On Tuesday, Tesla Motors’ Elon Musk opened the doors to the Gigafactory – a $5 billion project with the capacity to double the world’s production of lithium-ion batteries and maybe even fuel the CEO’s increasingly ambitious goals.
Construction is not finished, but the factory is ready to begin low levels of production. When completed, the factory plans to cover 10 million square feet of the Nevada desert, making it one of the largest buildings in the world. According to Tesla, if the Gigafactory is operating at full capacity it will be able to produce 150 gigawatt hours of energy every year – enough to power New York City for about three years – and reduce the cost of batteries by a third by 2018.
Tesla currently contracts out battery production to Japan, but producing their own batteries in America will allow the company to expand production, have more control over prices, and dive deeper into the long-term energy storage side of the business. READ MORE.