When we covered Tesla in the early days, much of the news surrounded the company’s original automotive factory in Fremont, California, as well as its battery Gigafactory in partnership with Panasonic, which is located near Reno, Nevada, in Sparks. However, it seems construction and expansion efforts at the battery factory slowed years ago, leaving the factory much smaller than originally planned.
Tesla moved on to building new factories, sourcing battery cells from various makers, and developing and producing its own new batteries. Recently, an executive from Tesla noted that the company is finally at the point that it has access to all the batteries it needs for its cars and energy products. We also learned recently that Tesla hopes to build a battery materials refining factory in Texas or nearby. The company is also reportedly aiming to add a battery materials facility in Nevada.
According to Electrek, Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada has been sitting at about 30 percent of its intended size for years now. Over those years, the automaker has talked about continued construction efforts and expansion, but there hasn’t been much progress. This is not to say that the company isn’t cranking out battery packs, Powerwalls, and the like in Nevada. Tesla has also finally been putting solar panels on the roof, and there’s been periodic work on the grounds and the inside of the building, but it’s been above five years since Tesla added to the Gigafactory’s footprint.
The massive Tesla Gigafactory was touted to eventually be the largest factory on the planet. In fact, if it were to grow to its full potential, it could be the largest building ever constructed. Tesla shared early plans revealing that the battery factory would eventually produce 105 GWh of battery cells per year. The company also said that at full capacity, the Nevada Gigafactory would produce 150 GWh of battery packs annually.
That said, rather than investing in expanding the already large building, Tesla and Panasonic have focused their efforts and investments on ramping up production. It seems there’s not a need for more space if you haven’t yet ramped up to full capacity under the current parameters.
Electrek refers to sources familiar with the matter in its recent reports that Tesla will expand the Nevada Gigafactory with a new “C” section. According to the reports, the section will fit into the existing elbow of the “L-shaped” building. If you look at the image above, the new section would be at the top left corner, next to where the building juts out to the right.
The publication didn’t provide a timeline for the potential expansion, though the story made it seem as though it will be happening rather quickly. This comes as no surprise since Tesla has moved forward at a rapid pace with its other recent construction projects.