Tesla starts production at Gigafactory - Smart Energy Decisions

Demand Management, Energy Storage  -  January 5, 2017

Tesla Gigafactory begins battery cell production


Tesla Motors Inc. and Panasonic Corp. have begun mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada. 

The battery cells currently being produced at the site will be used in Tesla's energy storage productsPowerwall 2 and Powerpack 2. By the second quarter of 2017, the Gigafactory will begin production of the battery cells for its upcoming Model 3  electric vehicle. 

"Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles in addition to renewable energy generation and storage," Tesla said in a Jan. 4 blog post announcing the news. "At the heart of these products are batteries."

The lithium-ion battery cell being produced at the highly publicized Gigafactory — the facility itself is a manufacturing innovation that was designed to be net-zero energy — was jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic to embody high performance at the lowest possible production cost, Tesla said. By 2018, the Gigafactory will be producing 35 GWh per year of battery cells, "nearly as much as the rest of the entire world's battery production combined," Tesla said. 

The company continued:

With the Gigafactory online and ramping up production, our cost of battery cells will significantly decline due to increasing automation and process design to enhance yield, lowered capital investment per Wh of production, the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing processes under one roof, and economies of scale. By bringing down the cost of batteries, we can make our products available to more and more people, allowing us to make the biggest possible impact on transitioning the world to sustainable energy.

Tesla and Panasonic are expected to hire several thousand employees at the Gigafactory. At peak production, Tesla says the Gigafactory will directly employ 6,500 people and indirectly create between 20,000 to 30,000 additional jobs in the surrounding regions. 

Panasonic made its own announcement about the battery production at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, according to Greentech Media, which reported on the comments made by Panasonic's North American CEO Joseph Taylor.

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