Tesla Working On Gigafactory Interior – Completion Expected In February 2016

OCT 7 2015 BY MARK KANE 25

Tesla Gigafactory - Drone fly over - September 2015

Tesla Gigafactory – Drone fly over – September 2015

Reno Gazette-Journal has done an exceptional job covering the progress at the Tesla Gigafactory.

The Journal’s latest report (since its previous report over the summer) states that Tesla is working on the interior and data center of the pilot part of the Gigafactory.

The pilot plant will be one-fourth the size of the final facility’s footprint and should be ready by February 2016, just in time to launch production in the spring.

See Tesla Gigafactory Drone fly over

The open question is what kind of production Tesla intends to inaugurate early next year. Taking into consideration complexity of launching lithium-ion cell production, Tesla probably will start with energy storage modules and pack assembly, but this is just our guess. Cell production probably will come later.

Per Reno-Gazette Journal:

“Recently permitted work at the site include a $10 million project for the gigafactory’s “architectural interiors,” which started in August and is expected to wrap up by February 2016. That would be in line with Tesla’s accelerated timetable of producing batteries at the site by spring next year. The highest-ticket item for the summer at the gigafactory site, meanwhile, is a project for mezzanine steel and concrete work to the tune of $12.92 million. Also of interest is permitting for the construction of a data center at the site, which commenced in the beginning of September, county records show. In addition to computers, there will be some robotics involved for the project as well, according to the county.

All in all, Tesla applied for nearly as many permits in the last four months — more than 20 — as it did in its first year since ground work commenced on its Tahoe Reno Industrial Center site in May 2014. Those permits include work for:

  • mechanical piping at $7 million
  • phase one roofing at $4.5 million
  • exterior building walls at $3 million
  • electrical switchyard at $2 million
  • exterior hardscapes at $ 1 million

Total cost for the latest projects started in the last four months was more than $45 million. 

Source: Reno Gazette-Journal

Categories: Tesla

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25 Comments on "Tesla Working On Gigafactory Interior – Completion Expected In February 2016"

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*tapping fingers together*

Didnt we see a few weeks ago that only one sixth was completed with google earth image outlined with supposed final size?
why would they say one fourth?

Pilot plant WILL BE one fourth…

what is meant by interior – floors and walls, or installing machines. if they are not installing production equipment it will not run in februaty

I see windmills up right, when are those going to be built cause they are going to need them to be net zero….
So many questions!

i’ve got to believe that they’re going to use net metering, so the plant doesn’t have to be net zero from day one.

Currently its in the wind as to when they will be built.

There will be no windMILLS, as those mill grain. WindTURBINES produce energy.

Interesting point about them not starting cell production anytime soon. I thought that was the key product.

I don’t understand your confusion. Cell production was originally supposed to be in summer 2016. Current timeline appears to now be spring 2016, months ahead of schedule.

what the article was suggesting is that the plant may start by doing assembly only with cell production occurring later. personally, i think that mark kane’s speculations are pretty reasonable; if they’re filing a bunch of permit applications now it seems unlikely that they are going to have a fully functioning factory 6 months from now.

That was speculation by the author. The actual situation may be different.

“The open question is what kind of production Tesla intends to inaugurate early next year. Taking into consideration complexity of launching lithium-ion cell production, Tesla probably will start with energy storage modules and pack assembly, but this is just our guess. Cell production probably will come later.”

Not to got negative but

That makes sense since Elon is always late….

Different articles have given different estimates of the size of the pilot plant compared to the planned full size for Gigafactory 1; 1/4, 1/5, 1/6. I suspect the 1/6 estimate is too low.

I guess since the complainers can’t whine about waiting for the Model X anymore, they have to find something new to complain about.

Meanwhile, Tesla will just continue to increase their sales, no matter what the complainers do or say.

These people don’t understand how long it takes to design,contract, procure, construct, final finish, and equip a facility nor to procure, contract, and initiate a supply chain.

They show no little regard for the thousands of men and women that have been working 12-15 hour days including weekends away from families to pull this off.

For them, a project to production is measured in weeks, not years. 25 years of small projects and mega projects, and the work effort can be all-consuming at times.

They’re not the only ones–Tesla doesn’t understand how long it takes either. That’s why they are consistently late. The hype does do wonders for the stock and for fanboys, however.

Meh. Pretty much every car maker has delays. You just don’t see them as delays, because the car makers just play them off as endless streams of “concept cars” and “prototypes”.

Then they build up large stocks of vehicles that get stored on docks and in back dealership parking lots before they actually release them to the public. So you don’t really know about production delays, because they were taken care of during the time they were building up stock.

Tie that with waiting to make any firm announcements until less than 6-8 months from rollout of the new vehicle, so they have already gotten through the majority of the delays, and we get folks like you who are under the illusion (delusion?) that car makers put out products on time. That could not be further from the truth.

And when you look at most gas cars, often they are barely evolutionary over older models. So quite a bit of the “new” development isn’t really all that new — just a rework of old ideas.

i was skeptical about the schedule because this is a pretty big undertaking for such an aggressive schedule, but they have made really good progress. the people who would complain would certainly not be able to do any better. if they are engaging in assembly operations by spring then they are engaging in “manufacturing activity” so i see no grounds for complaining about this project being “late”.

I would expect, that with a planned Model 3 showing in March 2016, that would indicate that at least the first batch of new format cells (20700, or 21750 size, etc.), would be built on early equipment on site, even if they are built from partially prepared materials, rather than more raw ingredients. These same early cells will also need some shake down testing, at the cell level, module level, and pack level, maybe even after the 3 is first shown.

I would expect that the pilot plant is actually building the new cells for the Model 3 Mules, and for Prototypes for testing. It may also be designed to handle early Model 3 production needs up to some figure, like 1,000 cars a week (10% of general goal or so), so the full plant completion does not interfere with production start of the Model 3.

Then as the bulk of the plant comes online, Energy Packs and Model 3 cars can ramp up more fully and rapidly (2018/19 to 2020).

I further would figure that rather than one large producion line, they will build muliple production lines, maybe as many as 5 lines each capable of 10 GWh of capacity. That approach allows for a progressive ramp up of cells, cars, and energy packs.

It also allows them to get one more line going, even if the whole building is not totally completed, just as they are starting with this pilot plant. It gives equipment and production redundancy, resiliency, etc.

Elon is touting a Model ≡ concept in March 2017. They certainly don’t need the new cells just to show a concept car. It typically takes two years to get a new factory running and fine-tuned. If Tesla can do it in less than a year after they got issued an occupancy license (which happened exactly one week ago), that will be an impressive achievement. Tesla is, so far as I know, still assembling battery packs on the second floor of the Fremont plant. If the Gigafactory is going to have lower costs, and if part of it is specifically set up to do pack assembly more efficiently, then it certainly makes sense for Tesla to move operations there without waiting for the Panasonic side of the Gigafactory, which will be making the new cells, to get up and running. Tesla’s announced plan for the Gigafactory is to produce 35 GWh of battery cells by 2020, but produce battery packs with 50 GWh. So obviously they plan to import a lot of cells from Panasonic’s existing factories to be assembled in the Gigafactory. It’s entirely reasonable to think Tesla might start doing that before Panasonic can ramp up high volume… Read more »

Elon you will go down as the Henry Ford of the new Millennium. But unlike Ford your vision is broader and has the capability of not just changing one market, but rather 4-5!

All the best,
Aaron Lephart