Tesla Gigafactory, located outside of Reno, Nevada, is huge. One can almost see it from a mile away. It’s that signature Tesla red, that’s outlining the top of the production facility.
We got rare access inside Tesla Gigafactory 1. The name originates from the word ‘Giga,’ the unit of measurement representing ‘billions.’ And, as its name suggests, the building is ginormous. When I visited, it spanned about 5.3 million square feet of operational space - about 33 American football fields.
And it’s not finished yet either.
Elon Musk — Tesla’s co-founder and CEO — has referred to the Gigafactory as the “machine that builds the machine” — and it’s all part of his master plan to make electric cars more affordable.
It’s planning to do that by mass producing its own batteries.
Tesla says it currently produces more batteries in terms of kilowatt hours than all other carmakers combined, making up about 60% of the world's lithium-ion batteries.
As big as the building looks, it only actually represents about 30-percent of the entire facility compared to once it’s finally built up. It really does feel like we’re in the wild, here, you have wild horses on my right...even where I parked my car, will eventually be more of the production facility. So even though there is already 7,000 employees working on site here, they’re really only just getting started here.
Once completed, Tesla’s Gigafactory here is expected to be the largest building in the world by footprint. And while Tesla already has factories in California and New York, this is the first it’s completely built from scratch.
There are also plans to add Gigafactories to Europe and China. At the start of the year, construction began on a third Gigafactory in Shanghai.