PHOTOS: Inside The Elon Musk Building That Could Change The World
Elon Musk unveiled his Tesla Model 3 last week—and promptly made $7.5B in pre-orders. His next big project? The Tesla Gigafactory, which will pump out Tesla batteries faster than Elon's cars are flying off the shelves (maybe). Take a look at the building that could change the entire automobile industry.
The 5.5M SF factory is being built in Sparks, NV, and is meant to optimize the process of putting together Tesla's complicated batteries by getting it all under one roof.
The roof will eventually be decked out with solar panels on all free space. As of right now, it's painted white, keeping the roof cool to optimize the panels' performance when they're attached.
Once covered in its solar panel shell, the building is meant to be "net zero" energy usage, meaning it creates just as much power as it uses.
As you can see, there are still a few things missing before it hits that point...
In fact, it looks like Tesla is ready to put another large expansion on the facility.
Just the trailer city around the construction project has cost Tesla millions, and stormwater retention ponds around the site are expected to cost $500k.
Here's a shot of what the project looked like when it was just starting out. The initial work of clearing brush and site prep began back in May 2014.
All told, the Gigafactory will cost about $5B—not bad for a way to drive battery costs down 30%.
Tesla expects the Gigafactory to start production in 2017, reaching full capacity some time in 2020. And the company will need it—Tesla plans to produce 500,000 cars a year through 2020.