Following our report from last month that revealed 31 new construction permits filed by Tesla for projects that would ultimately double the size of its Gigafactory, a new drone video has surfaced that gives us a look at the rapid pace of construction taking place at the planned multi-level 15 million square foot battery facility in Sparks, Nevada.
Seen in the drone footage is construction of a new section designated as Section F that adjoins the current main lobby of the Gigafactory. Those that attended the Gigafactory Grand Opening Party over the summer will recall seeing a red Model 3 placed near the entryway to this lobby.
What was seen as only exterior walls just a few months ago, now appears to be four nearly completed sections on the south end of the Gigafactory. The new sections are presumably areas where Tesla will be manufacturing the new 2170 battery cell format in conjunction with Panasonic for its Powerwall and Powerpack battery storage products. Tesla co-founder and CTO JB Straubel has said in the past that the company’s newest 2170 cells – 21 millimeters in diameter and 70 millimeters long – uses a new battery chemistry and provides significant improvements in energy density over the traditional 18650 cells currently being used across its fleet of vehicles. Tesla is already producing commercial Powerpack units at the Gigafactory with recent applications seen at the 60-Powerpack microgrid on Ta’u island and Southern California Edison’s Mira Loma substation.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has indicated that the company will eventually build a second Gigafactory somewhere in Europe. But for now, check out the latest 4k drone footage of Tesla’s original Gigafactory 1 taken in December, 2016.