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Tesla Gigafactory 1 Timeline & Results — CleanTechnica Deep Dive

Tesla Gigafactory 1 Timeline & Results — CleanTechnica Deep Dive


Revealed on January 20th, 2019 |
by Chanan Bos

January 20th, 2019 by Chanan Bos 

Tesla’s Gigafactory 1 in Nevada is a proof of idea. Initially, the manufacturing unit was presupposed to be accomplished in 2020, have a manufacturing capability of 35 GWh of battery cells and 50 GWh of battery packs, and make use of 6,500 individuals.

In 2017, these plans have been altered publicly, as Elon Musk claimed that the corporate discovered a method to make use of area extra effectively and set new objectives of 105 GWh of battery cells and 150 GWh of battery packs — triple the preliminary objectives. That may additionally imply using round 10,000 individuals when full.

The one drawback is that Tesla didn’t present a brand new timetable, which has led many individuals to imagine that the manufacturing unit continues to be purported to be completed in 2020. Although, given the a lot greater manufacturing targets, it’s truly unclear if 2020 is the top of the roadmap or not.

In any case, by a number of standards, the manufacturing unit is just round 30% full. Given the numerous progress, current updates from Tesla, and general curiosity (and confusion) about this, we determined to dig in. We went again in time and picked up all related information tales and stories because the first announcement of the Gigafactory. Take a look.

1* — Extrapolated projection if development had continued. 2* — Extrapolated projection if Tesla continues development on the tempo it left off. GWh Output — 100% = 150GWh (in case you use the funding scale you possibly can substitute $15.0B for 150GWh). Certified Staff — 100% = 10,000 Staff.

Fast Overview

What this graph exhibits is that the velocity at which the construction was being constructed was exponential, till it wasn’t. Tesla stopped increasing the construction for nearly 2 years. If the corporate resumes increasing the constructing proper now and may decide up the velocity the place it left off, then the constructing might be accomplished someday in 2020.

As for the GWh battery cell manufacturing capability of the Gigafactory, that has apparently been growing considerably exponentially as properly. We all know that Tesla reached 20 GWh of manufacturing capability round August, and it was on schedule to succeed in 35 GWh by the top of 2018 final we heard. We reached out to Tesla for affirmation on this matter however didn’t obtain affirmation or denial.

The final bit of knowledge on this graph cowl the variety of individuals (excluding development staff and non-qualified staff) who’re employed on the Gigafactory. The quantity is in % out of 100% (10,000 jobs), in order to raised examine with constructing completion and GWh output. What we see on the graph is that up till 2018, the variety of staff employed is roughly on par with constructing completion.



Our analysis has revealed a number of very shocking tidbits of data. Some time in the past, it was introduced that Tesla had 7,059 staff on the Gigafactory. Nevertheless, our deep dive has revealed that in actuality the unique 6,500 worker objective (which was later prolonged to 10,000) solely consists of “qualified employees,” whereas the 7,059 determine consists of all staff.

So, how most of the 10,000 certified staff had truly been employed at the moment? The reply is simply four,247.

It is rather shocking that Nevada launched the variety of all staff since up to now it has solely revealed the variety of certified staff. It’s like evaluating apples to apples & oranges. Nonetheless, that is truly very helpful info. Right here’s an excerpt from Tesla’s unique 98 web page incentive settlement with the Nevada Governor’s Workplace of Financial Improvement from 2014:

One of many new issues we have now discovered from that is that, as soon as full, the Gigafactory will very possible make use of not 10,000 individuals however greater than 13,000 staff. It’s because the 6,500 worker determine (and by extension the 10,000 worker determine as properly) solely consists of the certified staff. In case you additionally rely the present variety of non-qualified staff, you get round 13,000.

Whereas there’s inadequate knowledge to confidently conclude what number of non-qualified staff there might be on the Gigafactory as soon as full, if at this time’s figures symbolize an correct ratio, then it might very nicely be that when full, the Gigafactory will make use of greater than 15,000 or 16,000 individuals.

Constructing completion

The rationale we’ve chosen in our calculations to ignore the yr through which Tesla didn’t increase the constructing is as a result of the variety of development staff on the website has solely elevated. For this reason we consider Tesla may decide up constructing development on the tempo it left off at. Here’s a graph displaying the variety of development staff:

You may be questioning what that unusual drop in July 2016 is all about. We’ve got included this on function to shed some mild on a couple of discrepancies within the knowledge we now have stumbled upon.

Till July 2016, the Nevada’s GOED (Governor’s Workplace of Financial Improvement) revealed quarterly stories on certified staff and investments made into the Gigafactory. At first look, it appeared like they have been over-calculating the variety of staff and at occasions misplaced as much as $2 million of investments per quarter till it turned clear that they have been publishing unaudited knowledge and that such changes are regular.

After Q2 2016, Grant Thornton, an auditing firm, took over the reporting, and whereas they revealed rather a lot later and the numbers have been decrease, they have been apparently extra correct. In case you pay shut consideration to our first graph in 2016, there’s additionally a slight decline in certified staff that has to do with the identical transition.

Annual GWh manufacturing capability

Whereas mathematically the extrapolated projection is correct, in actuality, the ultimate 15–25% may find yourself wanting a bit totally different. If the Mannequin three ramp is any indication, it’s approach more durable to hit these remaining proportion factors. The most important distinction is that in Fremont Tesla is operating out of area and must discover a approach to cram all of it in. On the Gigafactory, Tesla might merely increase the constructing a bit extra and add further manufacturing strains and never make investments all that effort into rushing up present strains to hit some arbitrary quantity.

Investments & staff of Tesla, Panasonic, and others

To not muddle up the primary graph, we now have stored the division of staff and investments between Tesla, Panasonic, H&T, and Valeo separate.

For these unfamiliar with H&T, “Heitkamp & Thumann Group is a leading global partner for the supply of world class precision formed components in metal and plastic.” It has invested $99 million since Q2 2017.  Valeo is an “Automotive supplier” that has so far solely invested $9 million as soon as, in Q2 2017.

Tesla has invested a complete of $2.754 billion and Panasonic has invested $1.591 billion. In complete, $four.453 billion has been invested into the Gigafactory.

As per our first graph, the full funding is more likely to be between $7.5 billion and $10 billion. The maths says $7.9 in the event that they end earlier than the top of 2020 (as per the unique schedule) or $eight.eight billion in the event that they end an entire yr later.

In Conclusion

At this level, it’s unclear if Gigafactory 1 will probably be accomplished earlier than the top of 2020. Nevertheless, if every part goes properly and follows the development strains, it’s attainable. Our present concept is that each one this time Tesla (along with Panasonic) has been creating higher battery strains and higher batteries. As soon as glad, they may merely have to repeat & paste that new design, so which may make issues a bit easier. On this case we’ll instantly see a whole lot of speedy progress. The one query is when this turning level will probably be. The truth that Tesla has lately made a brand new parking zone signifies that this turning level might occur at any second.

A few of the haters may once more attempt to say that the Gigafactory timetable was deliberate utilizing the patented “Elon time” metric and has resulted in delays. Regardless of any delays (if there shall be any), manufacturing capability right now seems to be roughly the manufacturing capability initially focused for 2020 — fairly an early arrival.

Tesla is constructing the most important battery manufacturing unit on the planet, turning into the most important battery producer, and making an attempt to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.” In perspective, that is essential to the way forward for humanity, and significant to averting catastrophic local weather change. So let’s be grateful this undertaking is rolling alongside so shortly.

Timeline of Occasions

For many who have an interest, under is a satellite tv for pc image of the Gigafactory displaying roughly when every part was accomplished. Beneath that may be a timeline of varied Gigafactory 1 associated milestones, occasions, and bulletins. Here’s a hyperlink to Nevada’s GOED web site that incorporates all of the studies they’ve revealed through the years.



February 26 — Gigafactory introduced by Elon Musk

July — The manufacturing unit breaks floor



September eight – Part C is completed

October – Tesla strikes the power storage manufacturing line from Fremont to the Gigafactory



February 19 – Part A and B achieved

February 24 – Part D accomplished

April 26 – Battery value is under $190/kWh

July – Development of sections D’, E, E’, and F begins

July 29 – The grand opening (aspect word: Elon Musk retweeted one in every of our tales about Gigafactory 1 that week)

December eight – There at the moment are 850 staff and there might be 1,000 extra in H1 2017

December 22 – Sections D’ and E’ are full however the roof has not but been painted



January four – Tesla begins 2170 NMC battery cell manufacturing for Powerpack 2 and Powerwall 2

February 18 – Tesla hints at 35% battery value discount as an alternative of 30%

February 27 — Nevada’s government director of the Governor’s Workplace of Financial Improvement signifies Tesla plans to rent round 54% extra staff for the Gigafactory venture than was initially anticipated

March 23 – Part F accomplished, part D’ and E’ roof painted white

June 18 – Tesla begins 2170 NCA battery cell manufacturing for the Mannequin three

August 5 – Small half added to part F (labeled on picture as F+)

August eight – Elon claims capability is already greater than another battery manufacturing unit

October 26 – GF1 appears to be a Mannequin three manufacturing bottleneck

November 29 – Battery module meeting revealed to be the bottleneck



February 26 – Tesla begins putting in photo voltaic panels on roof

March 12–23 – Tesla begins shifting floor for the brand new parking zone

June 7 – The brand new parking zone is accomplished

July 31 – It’s indicated Gigafactory may have 35 GWh battery cell manufacturing capability at yr finish however nonetheless has 30% to go — and since on the finish of yr there might be 13 manufacturing strains, that suggests there have been 9 or 10 at the moment

August – Tesla achieves 20 GWh battery cell manufacturing capability and in addition achieves 40% uptime (expects 90% upon completion) and divulges that each one manufacturing assets went to Mannequin three NCA batteries, which resulted in Powerpack and Powerwall delays

August 20 – Photo voltaic panel enlargement

September 20 – Photo voltaic panel enlargement

September 27 – It’s introduced Panasonic will add three extra battery strains earlier than 2019, for a complete of 13 (so, 10 in place on the time)



January 1 – Gigafactory battery cell manufacturing capability now at 35 GWh?


In case you have any questions on this text or the info, let me know within the feedback under or on twitter by way of @ChananBos. 


Tags: Tesla, Tesla Gigafactories, Tesla Gigafactory 1, Tesla Gigafactory jobs, Tesla jobs

Concerning the Writer

Chanan Bos Chanan grew up in a multicultural, multi-lingual surroundings that always provides him a singular perspective on quite a lot of subjects. He’s all the time in considered huge image subjects like AI, quantum physics, philosophy, Common Primary Revenue, local weather change, sci-fi ideas just like the singularity, misinformation, and the record goes on. Presently, he’s learning artistic media & know-how however already has diplomas in environmental sciences in addition to enterprise & administration. His aim is to discourage linear considering, bias, and affirmation bias while encouraging out-of-the-box considering and serving to individuals perceive exponential progress. Chanan could be very apprehensive about his future and the way forward for humanity. That’s the reason he has an incredible admiration for Elon Musk and his corporations, foremost due to their missions, philosophy, and intent to assist humanity and its future. He sees Tesla as one of many few corporations that may assist us save ourselves from local weather change.

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