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Tesla Factory Progresses


Since last year the exterior façade of the Tesla Gigafactory, located east of Reno, has garnered much attention from the media, with images and videos flying around the internet. The interior of the facility will begin receiving attention now as well. Progress on the $5 billion battery plant’s interior infrastructure is now underway in full force, as well as the data center that will be located on the gigafactory site as well.

Storey County permits show several multimillion-dollar projects now underway at the Tesla site, where construction on the pilot plant is also ongoing. The pilot plant will encompass approximately one fourth of the final facility’s footprint, according to Tesla CEO Elon Musk. Musk also announced that the company has received its temporary certificate of occupancy for the gigafactory. Once construction is completed, the facility will total 10 million square feet, making it the largest facility of its kind in the world. One of the recently permitted endeavors includes a $10 million project for the gigafactory’s architectural interiors, which began in August and is expected to conclude in February 2016. This completion date would keep Tesla on their accelerated timetable of producing batteries at the site by spring 2016. The most expensive project for the summer at the site is a project for mezzanine steel and concrete work with a price tag of $12.92 million.

In the last four months Tesla has applied for nearly as many permits, more then 20, then it did in its first year since ground work began at the site. Some of the permits included work for mechanical piping at $7 million, phase one roofing at $4.5 million, and exterior building walls at $3 million. The total cost for projects started in the last four months was more than $45 million. Recently Tesla obtained their own contractor license and stopped naming its subcontractors on its permits; instead listing themselves as the contractor.

This gigafactory is essential in Tesla’s goal of producing 500,000 electric vehicles per year and ensuring the company’s long-term viability. They plan to achieve this lofty goal by streamlining battery production and costs, as well as releasing the more affordable $35,000 Model 3. In comparison, the company hopes to produce only 50,000 to 55,000 vehicles this year. The gigafactory will also help Tesla amp up their manufacturing of residential and commercial storage batteries for the company’s Tesla Energy initiative.

It is possible that the gigafactory in TRIC will only be the first of many. Elon Musk referred to the facility as Gigafactory 1 during a Tesla Energy live event in early May. Tesla is approaching the gigafactory as another product stead of just a building. “What we’re designing is a giant machine” Musk said. Another surprise is that some of the upcoming factories don’t have to necessarily be built by Tesla, according to the CEO. Instead, the company will continue their policy of open sourcing its technology so others can utilize it. “There will need to be many gigafactories in the future,” Musk said. “Many companies will build gigafactory-class plants of their own.”

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