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Photo via Tesla of the Gigafactory
Photo via Tesla of the Gigafactory

Fast Company got an exclusive look at Tesla’s new Gigafactory in Nevada — and let’s just say they were impressed.

“When the Gigafactory is finished, it will be only slightly smaller than Boeing’s Everett, Wash., plant, which is the world’s largest building by volume,” Fast Company reports. “The Gigafactory will be the second largest, and [Elon] Musk has hinted it could grow bigger.”

The magazine is the first to be invited to see the plant in construction, a major item of curiosity, so much so that local reporters from the Reno Gazette Journal got into a physical confrontation with Tesla security employees this fall when they got caught snooping at the building site.

Musk told Fast Company about the Gigafactory: “It will blow your mind. You see it in person and then realize, F*ck, this is big.”

Fast Company reports that the Gigafactory will cost about $5 billion. The grounds will cover about 3,000 acres, with the main factory itself housing 13.6 million square feet of space and the ability to hold up to 6,500 employees. It is projected to be done by 2020, and will make batteries for both cars and homes.

The piece also includes a lengthy interview with Musk, especially focusing on his plan for the battery-producing plant. Here are a few gems:

Elon Musk debuting the Tesla battery in May
Elon Musk debuting the Tesla Powerwall battery in May
  • Batteries will include the Powerwall, the “slender appliance” for the garage that will start around $3,000. And the Powerpack, an 8-foot-tall steel box aimed at the energy industry that will cost about $25,000. “These prices are roughly half of what competing battery manufacturers charge,” FC reports.
  • Musk says that “if the city of Boulder, Colo., population 103,000, bought a mere 10,000 Powerpacks and paired them with solar panels, it could eliminate its dependence on conventional power plants entirely.”
  • He estimates: “The U.S. could do the same with only 160 million of them.”
  • Musk adds in the piece these numbers: “900 million Powerpacks, with solar panels, would allow us to decommission all the world’s carbon-emitting power plants; 2 billion would wean the world off gasoline, heating oil, and cooking gas as well.”
  • After Musk presented the battery in May, “Tesla reportedly received reservations for $800 million worth of Powerwalls and Powerpacks” in the following six days, “about what it makes in almost three months selling cars.”

The entire article is well worth a read and also appeared in Fast Company‘s December/January issue.

In case you’ve forgotten here’s Musk debuting the new batteries in May:

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