Tesla's Gigafactory 1 is already producing batteries for Tesla's Powerwall and Powerpack units and will be under ongoing construction for some time, but that's not stopping Tesla from throwing open the doors: they're holding a grand opening on July 29, 2016, and we'll be going to show you what it's all about!
The Gigafactory is Tesla's lynchpin in bringing down the cost of electric cars and making the Model 3 possible. The biggest cost in electric cars today is the battery, and the Gigafactory aims to dramatically reduce the cost of large-scale lithium ion cell production through sheer will. Well, that and the magic of economies of scale — the more Tesla produces, the cheaper they can do it on a per unit basis. Currently there exists no facility or single company with the capacity needed to produce batteries at the scale Tesla requires if they're to hit their highly ambitious vehicle production goals, thus the Gigafactory.
Motor Trend paid a visit to the Gigafactory last month, and the facility has only expanded since their visit. It's currently only about 1/8 complete, and by the time it is fully built and running at capacity in 2020 the sprawling building will cover some 130 acres, making one of the largest buildings on the planet. The Factory is being built outside Reno, Nevada, and is connected via rail to Tesla's assembly factory in Fremont, California.
Tesla's invited Model S owners that pushed five or more Tesla car sales through the company's referral program between November and December of 2015. We'll be heading out to Reno to check out the Gigafactory with them, and there's just one question left to answer (and we're pretty sure we know the answer): Tesla road trip?