Tesla is making the news again with the announcement of its $5 billion (yes, that’s billion with a ‘B’) gigafactory right here in the United States.
What is the gigafactory, exactly? Well, to explain, we need to backtrack a moment.
Tesla makes a lot of cars. And all of their cars are electric. Except, the batteries that the cars require are currently pretty tough to track down. Over the next four years, Tesla has a deal with Panasonic to buy 1.8 billion lithium-ion batteries–barely enough to produce the some 250,000 cars that Tesla is predicted to sell in one year. So Tesla has a battery problem.
Fast track back to today. Rather than continue to rely on other manufacturers to help with battery manufacturing, Tesla has decided to build the gigafactory which will produce all the batteries that Tesla needs to continue making cars at a fast pace. Forbes thinks that this move will help Tesla move into the global market–something it hasn’t done just yet–and that it could potentially also revolutionize the U.S. utility industry, which hasn’t yet found a way to store the massive amounts of energy required to keep people supplied with power at all times of the day.
All of that’s to say that this factory–which should create more than 6500 jobs–is big news.
This isn’t the first time that Tesla has made our blog. Their current factory, which we’ve discussed here at NeMAC before, is practically a work of manufacturing art. It uses state-of-the-art technology, and employees and robots work alongside each other building Tesla’s now-popular Model S. With this announcement, though, it’s great to see Tesla staying top-of-mind in the public–the more good press for the manufacturing industry, the better.
Although it’s yet to be seen exactly what impact this new gigafactory will have on the manufacturing industry (and even other industries, like the utility industry) as a whole, we’re very excited to see such a big step forward for this state-of-the-art manufacturing facility right here in the United States.
Our only question is, what comes after gigafactory? Terafactory? We’re not quite sure–but we can’t wait to see what the future holds.
Photo credit: CBS Interactive via Electrek