Tesla Powering Up New Battery-Making Gigafactory

Today at the Gigafactory, Tesla and Panasonic began mass production of lithium-ion battery cells, which will be used in Tesla's energy storage products and Model 3. The cells will be used to power Tesla's electricity storage products and its Model 3.

With almost 400,000 reservations placed on Tesla's upcoming mass market Model 3, which the company says through its website will see first deliveries beginning at the end of this year, mass production of 2170 battery cells couldn't be more important.

Tesla officials say that ultimately employment at the Gigafactory will peak at 10,000, with an additional 20,000 to 30,000 jobs created "in the surrounding regions".

Last month, Tesla and Panasonic announced plans to begin production of solar cells and modules at a plant in Buffalo, N.Y., next summer.

Tesla first broke ground on the Gigafactory in June 2014. While many critics were quick to scoff at the goal, Tesla has spared no expense with respect to construction efforts as part of its broader effort to roll out cars much more quickly.

Tesla said it will be mass producing its new high-performance cylindrical "2170 cell", which CEO Elon Musk has said is both the highest energy density cell in the world and is also the cheapest. Model 3 cell production will follow in the second quarter, Tesla said.

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"Tesla's mission is to accelerate the world's transition to sustainable energy through increasingly affordable electric vehicles in addition to renewable energy generation and storage".

Tesla has said the Gigafactory, said to cost $5 billion and expected to be one of the largest buildings in the world once it is complete, will significantly lower the cost of its products. Tesla says making battery cells in the U.S. will create thousands of good paying jobs for American workers.

But Musk's bold visions haven't always been well received by analysts and investors.

The Gigafactory is looking to not only satisfy Tesla's growing demand in terms of volume, but also drop the individual cost of batteries through se of automated production capacity, and improved processes that will result in fewer units being discarded for defects and failure to meet standards after they're produced.

That's despite Tesla's disclosure late Tuesday that production problems caused it to miss fourth-quarter and year-end estimates on vehicle deliveries.

  • Toni Ryan