Tesla finally moves forward with Gigafactory Nevada expansion for Tesla Semi and 4680 cells


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Tesla finally moved forward with Gigafactory Nevada expansion for Tesla Semi and 4680 cells a year after the original announcement.

Tesla Gigafactory Nevada was the first major step in Tesla’s effort to secure battery cell supply for its ambitious growth.

The automaker partnered with Panasonic to deploy new battery cell production capacity at the facility, and Tesla used those cells to build battery packs for its vehicles and energy storage products.

When originally announcing the plan for the factory, Tesla was talking about the plant producing 105 GWh of battery cells per year and 150 GWh of battery packs per year once completed.

It was supposed to become the largest building in the world.

However, the factory is currently about 30% complete, and Tesla hasn’t expanded the facility for years as both the automaker and Panasonic have focused on optimizing the current production capacity.

Here’s what the factory is supposed to look like once completed (yellow) and the existing sections with Tesla’s operations (red) and Panasonic’s (blue):

Tesla Gigafactory Nevada final version

Tesla hasn’t expanded the footprint of the factory in five years at this point, as it focused on optimizing this one and building new ones that include vertically-integrated vehicle production.

In January 2023,  Tesla announced a massive expansion of Gigafactory Nevada to add production of Tesla Semi trucks and 4680 battery cells and to finally expand the factory to its originally planned size.

The goal is to build the Tesla Semi in volume at the plant along with the 4680 battery cell, which powers the electric truck and new Tesla vehicles.

Tesla released this updated image of the planned final plant:

The company is generally known to move quickly after such announcements, but it didn’t do anything for a year.

Today, we learn that Tesla is finally starting to get some construction, or at least earth-moving, work done for the Gigafactory Nevada expansion.

Youtuber ‘Zanegler Tesla Semi Stalker’ posted a new drone flyby of the factory and in the video, he claimed that Tesla held a “groundbreaking ceremony” for the expansion on Wednesday.

We couldn’t confirm that, but the video does show Tesla moving ground for some construction work:

However, it doesn’t look like Tesla is working on the previously announced expansion with new sections of the existing building.

The new work is being done outside of the originally planned area:

It’s possible that Tesla is working on the land for a new parking lot as it will need to move the existing one if it goes through with these plans.

The Youtuber said that Tesla told employees at the groundbreaking event that the new section for Tesla Semi is actually going to be a new building separate to the existing one, but we can’t confirm that.

Either way, some work is at least being done.

Last year, we reported that Tesla hired a new manufacturing executive from Eli Lily to lead its elusive Gigafactory Nevada expansion. It’s possible that the plans have changed a lot since then.

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