Last week the world got its first glimpse of Tesla’s massive Nevada Gigafactory. With excitement about the factory high, Musk is already looking ahead – to a future where Gigafactories pop up all around the world. Musk said, “Obviously long term it’s going to make sense to have a Gigafactory in Europe, one in China, and probably one in India.”
Musk wants to build Gigafactories wherever people want electric vehicles: “Ultimately, wherever there is a huge amount of demand for the end product, and where the shipping costs are to become significant, then the obvious way to optimize that is to put the Gigafactory on the same continent, or at least within reasonable logistics range of the end customer.”
The massive Sparks, Nevada factory could have an “annual battery production capacity of 35 gigawatt-hours” in 2018. At full capacity, the Gigafactory would make more batteries each year than the entire world produced in 2013. Tesla expects to need those lithium ion batteries – a company post stated: “With a planned production rate of 500,000 cars per year in the latter half of this decade, Tesla alone will require today’s entire worldwide production of lithium ion batteries.”
The Nevada Gigafactory is just 14 percent done, but according to the BBC, the construction is “two years ahead of schedule.” Ultimately the plant will cost around $5 billion, but Musk hopes the Gigafactory will cut costs for Tesla. Just like Tesla cars, the factory will be powered by clean energy, and it will also provide battery recycling services.
When might Gigafactories start popping up around the globe? Probably not any time soon, as the Nevada Gigafactory is still under construction. As it will probably be just 31 percent complete next year, we might have to wait a few years before we enter a world populated with multiple Gigafactories.