Tesla is investing an additional $3.6 billion into Nevada Gigafactory

Shawn Knight

Posts: 14,576   +174
Staff member
In brief: Tesla's Gigafactory in Nevada will continue to grow thanks to an additional infusion of cash. The electric automaker has announced plans to invest over $3.6 billion more into the massive 5.4 million square foot battery and component complex. The expansion calls for two new facilities including a 100 GWh 4680 cell factory capable of producing enough batteries for 1.5 million light duty vehicles annually and the company's first high-volume Semi factory.

Tesla unveiled its 4680 battery cell format during its battery day keynote in 2020. The cell measures 46mm x 80mm (hence the 4680 name) and produces five times the energy, six times the power and affords a 16 percent range increase courtesy of the new design.

The Semi was introduced way back in 2017 and was supposed to enter production a couple of years later. Manufacturing would not start until 2022, however, with Pepsi taking delivery of the first production units late last year. Others that have reportedly placed orders for Tesla Semi trucks include the United Parcel Service and Walmart.

Semi has an estimated range of 500 miles, consumes less than 2 KWh per mile and can regain 70 percent of range with a 30-minute charge. Tesla notes that charging with electricity is approximately 2.5 times cheaper per mile than filling up with diesel, and can save operators up to $200,000 within their first three years of ownership.

The expansion at Gigafactory Nevada, which is located just outside of Reno, will also create 3,000 new jobs.

Tesla currently operates five Gigafactories around the world with additional locations in New York, Austin and Shanghai. A sixth factory is reportedly being planned for construction in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon.

In September, experts told Reuters that Tesla was having issues with the dry-coating technique used in the production of its 4680 batteries. Because the tech is so new and unproven, the automaker was reportedly struggling to scale production to a level where big cost savings would kick in.

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Plutoisaplanet

Posts: 892   +1,419
The real benefit of the 4680 battery cell is that the costs should come down to eventually be much cheaper to produce than other cells per kWh. Otherwise its 5x larger size/mass necessitates having about 5-6x the capacity and power just to stay competitive. The one other notable benefit that should manifest is lower degradation and faster charging, all because the design of the cell creates much less heat/waste due to lower resistance when charging/discharging.

The longer life is relevant to the Semi for commercial use, which is why these factories were announced together. The Cybertruck also depends on this cell since it needs to charge much faster when considering range could be decreased significantly whenever it’s towing. The charging rate will be quadrupled, but an effective increase of 60% over the fastest charging they achieve now when considering the larger battery pack size. This is why the two trucks have been delayed until this year. The Semi makes the most sense to start with first with low volumes.
 
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psycros

Posts: 4,571   +6,877
"Tesla notes that charging with electricity is approximately 2.5 times cheaper per mile than filling up with diesel.."

I doubt that very seriously. The loss from transmitting electricity is enormous, which means you're effectively getting half (or less) of what you *should* be receiving. Also, the price of electric has steadily increased along with the cost of petroleum because the majority of power plants need fuel that has to be shipped in. That's just a couple of factors that add to the cost of going full electric. If you really did the accounting I suspect that sticking with fossil fuel engines would cost about the same, if not be slightly cheaper.
 

Mariabliss

Posts: 21   +13
A nice boost to the local economy there. That is a lot of jobs. I wonder if that also includes temporary jobs building the new extension as well...

 

axiomatic13

Posts: 452   +546
"Tesla notes that charging with electricity is approximately 2.5 times cheaper per mile than filling up with diesel.."

I doubt that very seriously. The loss from transmitting electricity is enormous, which means you're effectively getting half (or less) of what you *should* be receiving. Also, the price of electric has steadily increased along with the cost of petroleum because the majority of power plants need fuel that has to be shipped in. That's just a couple of factors that add to the cost of going full electric. If you really did the accounting I suspect that sticking with fossil fuel engines would cost about the same, if not be slightly cheaper.
I only charge my Ford F-150 Lightning when the sun is out and my solar panels on my roof are all that is powering my house. If you do it like that there is literally no cost to charging my truck. Can't beat that.