It’s been one of the hottest electric car stories of 2014 — and later today we’ll find out for sure the site of the first Tesla lithium-ion Gigafactory at a joint press conference between Tesla and the Governor of the lucky state.
As we correctly surmised earlier this summer, that site appears to be in Reno NV, where Tesla has already carried out extensive groundworks.
Leaked yesterday by a source within the Governor’s office to CNBC and then later confirmed by The WallStreet Journal, a press conference at 4pm local time on Thursday September 6 is expected to announce the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center as the site of Tesla’s first Gigafactory.
Covering more than 1,000 acres and set to employ upwards of 6,500 locals when operating at full capacity, Tesla’s Gigafactory is the California Automaker’s answer to both expensive electric car lithium-ion battery pack prices and limited lithium-ion battery pack supply.
Instead of relying on other companies to produce battery cells for use in its cars, Tesla is partnering with electronics giant Panasonic to build its own lithium-ion battery packs at the Gigafactory, with Panasonic investing an estimated $1 billion of the $5-6 billion build costs in the project.
Promising a lithium-ion battery cell output higher than the current combined output of existing lithium-ion battery facilities around the world — a total of 35 gigawatt hours per year — Tesla’s Gigafactory will provide it with enough cells at a low enough cost to bring its planned $35,000, 200-mile, mass-market 2017 Tesla Model ≡ car to production.
Although the Gigafactory’s primary function will be lithium-ion battery cell manufacture, Tesla’s Gigafactory will operate as a one-stop shop for all of Tesla’s battery needs. In addition to bringing in raw materials at one side and spitting out fully-assembled lithium-ion battery packs at the other, the Gigafactory will also form the hub for Tesla’s extensive lithium-ion battery recycling production, where old battery packs are recycled and reprocessed for reuse. Add the effect of battery recycling to the mix, and Tesla’s total lithium-ion battery output is expected to exceed 50 GWh per year.
Due to the time constraints of the Tesla Model ≡ project, Tesla said back in February that it would break ground on multiple potential Gigafactory sites in order to minimise delays and ensure that it was producing cells in time for the Model ≡.
The Reno, NV site was confirmed earlier this summer by Tesla to be one of the potential sites, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk said at the time final decisions would be announced later this year.
While the Reno, NV site appears now a foregone conclusion, we’ll bring you more news later today as we have it.
Today, speaking at a press conference, Governor Brian Sandoval confirmed that Nevada will be the site of the Gigafactory. “Subject to legislative review, it will be the worlds largest and most advanced battery facility in the World. It represents $100B economic impact over the next 20 years, with 3,000 construction jobs at the start leading to 6,500 on site once complete. It represents an increase in the states GDP of 4% with as much as 20% regionally. This will have direct benefits to our universities and our K through 8 education through a $35M contribution directly from Tesla. For the skeptics who might question the return on the investment from Nevada, that return will be in the order of 80 to 1.”
CARSON CITY, NV – Governor Brian Sandoval and Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO of Tesla Motors, announced today that Nevada has been selected as the official site for the Tesla Gigafactory.
“This is great news for Nevada. Tesla will build the world’s largest and most advanced battery factory in Nevada which means nearly one hundred billion dollars in economic impact to the Silver State over the next twenty years. I am grateful that Elon Musk and Tesla saw the promise in Nevada. These 21st century pioneers, fueled with innovation and desire, are emboldened by the promise of Nevada to change the world. Nevada is ready to lead,” stated Governor Brian Sandoval.
“I would like to recognize the leadership of Governor Sandoval and the Nevada Legislature for partnering with Tesla to bring the Gigafactory to the state. The Gigafactory is an important step in advancing the cause of sustainable transportation and will enable the mass production of compelling electric vehicles for decades to come. Together with Panasonic and other partners, we look forward to realizing the full potential of this project,” said Elon Musk, Chairman and CEO of Tesla Motors.
“On behalf of the State of Nevada, I would like to acknowledge this monumental day and provide my initial support. This is a significant opportunity to make a major stride to improve our statewide economy. I look forward to receiving the necessary information so the Legislature can meet and take necessary action to support this major industry coming to Nevada,“ stated Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick.
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