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Monday 11 December 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Electric Dreams

Check out the €4.4 BILLION Gigafactory - Tesla's self-sustainable desert complex for making electric cars

The enormous Nevada complex is set to fire out Tesla’s amazing Model 3 from 2017.

1 Tesla Motors Early concept art for Tesla's Gigafactory. Tesla Motors

EVERYONE’S EXCITED ABOUT Tesla’s new Model 3 car, but mass producing that electric vehicle is going to require a ton of batteries.

That’s where Tesla’s Gigafactory comes into play.

For those unfamiliar, Tesla describes its massive 5.5 million square-foot Gigafactory as a way to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable transportation”.

The first Gigafactory, located outside Sparks, Nevada, is an ambitious manufacturing facility that plans to build batteries for Tesla’s electric cars for the foreseeable future. To make these batteries, Tesla will use: “economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste, and the simple optimisation of locating most manufacturing processes under one roof.”

The Gigafactory is also notable since it will be powered completely by renewable energy, according to Tesla.

The Gigafactory aims to start building battery cells by 2017, to coincide with the launch of the Model 3, reaching full capacity by 2020. But for now, all we can do is view the Gigafactory from the outside. And thanks to a drone pilot and his low-altitude quadrocopter, we can see how construction on the $5 billion (€4.4 billion) building is coming along.

Here’s Tesla’s first Gigafactory, located just outside Sparks, Nevada.

2 YouTube / Above Reno YouTube / Above Reno / Above Reno

Tesla spent an estimated $4.5 million (€4 million) to build the first phase of the Gigafactory’s roof, according to work permits obtained by the Reno Gazette-Journal.

3 YouTube / Above Reno YouTube / Above Reno / Above Reno

Construction on the roof is mostly complete. Solar panels are coming later, but the white foundation will ensure the roof stays cool, thus optimizing the efficiency of the solar panels.

4 YouTube / Above Reno YouTube / Above Reno / Above Reno

Still, many large parts of the building are under construction and it looks like Tesla is also preparing the area for another large expansion.

5 YouTube / Above Reno YouTube / Above Reno / Above Reno

Here you can see another angle of the Gigafactory’s expansions that are still under construction.

6 YouTube / Above Reno YouTube / Above Reno / Above Reno

Tesla has spent millions of dollars building the “trailer city” around the Gigafactory, with several hundred thousand dollars spent on building a fire command center and guard shack, according to work permits.

7 YouTube / Above Reno YouTube / Above Reno / Above Reno

The Gigafactory’s foundation alone cost an estimated $16 million (€14.2 million).

8 YouTube / Black66 YouTube / Black66 / Black66

Last summer, Tesla spent nearly $13 million (€11.4 million) on the steel and concrete for the building’s mezzanine.

9 YouTube / Black66 YouTube / Black66 / Black66

The electrical infrastructure for the Gigafactory reportedly cost Tesla about $300,000 (€264,000).

10 YouTube / Black66 YouTube / Black66 / Black66

As Tesla puts the finishing touches on the exterior, it will begin building out the building’s “architectural interiors,” which will reportedly cost $10 million (€8.8 million).

11 YouTube / Black66 YouTube / Black66 / Black66

If you want the full drone’s-eye-view experience, check out the video below.

Above Reno / YouTube

If you want to get an idea of the incredible amount of work going into this important sustainable building, check out the Reno Gazette-Journal’s complete list of Tesla’s work permits and construction costs.

- Dave Smith

Read: Man can’t afford to live anywhere – builds bedroom ‘pod’ in someone else’s apartment

Read: As it was: These photos compare London as it is now with how it was 100 years ago

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