The Tesla Gigafactory 1 is a lithium-ion battery factory under construction, and in production, primarily for Tesla Motors at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center in Storey County, Nevada, US. The factory became operational in the first quarter of 2016. It is the second largest building in the world after the Boeing Everett Factory.
Tesla expects that Gigafactory 1 will reduce the production cost for their electric vehicle battery and Powerwall and Powerpack packs by 30%. Its projected capacity for 2018 is 50 GWh/yr of battery packs and its final capacity upon completion of the entire factory is 150 GWh/yr. This would enable Tesla to produce 1,500,000 cars per year.
The design is intended to optimize quality while minimizing the cost of production and raw material utilization. Tesla expects to achieve a cost target for production battery packs of under US$100 per kWh of energy storage by 2020. The ultimate goal is to make the production cheaper than a traditional internal combustion powertrain. So it can fight the notion electricity vs gas.
Prior to the building of more gigafactories, Tesla may expand and potentially double the size of Gigafactory 1. In June 2015, Tesla announced it exercised its option to buy 1,864 acres (754 hectares) of land adjacent to the original 1,000-acre (400 ha) Gigafactory site. Tesla Motors spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson “The purchase gives us the opportunity for future growth.”
In October 2015, Tesla moved the Tesla Powerwall and Powerpack production from its Fremont factory to the Gigafactory. Cell production is slated to begin in 2016. The factory is planned to produce more lithium-ion batteries in a year than were produced in the entire world in 2013.
Tesla’s activities and interest in Japan indicate that a Gigafactory, perhaps Gigafactory 2, could be built in that country. As of March 2015, Japan was the second-biggest source of Tesla components after North America.
Musk has indicated that Gigafactory 2 may also integrate Tesla motor vehicle production into the factory along with cell, battery pack, and PowerWall manufacturing that is done in Gigafactory 1.