Recent photographs obtained by Teslarati reveal that Tesla’s new project at the north of Gigafactory 1 is progressing well. As could be seen in the new aerial pictures, a significant portion of the recently-flattened land now appears to be overlaid with asphalt.
Tesla’s recent development in the land north of the Nevada facility was first noticed by Tesla enthusiasts last month. As noted by u/MaChiMiB of the r/TeslaMotors subreddit, the area that Tesla is developing appears to be around 2,000 x 1,500 ft (roughly 600 m x 470 m).
If the aerial photographs we recently acquired are any indication, Tesla seems to have finished moving the dirt and flattening the area, and is now in the process of overlaying asphalt. Overall, the project, which looks like the factory’s new, far more expansive parking lot, will likely be completed in the near future.
Tesla’s development north of Gigafactory 1 bodes well for the company’s plans for the facility. The company, after all, has not increased the building’s physical footprint since last year. Despite the lack of expansion on the building’s exterior, however, reports back in February revealed that Tesla has been upgrading its facilities and equipment within Gigafactory 1.
Over the course of 2017, Tesla filed 112 building permits for the factory, adding another $379.9 million to its investment and raising the total cost of the factory to roughly $1.3 billion. Quite noticeable in Tesla’s building permits in 2017 was the high occurrence of addendums, which correspond to improvements to facilities in the factory that are already built.
From the 112 building permits that were filed by the Elon Musk-led company, 50 were addendums. Permits for new facilities such as a metrology lab, which is designed to ensure that products are manufactured according to precise measurements, were also filed by Tesla in 2017.
Apart from this, Tesla has also begun installing solar panels on the Nevada Gigafactory’s roof. As shown by aerial photographs we acquired last month, Tesla has so far installed six sets of solar panels on the facility. Tesla’s efforts for Gigafactory 1 seem to be teased by the company recently as well, as a leaked email from Elon Musk stated that a hiring ramp would be underway for Gigafactory 1 and Fremont over the next few weeks. The ramp would help the company achieve its aim of producing 6,000 Model 3 a week by the end of the second quarter.
Considering that Tesla is now constructing what appears to be a new parking lot for Gigafactory 1, it seems safe to speculate that the company would soon be expanding the facility’s footprint once more. The factory, after all, might already boast a physical footprint of 1.9 million square feet, but it is still only 30% complete. Once finished, Gigafactory 1 is expected to cover an impressive 13 million square feet. The facility is also expected to boast a production capacity of up to 35 GWh annually.