© Tesla Electronics Production | January 05, 2017
Tesla kicks off battery production at Gigafactory
Tesla and Panasonic has officially started mass production of lithium-ion battery cells at the carmakers Gigafactory – the battery cells will be used in Tesla’s energy storage products and Model 3.
The cylindrical “2170 cell” was jointly designed and engineered by Tesla and Panasonic with the aim of keeping high performance at a low production cost – while also holding an optimal form factor for both electric vehicles and energy products. Production of 2170 cells for qualification started in December and now, production begins on cells that will be used in Tesla’s Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 energy products. Model 3 cell production will follow in Q2 and by 2018, the Gigafactory will produce 35 GWh/year of lithium-ion battery cells. Whiles battery production has started, the Gigafactory is far from completed – actually less than 30% is done. But the massive plant is being built in phases allowing Tesla, Panasonic and other partners to begin manufacturing immediately inside the finished sections and continue to expand thereafter. The current structure has a footprint of 1.9 million square feet, which houses 4.9 million square feet of operational space across several floors. “With the Gigafactory online and ramping up production, our cost of battery cells will significantly decline due to increasing automation and process design to enhance yield, lowered capital investment per Wh of production, the simple optimization of locating most manufacturing processes under one roof, and economies of scale,” Tesla writes in an update. And now that the companies battery production is online, Tesla announces that in 2017 alone, the carmaker and Panasonic will hire “several thousand” local employees and at peak production. The company says that the Gigafactory will directly employ 6’500 people and indirectly create between 20’000 to 30’000 additional jobs in the surrounding regions.