Printed on July 21st, 2019 |
by Visitor Contributor
July 21st, 2019 by Guest Contributor
“It’s huge,” says each journalist who has visited Tesla’s Nevada Gigafactory (and quite a lot of who haven’t). “It’s an enormous place. Actually huge.”
“How huge is it?” shouts the viewers in unison.
Nicely, it’s at the moment a 1.9-million-square-foot constructing with 5.three million sq. toes of working area on three flooring. And up to now, it’s solely 30% full. When it reaches its full dimension, it would have the biggest footprint of any constructing on this planet. Tech journalist Larry Magid lately visited, and assumed promised tour of the skin can be on foot. Hardly. “I used to be pushed round in a van, and even that took some time,” says he.
Mr. Magid did way more than marvel on the Gigafactory’s dimension. He scored an interview with Tesla VP of Operations Chris Lister, which you’ll be able to take heed to under or on Magid’s Larry’s World weblog (Magid additionally did a write-up within the Mercury News).
On the Gigafactory, Tesla and its companion Panasonic work collectively to make battery packs for Mannequin three, in addition to for the Powerwall and Powerpack stationary storage merchandise. Panasonic makes the cells — cylinders in regards to the dimension of AA batteries, unceremoniously dubbed “2170 cells” as a result of they measure 21 mm in diameter and 70 mm in size. Tesla assembles the cells into lengthy strings it calls bandoliers, assembles these into modules, and assembles the modules into completed packs. Every pack incorporates three,500–four,500 cells, relying on the automobile variant it’s destined for.
Cooling tubes transport coolant all through the pack to maintain the cells inside the optimum temperature vary. The completed battery packs are transported by vans (together with just a few Tesla Semis) to Tesla’s Fremont manufacturing facility, the place each fulfills its future as the guts of a brand new electrical automobile.
Many customers are skeptical in regards to the longevity of EV batteries — they know from expertise that cellphone batteries have a tendency to wear down after just a few years. Nevertheless, Tesla batteries are constructed to final. Lister says Tesla has examined battery packs which have gone 100,000 miles with minimal capability loss.
Tesla additionally builds the drive unit for Mannequin three, which integrates the automobile’s motor and inverter and is often described as the dimensions of a big watermelon, right here on the Gig.
Tesla has round 7,000 workers (95% of them Nevadans) on the Gigafactory, and Panasonic one other 5,000 or so.
Why the huge scale? As Lister reminds Magid, Tesla’s mission is to speed up the world’s transition to a sustainable vitality and transport system. That can require an exponential improve in world battery manufacturing, and Tesla is main the way in which. The Gigafactory was designed on a big scale as a way to accommodate future battery demand (Elon Musk has mentioned that, to assist an all-electric transport system, a number of Gigafactories will probably be wanted all over the world). As the amount of battery manufacturing rises, economies of scale will permit Tesla to supply ever-more-affordable autos.