Tesla's Giga Factory: What This Means for Tesla Customers
Updated: Nov 4, 2022
The point of the Gigafactory is to make Tesla into something more than an EV manufacturer, says Chris Lister, the vice president who heads up operations there. The Gigafactory is crucial to helping realize the company’s mission, one that goes way beyond just electric cars: “advance the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”
Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles and energy products. To ramp production to 500,000 cars per year, Tesla alone will require today’s entire worldwide supply of lithium-ion batteries. The Tesla Gigafactory was born out of necessity and will supply enough batteries to support Tesla’s projected vehicle demand. Today, the Gigafactory produces Model 3 electric motors and battery packs, in addition to Tesla’s energy storage products, Powerwall and Powerpack.
As of 2022, Tesla has six factories located all over the world. Fremont Factory is the first manufacturing site of the EV maker. The original “Tesla Gigafactory” Giga Nevada is where they produce lithium-ion batteries, thanks to the collaboration with Panasonic. Giga New York produces solar panels, not electric vehicles. The fourth one, the first factory Tesla built outside the US is the Giga Shanghai. This manufacturing site has been producing electric cars in China for almost one and a half years. The last two facilities, Giga Texas and Giga Berlin are not completed yet. Ongoing construction sites in Austin, USA, and Berlin/Grünheide, Germany will help Tesla extend its lineup and double its manufacturing capacity. Tesla’s rapid expansion shows that there sure will be a couple more Tesla factories coming in this decade.
Here is the list of current Tesla Gigafactories all over the world:
Tesla’s factory in Fremont, California is one of the world’s most advanced automotive plants, with 5.3 million square feet of manufacturing and office space on 370 acres of land. Following the City of Fremont’s approval of Tesla’s expansion plans in 2016, the company will nearly double the size of the facility to almost 10 million square feet, creating thousands of new jobs in the coming years.
Gigafactory 1, in Sparks, Nevada outside of Reno is the first of Tesla’s growing assemblage of production facilities. This Gigafactory produces electric motors and lithium-ion battery packs for the Model 3 sedan. It also manufactures Tesla’s energy storage products Powerwall and Powerpack which it inherited from the Fremont factory in 2015.
Giga Nevada is the original “Gigafactory” project that Tesla announced way back in 2014. Panasonic, the Japanese lithium-ion battery cell manufacturer, had signed an agreement with Tesla to invest in this factory, estimated to cost around $5 billion. Gigafactory officially began mass production of 2170 cells, which were jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic, in January 2017. Tesla’s first Gigafactory has 13 battery cell production lines, as of today. The 14th line is under construction, and will probably be ready later in 2022. The cell factory is planned to reach a maximum capacity of 105 GWh cell production in the near future. The heavy-duty electric vehicle Tesla Semi is also in the limited-production phase at a manufacturing site very close to the Nevada factory.
Giga New York
In 2017, Tesla began production of solar cells and modules at Gigafactory 2 – a 1.2 million-square-foot superchargers facility originally facility in Buffalo, New York. In 2019, Tesla added new production lines that will support electrical components for Supercharger and energy storage products. To date, Tesla has created nearly 800 jobs at Gigafactory 2 and continues to ramp operations and production at the facility Originally a steel manufacturing site, the 88-acre property located along the Buffalo River was transformed to produce solar panels and solar cells. The factory’s original occupant entered into an agreement with the Research Foundation for the State University of New York. Tesla secured Gigafactory 2 through its acquisition of SolarCity in 2016. In line with agreements with the State of New York, Tesla will create 5,000 clean energy jobs in the state over 10 years – many of those in Buffalo, making the city a hub for sustainable innovation and advanced manufacturing.
Giga - Shanghai covers 9.3 million sq. ft. This Gigafactory currently hosts the final assembly of Tesla’s Model 3 and production of the Model Y. Originally beginning construction in 2018, Giga Shanghai was already beginning initial production on the cheapest Tesla, the Model 3 sedan in the fall of 2019. Since then, the size of this Gigafactory has more than doubled to support the production of Tesla’s newest vehicle, the Model Y.
Tesla started its fifth Gigafactory construction near Austin, Texas, in July 2020. Giga Texas officially opened on April 8th, 2022. Construction was completed in almost one and a half years. Tesla Model Y is the first model that the Texas facility starts building, as pre-production has already started in 2021.
Tesla invested more than $1 billion in this production site, used more steel than the Empire State Building, and installed a dozen of cutting-edge casting machines made by the Italian manufacturer iDRA. It is expected to build not just Model Ys but also Tesla Cybertruck electric pick-up models as well. Cybertruck won’t need any paint shops, it will feature an exterior shell that serves as both chassis and body panels without any paint. Thanks to Cybertruck's extraordinary production process, Giga Texas will probably be the most efficient auto factory in the world.
Elon Musk announced that Tesla chose Berlin, Germany as the fourth Gigafactory location in 2019. The factory will produce both battery cells and electric vehicles when fully finished. Construction of the Giga Berlin started in June 2020. It officially started production in March 2022. First Model Ys made in Giga Berling were delivered to customers on 22 March 2022. Battery packs of Teslas made in Germany are currently shipped from China. Batteries, as well as battery cells, will be produced at the same facility in the near future.
Giga Berlin is the smallest Gigafactory that Tesla operates. But it is planned to be expanded in the near future, as Tesla already applied for a 250-acre expansion plan which will double the production capacity of the Giga Berlin.
CEO Elon Musk has created the Gigafactory to be able to supply everything needed for electric vehicles and beyond. Gigafactories have employed thousands and is still growing as Tesla continues to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles and energy products. To ramp production to 500,000 cars per year,