Tour Tesla’s Gigafactory Grand Opening Live – Videos

JUL 30 2016 BY JAY COLE 24

Tesla held its Gigafactory grand opening on Friday, and the event kicked off at 6PM local time (PT), as the majority of the guests were shuttled to the massive Tesla battery plant from nearby downtown Reno.

Tesla Giagfactory tour...complete with robots (via Kman Auto)

Tesla Giagfactory tour…complete with robots (via Kman Auto)

Fortunately, one of the attendees and friend of InsideEVs, Kman Auto not only was at the plant, but took the time to live stream the entire experience from front to back. Also captured was Tesla CEO’s live speech afterwards (video below).

So big props to Chris for doing that!  Check out his YouTube channel for more Tesla-related goodness here. And also, if you are in the market for a new Tesla, I’m sure he would appreciate using his referral link (here) to net yourself a $1,000 discount (and him invited to the “next” big reveal).

The tour covers just about everything one would want to know and see.  From the construction and renewable aspects of the plant, to a look at the new “21-70” cells housed in a 6.4 kW Tesla Energy battery pack (the future battery choice over today’s 18650s).

Currently the facility seems to mostly be running a “pod line” assembly battery packs for both the Powerwall (6.4 kWh) and industrical Powerpack (~100 kWh).

After the tour, both Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and CTO JB Straubel gave a live speech to guest – check out the full talk here.

Below (video): Model of a Gigafactory segment (via YT/Automobile Propre), and a highlight gallery from the tour – including a 6.4kWh energy module with new 21-70 batteries and the Gigafactory in action

Tesla Energy power module (with new 21-70) cells, good for 6.4 kWh. 1 of these make up a Tesla Energy Powerwall, 16 for a Powepack (102.4 kWh)

Tesla Energy power module (with new 21-70) cells, good for 6.4 kWh. 1 of these make up a Tesla Energy Powerwall, 16 for a Powepack (102.4 kWh) – via Kman Auto

Tesla Gigafactory "Pod Line"

Tesla Gigafactory “Pod Line” (via Kman Auto)

Tesla Energy Products (via Kman Auto)

Tesla Energy Products (via Kman Auto)

Tesla Gigafactory Pressing Machine for new cell production (actually owned by Panasonic in this case)

Tesla Gigafactory Pressing Machine for new cell production (actually owned by Panasonic in this case)

Inside A 16 module Tesla Energy Powerpack - note seperate of 6.4 kWh modules and cooling system

Inside A 16 module Tesla Energy Powerpack – note seperate of 6.4 kWh modules and cooling system

Much of the Gigafactory is 2 floors, while some is 3 (3rd floor used primary for storage)

Much of the Gigafactory is 1 or 2 floors, while some is 3 (3rd floor used primary for storage)

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24 Comments on "Tour Tesla’s Gigafactory Grand Opening Live – Videos"

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I liked the guy that had his little dog with him. First dog in the Gigafactory?

A tweet from Teslarati:
“Highlight of the night. Musk says #Gigafactory can fit 50B hamsters.”

* * * * *
Tsk. Why is Elon using a non-standard metric? Everyone on Reddit knows the proper object for size comparisons is the banana! 😛

Library of Congresses would actually be useful there. Er, except I have no idea how large that actually is.


Wait till Volkswagen’s battery factory is finished! It’s gonna hold 50 FAFILLION hamsters!?

And *their* hamsters will poop gold-plated pellets!

When will the new size be used in the model s and x?


Been looking for this answer for some time. Nice boost to S/X GP when it happens or 3 cannot be $35k

The Tesla Energy power module on this picture

seems to me very similar to the standard Model S module, I have also calculated the same number of 444 cells per basic module. So 6,4kWh divided by 888 cells makes about 7,2Wh per cell and it corresponds to 2000mAh per cell.

Does not. Li-ion “normal” voltage is 3.7V, so it’s even less than 2 Ah.

I’m guessing your cells-per-module estimate is too high, because it makes no sense for these larger cells to hold considerably less energy than many 16550 cells I can guy on Alibaba today.

It is not estimate, you can count it from the picture.

The nominal voltage for the most 18650 cell chemistries is close to 3,6V.

you beat me to it. Very interesting that the pack architecture appears to be the same from the outside….ie the same cooling tube snaked thru the pack…..nothing new. Although I suppose the tube configuration COULD be different because we can’t see inside.

but at least the cooling layout SEEMS to be unchanged. A good thing IMO since telas current architecture works well and is low cost.

I have two thoughts.

First: this is a module similar to Model S still with 18650 cells. The known amount of 888 cells makes me perfect sense of a recent delivery of Samsung cells ICR18650-22V to Tesla. This 2200mAh/8Wh cells gives 7,1kWh and so 6,4kWh is 90% DoD.

Second: If there are used new 21-70(20700) then does not make sense to use cells with capacity lower than 3000mAh (Panasonic already producing 20700 cells with 3000mAh). So the full capacity is 10kWh. Because Tesla can use new cells for cars which are >15Wh and then for 6,4kWh the only one module with 444 cells will be sufficient.

That coolant tank in the power pack is an irregular shape and looks like it was taken out of a car. That’s efficient I suppose.

When I think about the Gigafactory, the coming Bolt and Leaf 2.0, see a field of solar panels or wind turbines, etc., I am reminded of the comment by H. G. Wells, “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.”

The solar panels on the Gigafactory roof seem to be tilted east and west rather than being tilted south or mounted flat. Can any of you solar gurus out there comment on the pros and cons of an east/west tilt on a flat roof as opposed to a south tilt or no tilt. I’ve never before seen a solar array set up this way on a flat roof.

The tilted solar panels can be seen @ 10 seconds into the 3rd video in the article above and in the pic below. At 20 seconds into the video you can see that the tilts are not identical. The right-facing panels have a steeper tilt than the left-facing panels.

I’m guessing that half panels are angled to optimally catch the sun as it’s rising, while the other half are angled to optimally catch the sun while it’s setting. But wouldn’t it be more optimal overall to just tilt all the panels south? I’ve got a flat roof and am planning on putting up solar panels with a south tilt.

If that model’s long axis coincides with the orientation of the actual building(true north), then those solar panels ARE in fact facing north/south.
As far as the tilt is concerned, it’s hard to tell from the model. The dissimilar angles could be an optical illusion caused by the overlapping setup.

I’m not a solar guru, but I suspect it’s done to allow a more uniform generation of power throughout the day. This provides more independence from other sources.

East west orientation obv produces less, but I believe you nailed it. Having that orientation would greatly smooth out the production curve. While they plan to be net zero annually it’s probably not feasible to be truly off grid. Economically industrial utility billing uses something called demand charges.

In NYS these charges are based on the highest kW load over a 15 minute interval in a given month. These demand charges often account for half of the overall bill. So by doing this orientation and coupled with battery banks they vastly increase the value of the solar. I imagine the industrial billing near Reno is very similar.

The panels stay a bit cleaner too/are cleaned better if it (ever!) rains, and I guess the air gap means the roof is cooler too (than panels flat and close to the roof.

Thanks Kman, you Da Man!

“Kman” was in our small tour group.

Why wasn’t the last 15 minutes of the Giga factory tour deleted from this video? It seems like the person taking the video is just walking back and forth and everyone’s just waiting inside for the wind to stop blowing.

The one thing I did not see on this tour were any signs of leisure rooms or locations where employees can relax, have a bite to eat, or just do something other than standing in surgical white walls with robots.

Yes, the gigafactory is a great effort and wonderful that it’s happening, but something about this Factory is ominous and quite sad. I can’t wait for my model 3; but I was thinking such a large facility would have areas in more conducive for humans. Maybe this is planned within more spaces to come.

Given the description of the long drive to just arrive at the gigafactory, it seems like external areas of leisure, entertainment, and restaurants are very far away from the factory.