big place. Really big.”

Originally published on EVANNEX.
By Charles Morris

“It’s big,” says every journalist who has visited Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory (and more than a few who haven’t). “It’s a big place. Really big.”

“How big is it?” shouts the audience in unison.

Well, it’s currently a 1.9-million-square-foot building with 5.3 million square feet of operating space on three floors. And so far, it’s only 30% complete. When it reaches its full size, it will have the largest footprint of any building in the world. Tech journalist Larry Magid recently visited, and assumed that a promised tour of the outside would be on foot. Hardly. “I was driven around in a van, and even that took a while,” says he.

Mr. Magid did much more than marvel at the Gigafactory’s size. He scored an interview with Tesla VP of Operations Chris Lister, which you can listen to below or on Magid’s Larry’s World blog (Magid also did a write-up in the Mercury News).

Magid’s interview with Tesla’s VP of Operations at the Tesla Gigafactory (Source: CBS News Radio via Larry’s World)

At the Gigafactory, Tesla and its partner Panasonic work together to make battery packs for Model 3, as well as for the Powerwall and Powerpack stationary storage products. Panasonic makes the cells — cylinders about the size of AA batteries, unceremoniously dubbed “2170 cells” because they measure 21 mm in diameter and 70 mm in length. Tesla assembles the cells into long strings it calls bandoliers, assembles these into modules, and assembles the modules into finished packs. Each pack contains 3,500–4,500 cells, depending on the vehicle variant it’s destined for.

Cooling tubes transport coolant throughout the pack to keep the cells within the optimum temperature range. The finished battery packs are transported by trucks (including a few Tesla Semis) to Tesla’s Fremont factory, where each one fulfills its destiny as the heart of a new electric vehicle.

Many consumers are skeptical about the longevity of EV batteries — they know from experience that cell phone batteries tend to wear out after a few years. However, Tesla batteries are built to last. Lister says Tesla has tested battery packs that have gone 100,000 miles with minimal capacity loss.

Screenshot from Tesla video.

Tesla also builds the drive unit for Model 3, which integrates the vehicle’s motor and inverter and is usually described as the size of a large watermelon, here at the Gig.

Tesla has around 7,000 employees (95% of them Nevadans) at the Gigafactory, and Panasonic another 5,000 or so.

Why the massive scale? As Lister reminds Magid, Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to a sustainable energy and transport system. That will require an exponential increase in global battery production, and Tesla is leading the way. The Gigafactory was designed on a gigantic scale in order to accommodate future battery demand (Elon Musk has said that, to support an all-electric transport system, several Gigafactories will be needed around the world). As the volume of battery production rises, economies of scale will allow Tesla to offer ever-more-affordable vehicles.

Sources: Larry’s WorldMercury NewsCBS News Radio

 
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

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

Written By

We publish a number of guest posts from experts in a large variety of fields. This is our contributor account for those special people, organizations, agencies, and companies.

Comments

You May Also Like

Clean Transport

The share of electric vehicle in new vehicle sales in the US was close to 6% in 2022. At the end of 2022, there...

Clean Transport

The Tesla Cybertruck won't go into mass production until 2024. By the time it gets here, will its first mover advantage be gone?

Cars

Germany saw plugin electric vehicle (EV) share at a low ebb in January, just 15.1%, from 21.6% year on year. The one-off low result...

Cars

You have probably been reading about the atmospheric river that has brought incredible rain, flooding and destruction to California this winter. That atmospheric river...

Copyright © 2023 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.