On-The-Scene Video Of Tesla Gigafactory Under Construction

JAN 31 2015 BY TDILLARD 34

Want to see what the Tesla GigaFactory looks like while it’s being built?  So did we. Thanks to one SweetStella789, we can.

Update:  Apparently, the “powers that be” weren’t content with the video online and it has since been removed…leaving just the stills to be remembers.

Hat tip to Calvin Klesmith!!!

Categories: Tesla

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

34 Comments on "On-The-Scene Video Of Tesla Gigafactory Under Construction"

newest oldest most voted

OH: “Can’t believe they’ve shipped that much stuff in already”.

An amazing amount of steel on site and erected!


Are they driving around in a tank? Def not a Tesla thats for sure!

Given the noise, how about a bulldozer…

Yeah, it take alot of Diesel Generators and gasoline trucks to build a Tesla Factory.

Back to the Via, I had forgoten that what throws the efficiency argument in NY State back to separate diesels, it that you can use cheap $2 gallone fuel oil with the red dye in it in the gnerator where you’d have to use traditionally over $4 / gallon road use diesel fuel with the a Diesel’d Via since it would have to pay the road use tax.

That guy standing on the huge I-beam in the first picture … I know they are not paying him enough …

The guy on the Beam, is only 35 – 50 Feet up, tops. I worked on a Railway crew (as a kid of 18, but with co-workers in their 50’s) that had to walk across a bridge under repair, 160+ feet above the Fraser River, at the early stages we had a 3 ft. wide plate to walk on, but later, they had pulled that up to replace it, so we were walking on the tops of I-Beams, that were just 3-4″ wide. Fun stuff! We learned that High Steel Workers wear that heavy tool belt, not so much for the tools, but to lower their Center of Gravity!

Yay!!! So exciting!!!

I can not believe that this factory is for just 500 000 cars a year. It is TOO BIG for that small number. Don’t you think so?

And solar/grid storage batteries.

Still it is too big for that too.

That’s going to be one large solar roof! 🙂

I don’t have the experience to make that judgement, do you?

Alaa said:

“I can not believe that this factory is for just 500 000 cars a year. It is TOO BIG for that small number. Don’t you think so?”

No, I don’t.

Perhaps this will help you put it in perspective: Imagine every single factory in the world which is now making lithium ion batteries all shoved together under one roof. The GigaFactory is intended to equal the ENTIRE CURRENT GLOBAL OUTPUT of li-ion batteries.

If Tesla makes and sells 500 000 a year demand will be much higher than what it is currently. Many folds I would say. The bottle neck will be this factory, so it has be dimensioned properly. If you compare the size of the factory in California where they make the whole car it is by far smaller. Yet they always say that the CA factory will produce 500 000 cars. In both cases they are under estimating so that the market doesn’t over exaggerate. Just remember that the CA factory was supposed to produce 500 000 cars per year of ICE cars. We know that the EV has fewer parts thus the space needed for 500 000 EV is LESS. Thus both factories in Nevada and California should produce more than 500 000 by far.

Hi Alaa, think about this for a while. Off the top of my head, about 60 million cars are sold anually around the world. So for all these cars to be fully electric with a sufficiently large ~70 kWh battery, we would need 120 of these gigafactories.

Now try to picture ALL manufacturing plants from ALL brands. GM, Toyota, Volkswagen, BYD, Volvo, Porsche, Peugeot, Ford, Honda, Mercedes, Hyundai, Nissan, Kia, Mitsubishi, Chrysler, BMW, Renault, Fiat, and I probably omitted a few. Each manufacturer owns at least a few dozen separate production facilities, which, in the car industry, tend to be huge.

And because the battery in part takes the place of a complex engine, drive train and exhaust system, quite a few engine production plants can be shut down. You win some, you lose some.

Obviously you don’t fully understand the scale of the automotive industry.


I don’t get your point! I will ask a simple question. Is this DF capable of doing more than just 500 000 and some for the stationary storage or not? I think it can.

Alaa, comparing the GigaFactory to Tesla’s Fremont factory is not even an apples-to-oranges comparison; it’s more like apples-to-kumquats. First of all, you’re comparing making batteries — which is light industry — to making cars — which is heavy industry. So right there, I doubt the square footage of floor space is comparable. Second, as I understand it, the Gigafactory is intended to start with raw materials. An auto assembly plant most definitely is not. Many or most of the things used in the assembly plant are pre-made in other factories; that’s why it’s called an “assembly” plant. If my understanding is correct, the Gigafactory will take in unprocessed lithium ore in at one end of the factory (just one of many materials), and produce finished battery packs at the other end. The equivalent for an automotive manufacturing plant would be to have a steel mill under the same roof as the auto assembly area, taking iron ore in at one end of the factory and producing finished cars at the other. Obviously that’s not how the auto manufacturing industry is set up. Alaa wrote: “Yet they always say that the CA factory will produce 500 000 cars.” I don’t recall… Read more »

I didn’t know they had even actually started building it. Also, is it just me, or is there no actual concrete foundation?

It’s just you.

Sometimes the floor is poured after the steelwork has been done.

Toward the beginning of the video you can see the formwork boxed around the base of the steel columns. They pour the footers for the coulumns first so that way they can run all the heavy equipment through the site without tearing up the newly poured slab. When the steel is up and the utilities trenched then they pour the slab.

Well at least it’s looking like this Tesla Factory is not a dream place but is taking shape.

This is what some OPEC Countries have nightmares about. In that if they start building 500,000 EV’s a year the OPEC countries will bleed their oil wealth and their chips to boss us around.

I don’t at all want to belittle Tesla’s impressive achievement in going from making just a few hundred boutique cars in 2008, to (hopefully) making 500,000 cars a year by 2020. But half a million cars won’t make a serious dent in the global consumption of petroleum. Global motor vehicle production (cars and commercial vehicles) in 2013 was 87.3 million.

We need other auto makers to jump into the EV revolution with both feet. So far, all anybody else has done is dip a toe in.

We’ll know that other auto makers are serious about making long-range EVs in large numbers if and when they start building their own multi-billion-dollar battery factories. So far, Tesla is the only one who has stepped up to the plate.

Actually, Nissan built their own battery factories and one of them is in Tennessee.
So, everything you said except is anyone but Nissan and Tesla ready to step up with a gigabigabatteryfactory and mass produce ev’s?

Boston Power, another Li-Ion Battery maker, is making waves about getting financing and support to make a much larger factory, stated to compete with Tesla! Is GM not supported by cells from a large LG Chem Battery Plant in Michigan? Are they not currently not at their Max output?

BMW is slow to the plate, but they are starting to swing at the ball, MB is getting started to up their product choices in the EV offerings, too. As to serious, we will see in a few years, if any of them can do better than the Tesla Built Supercharger Infrastructure!

Well, let’s look at the numbers for battery production.

500,000 Tesla Model ≡’s with (I’m guessing by using my own estimate here) about 45 kWh of batteries each; that comes to ~22.5 million kWh per year.

Moving on to Nissan Leaf production: Wikipedia reports 26,730 sold from Jan-Jun 2014. If we double that number to approximate a year’s production, it comes to 53,460 x 24 kWh = 1.283 million kWh of batteries. I’ve read a comment that the Leaf battery production plants are running at about 1/3 capacity. If that’s true, then the capacity is about 3.85 million kWh.

That sounds like a lot, but it’s not all that much compared to the ~22.5 million kWh needed for just -one- long-range BEV model selling 500,000 per year.

EV_Drive, perhaps it’s belittling Nissan to say they’re not serious about producing long-range EVs. However, the Leaf isn’t a long-range EV. A 24 kWh battery pack simply isn’t adequate to offer serious competition with gas guzzlers.

“I don’t at all want to belittle Tesla’s impressive achievement”

Nonetheless, that is exactly what you’re doing 😉


“We need other auto makers to jump into the EV revolution”

That is what is happening. Clearly the success of the Model S deserves a large share of the credits for that (alongside the Volt and LEAF).

It’s easy to belittle what has been achieved until now, but it is hard to understand exponential growth. Don’t extrapolate linearly from 1000 Roadsters per year in 2010 to 500,000 Model 3’s in 2020. Think exponentially: it is a 500x increase in just a decade.

The 500,000 per year is not some endpoint. It is just a stepping stone towards even larger numbers. And Tesla is just one manufacturer. Add the the others and it is easy to imagine global EV production in 2020 to be above 2 million. And exponential growth will continue after 2020. Tens of millions by 2030 is not a pie in the sky. In the first half coming decade, oil states will already start to feel the pain.

“It’s easy to belittle what has been achieved until now, but it is hard to understand exponential growth.”

It’s also easy to mistake cubic growth for exponential growth. Tesla’s predicted growth is cubic growth, not exponential growth.

I think that is correct.

“Cubic” is to the third power…an exponent. “Exponential doesn’t mean “squared”. It means raising a quantity to *any* power.

arne-nl, thanks for your comments. I mostly agree with them, and I am very aware of the difference between linear growth and exponential growth. If I recall when I ran the numbers: If Tesla can grow its annual production by 50% per year, then in about 12 years it will be the size of Ford Motor. (I personally would not describe a 1.5 x annual growth as “cubic”, but I’m not going to argue over semantics.) But this is an either/or thing: Either Tesla must grow in size until it produces nearly -all- the world’s cars, or other auto makers must jump into the EV revolution in a big way. Much as I love the vision of Tesla Motors, I don’t think it’s realistic to think it’s going to achieve on a global scale what the Ford Motor Co. did for U.S. auto production in the 1920s and early 1930s. So that’s why I say we need other auto makers to jump in with both feet. And nobody, not even Nissan with its 24 kWh BEV, has actually jumped in. As I said, the most anybody else has done is dip a toe in. If you dispute this, then compare… Read more »

When this site is completed, I would love a tour of the facility. Like the Jelly Belly Factory

I want if not daily updates at least weekly updates on how far they have come.

The Gigafactory is so exciting. For another company it would just be a battery factory, but for Tesla it means that they will have to have the Gen 3 car ready to pump out cars at an insane level for the Gigafactory to not be a waste and a burdon.