Sep 05, 2014 - 3:00pm

Tesla Motors' Gigafactory Goes to Nevada

Senior Editor, Digital Content


Tesla Motors logo and car.
Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg.

The prize for Tesla Motors’ first “Gigafactory” goes to Nevada. The Reno Gazette-Journal reports on the economic benefits:

The project will produce 3,000 construction jobs in the near term and 6,500 full-time employees to be paid an average wage of $25 an hour with benefits.

It will generate another 16,000 indirect jobs from satellite and related businesses.

In total, the gigafactory will add 4 percent to the entire statewide gross domestic product and more than 20 percent to the regional GDP.

At a news conference, Tesla’s Chairman and CEO Elon Musk called Nevada, “a state where you can move quickly; it’s a real get things done state.”

That’s good for Tesla, because it has big plans for the factory to be built near Reno. The Gigafactory will produce 50 GWh of batteries for its mass market Model 3 electric car that is expected to be sold starting in 2017. Musk said at the press conference that the factory would be bigger than all other lithium ion factories in the world combined.

I noted in May that in order to avoid regulatory and permitting snags, Tesla said it took the unusual step of working on multiple factory sites simultaneously.

Land preparation for the $5 billion facility is already underway. The factory’s shape and alignment will be important features, Bloomberg reports:

A diamond will have less impact on its surroundings, Musk said.

"If you make it a box shape, you'd have to move a lot more earth."

True north alignment will let the company map out where to install assembly equipment using a GPS system for precise alignment, he said.

With its solar panel roof, Tesla’s rendering makes the Gigafactory look like a giant computer chip. 


Tesla Motors' rendering of the Gigafactory
Photograph: Tesla Motors.



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About the Author

About the Author

Sean Hackbarth
Senior Editor, Digital Content

Sean writes about public policies affecting businesses including energy, health care, and regulations. When not battling those making it harder for free enterprise to succeed, he raves about all things Wisconsin (his home state) and religiously follows the Green Bay Packers.