Tesla is pretty open to other companies utilizing some of its technology, so much so that back in 2014, CEO Elon Musk announced through a blog post that the electric car maker is open sourcing its patents for any other company who wants to use them in good faith. But even amidst these initiatives, Tesla is quite secretive about some aspects of its business. Among these is the secret sauce of its industry leading vehicles: their batteries.
Even before the vehicle was released, Tesla had high hopes for the Model 3. Despite criticism from skeptics, the company went ahead and started the construction of a Gigafactory in Nevada, which would be dedicated to the production of 2170 battery cells and powertrains of the all-electric sedan. What happens inside the Gigafactory in Nevada has mostly been secret, with only glimpses of the factory’s activities being shared online. That is, of course, until recently.
The Science Channel was able to gain access to Gigafactory Nevada, and in a recent episode of its Super Factories show, the network opted to feature a deep dive into the operations of the massive battery factory. The ten-minute segment featured some interesting tidbits about the ongoing activities on the site like its custom cooling system, which is optimized for sustainability.
Rare footage of the battery cell manufacturing process was also highlighted in the Super Factories segment. This includes the massive, elaborate conveyor systems that the company utilizes for its battery cell manufacturing. A look at batteries seemingly being assembled for a Powerwall battery unit was also included in the feature. Interestingly enough, the segment also mentioned that Gigafactory Nevada is capable of producing around 13 million cells per day.
What is particularly interesting is that Tesla’s battery production line in Gigafactory Nevada does not yet represent the best that the company is looking to offer. That honor belongs to the Roadrunner Project in Fremont, which is currently undergoing an expansion for a pilot production line. Unlike the 2170 cells being produced in partnership with Panasonic in Giga Nevada, the Roadrunner cells are completely custom designed and produced by Tesla.
Expectations are quite high for the company’s custom cells, with speculations suggesting that the batteries could last for a million miles in electric vehicles and decades in energy storage devices. Ultimately, the Gigafactory Nevada footage shared in the Super Factories segment would likely provide a good contrast with Tesla’s Roadrunner Project, which is expected to be unveiled and explained in depth on the upcoming Battery Day event this September.
Watch Super Factories’ segment on Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada in the video below.