Tesla charging ahead with new models and gigafactory
Tesla has a lot on its plate at the moment with plans to launch the much delayed Model X all-electric SUV later this year, unveil a concept version of the Model 3 next year and keep the building of its massive lithium-ion cell gigafactory in Nevada on schedule. By all reports, the factory is ahead of schedule and is expected to be producing batteries by this time next year.
About 740 construction workers have been hired since work began and Tesla has already spent $140 million of the estimated $5 billion price tag. Within the next few months Panasonic will start sending several hundred employees to Nevada to prepare for the start of cell production with the electronics company planning to invest $478 million this fiscal year in the project.
Panasonic, which already supplies batteries for the Model S and owns a small stake in Tesla, will supply the equipment needed for cell fabrication and oversee the factory’s operation roughly half of which will be devoted to cell production with the other portion being occupied by suppliers and assembly lines for modules and battery packs for Tesla energy-storage venture. The majority of cells will be used in the 200-mile Tesla Model 3 electric car. Tesla is relying on the economies of scale of the huge factory to allow it to sell the Model 3 at a base price of $35,000.