The Tesla Gigafactory is already third largest building on earth and it’s only 30 percent complete.
Newly released drone footage shot by videographer Duncan Sinfield revealed the current state of Elon Musk’s Tesla Gigafactory 1.
Located in Sparks, Nevada, the massive plant looks like a mirage in the midst of the desert.
In fact, the facility is so enormous that the construction cranes, tractor trailers, and especially the cars surrounding the plant look like tiny ants. The sight of it is nothing short of spectacular.
The Grand Opening
The Tesla Gigafactory 1 had its official grand opening on July 2016.
At the time, only 14 percent of the $5 billion factory—nearly six billion square feet in size—was complete.
Even then, the factory was already well on its way to impacting the world’s energy use.
“It’s the cornerstone to all of what Tesla hopes to achieve: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” noted Kirsten Korosec.
The Tesla Gigafactory 1 currently houses Panasonic’s manufacturing of the battery cells for Tesla’s Powerwall, Powerpack, and their Model 3—Tesla is manufacturing the Model 3 units at a plant in Fremont, California.
According to Genscape—a company that tracks hundreds of industrial companies—the Tesla Gigafactory 1 has already sent out 1,500 Model 3 battery packs to be installed in Model 2 sedans in Fremont.
The Drone Footage
Sinfield’s drone footage shows that the small new section on the north side of the Tesla Gigafactory 1 is near completion.
Despite how small the newer section may look in the drone footage, it is anything but that. It merely looks this way in contrast to the rest of the plant, which appears to be four times bigger.
So far, the drone footage shows this year has only brought the small addition in regards to the construction of the Tesla Gigafactory.
Before this addition, the overall structure of the Tesla Gigafactory 1 was a 1.9 million square–foot footprint.
As of now, the factory is about 4.9 million square feet of operational space, which includes its multiple levels.
Even then, all that square–footage currently in use at the Tesla Gigafactory 1 is only 30 percent of what the plant will be upon completion.
Future Plans Despite Competition
As it currently stands, Elon Musk estimates that the Tesla Gigafactory 1 is in third place regarding footprint in the world, with battery factories popping up around the globe.
China, for example, expects to produce 3.5 times more batteries than the Tesla Gigafactory by 2021.
Germany has also joined the competition with plans to open two battery factories.
While the Tesla Gigafactory may not be the biggest in the world right now, it will be significantly larger than any other building on earth, by footprint, once completed—which is expected to be in 2020.
Despite the competition, Musk revealed plans in February 2017 to open three more gigafactories.
The Tesla Gigafactory 2 will be built in New York, and the rest have yet to find a home.
Even though the Tesla Gigafactory 1 is far from complete, work continues within the plant.
Tesla’s plans for the Gigafactory 1 are that it produces enough batteries next year to achieve their annual production rate of 500,000 vehicles per year.
If all goes to plan, the Gigafactory could be looking at not only producing batteries for the Model 3 drive unit but also the Model S and Model X units, ll of which is being considered despite the building only being a third of the way complete.
It is thrilling to think about what the Tesla Gigafactory 1 will be capable of accomplishing once the entire plant is in operation.