A glimpse inside Tesla’s super secretive Gigafactory | TechCrunch

Even having grown up in California, I’m realizing I’m not built for this heat.

We’re 30 minutes or so outside of Reno, but it feels like I’m on the sun. I can feel my sunscreen baking off. Why the hell did I wear black today?

It’s okay; it’s worth it. I’m out here for a glimpse inside Tesla’s Gigafactory, days before its official grand opening. I’ll be one of the first people to step inside the building outside of those who helped build it. That’s worth a slight sunburn, right?

A row of Model X parked outside the Gigafactory

The machine that builds the machine

 

Tesla needs more batteries. Between the Model S, Model X, the upcoming Model 3 and its at-home solar energy storage product, the Powerwall, just about everything they put their name on uses a battery.

But batteries like the ones Tesla needs are expensive — and heavy. Even if Tesla could find a company in another country capable of producing the volume of batteries that it needs, just getting them onto a cargo ship and shipping them stateside would make up a sizeable chunk of the bill.

Thus, the Gigafactory. A colossal, $5 billion structure smack dab in the middle of the Nevada desert, meant to help Tesla meet its battery needs.

It’s “a machine to build the machines,” as Elon Musk refers to it.

Left: Section A of the factory. Right: Designers laying out the later sections, currently under construction.

A working work in progress

We enter on one side of the building — Section A, as it’s called.

To our left, row upon row of machines, racks and robotic arms responsible for assembling Powerwalls.

To our right, separated from the factory floor by just a hip-height dividing wall, are the designers. Their project? The rest of the Gigafactory.

You see, Tesla is moving into the Gigafactory as soon as each section — of which there are currently four in progress — is complete.

They’re working from the inside out, and it’s quite a sight to see. It’s like watching a robot build itself into a bigger, badder robot. Walking through the building is like viewing a timelapse; a gradient of construction…

Finish reading: A glimpse inside Tesla’s super secretive Gigafactory | TechCrunch






 

Advertisements