We recently reported that Tesla Gigafactory building permits showed that battery cell manufacturing equipment would be ready to go by July 20, just over a week ahead of the building's grand opening event. Much of the equipment is provided by Tesla partner, Panasonic, and CEO Elon Musk has raved that it is quite impressive.
Panasonic lithium-ion battery cells
There has been no news confirming that the equipment is installed and ready to go as Tesla is likely waiting for the big event to unveil the $51 million project that Musk promises:
“The exit rate of cells from Gigafactory will be faster than bullets from a machine gun.”
Panasonic held a job fair on June 22nd, and will have another on August 10th at the Reno Convention Center and is now advertising a third fair coming up at the Gigafactory. The jobs posted are specifically for cell production.
General Manager of Human Resources and General Affairs for Panasonic Energy of North America (PENA), Mark Anderson, (via Electrek):
“At this stage, Panasonic Energy of North America is looking to meet with candidates for Shift Lead, Maintenance Technician, Quality Control Specialist, Material Handler, Winding Operator as well as Battery and Manufacturing Engineers and other technical and professional positions. A limited number of interviews for qualified preregistered applicants will be held on site on a first come, first serve basis.”
PENA is now listing dozens of additional jobs on its website, to add to the company's 52 full time workers reported at the close of Q1. Since then, the company has continued to hire, so the total number of employees is sure to more than double following the upcoming fair. Panasonic should be moving forward soon with well over 100 bodies solely focused on manufacturing the cells.
While Tesla manufactures the battery packs on its own, and is already underway, the battery cell production component is substantial news for the Gigafactory. Obviously, in house cell production means increased production and lowered cost.