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IN Science & Technology ON 17 Aug, 2016
Elon Musk is a man who keeps his money where his mouth is. He is the man who will take humanity to Mars and believe me he will do it. One of the recent inventions of Musk is the Gigafactory which is one of its kind in the world. It is a factory but it is no less than an invention. It will shock you like anything when you will come to know about its enormous size.
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The Gigafactory is located in Storey County, Nevada on 3,000 acres. Its original size was 1,000 acres but the company purchased an additional 1,864 acres of adjacent land. It will enable the company to expand the size of its factory by 50 or 100 times according to Musk.
Currently, the factory is 71 feet tall and it stretches to more than 5.5 million square feet or equivalent to 126 acres. It is of a size that is more than 95 football fields. According to Musk, it is so big that he gets blown away every time he visits the plant.
Once this building is complete, it will be the world's second largest building by footprint. It will only be slightly smaller to the Boeing's Everett, Washington plant which is the world's largest building by volume.
The factory is composed of four different structures which are built on four different foundations so that it can withstand earthquakes. According to sources, Tesla spent an estimated $16 million on the foundation alone.
The factory will help to dramatically cut the cost of its batteries by using economies of scale, innovative manufacturing, reduction of waste and the simple method of locating most manufacturing process under one roof. By 2020 the factory will enable to reduce its battery prices by about 30%.
Tesla hasn't revealed the ways in which it will use the "extreme economies of scale" but Musk recently said that "We will bring in trains that will come out as batteries." He didn't go into detail about the plan.
The factory will be decked out with a state-of-art recycling system and it will provide recycling capacity for old battery packs. Everything will be recycled!
The company will create all the energy which it needs. Solar Panels will line the roof of the factory and some additional panels will be placed on the surrounding hilltops to capture more and more energy. The factory will also use geothermal and wind power to meet energy demands.
Tesla is the biggest consumer of lithium ion on the planet by surpassing device manufacturers like Apple and Samsung. Now it will also become the biggest producer of lithium-ion batteries. Tesla aims to build 500,000 cars per year by the end of this decade. Musk thinks that the number could reach into millions.
To power all those cars the factory will produce more battery cells at its plant by 2020 than all of the lithium-ion battery makers combined production of the year 2013.
Tesla along with its partners will collectively invest a total of $5 billion into the factory by 2020. Tesla will directly invest about $2 billion in the Gigafactory.
The factory will have around 6,500 employees by the time it will be finished in 2020. It has already started hiring people for some positions at the facility including people who work in the human resources as well as some engineering technicians.
Just like Tesla's vehicles a lot of attention is given to the design of the factory. Musk said,"We are taking care to make sure that it looks good, that it fits in with the surroundings. It's a factory, but we care about the aesthetics. It will be shaped like a diamond because of the practical reasons as well.