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Tesla to Tap Panasonic for Help with Building Gigafactory

(Credit: © Tesla Motors)

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Tesla to Tap Panasonic for Help with Building Gigafactory

Tesla Gigafactory Figures

Tesla Gigafactory Figures (Credit: © Tesla Motors)

There has been quite a bit of speculation about the Tesla Gigafactory lately, which is understandable considering how monumentally important the facility will be for the future growth of the young automaker. Even though the location(s) of the Gigafactory is still a mystery, Tesla has recruited the help of electronics giant Panasonic. The initial investment into the battery plant by Panasonic will be $300 million, with that number expected to grow by quite a bit as things get rolling (some say as high as $1 billion). Reportedly, Tesla is fronting the cost of the land and structures, while Panasonic is paying for the production machinery.

The construction of the Gigafactory should begin before the end of the year, with the first lithium-ion batteries expected to roll off the production line in 2017. Projections peg production numbers to increase enough to outfit as many as 500,000 electric vehicles a year by 2020. As is the case with many new factories, it will start off on a much smaller scale and eventually work up to that amount.

States have been falling all over themselves to capture the deal for Tesla’s Gigafactory, which almost certainly will be built in the western United States. Interestingly enough, at one point the state of Arizona was campaigning hard for the factory to be located within its borders, even though it blocked the sale of Teslas through the company’s direct sales model. There are a few favored sites that have been rumored as the future site of the battery production facility, as well as rumors that Tesla is preparing two sites for construction as a ruse to throw off speculation.

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