Last September, Nevada governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill granting various tax breaks and incentives to Tesla Motors for construction of its massive battery "gigafactory" outside Reno.
Now, photos taken yesterday show that work on the site--empty desert land less than a year ago--is well underway.
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The photos, taken by electric-car advocate Bob Tregilus--who's also host of the Plug In America Show--were taken looking north-northwest from outside the site.
It's actually made up of about 30 individual shots stitched together.
Tesla battery gigafactory site, outside Reno, Nevada, Jan 6, 2015 [photo: Bob Tregilus]
Regrettably, High Gear Media's content-management system can't handle the full-size image, at 250 megabytes, but we've excerpted the area of greatest activity as the lead image in this article.
The Tesla gigafactory is intended to produce both lithium-ion cells and completed battery packs for the Tesla Model 3, the company's next vehicle line after the current Model S and the Model X expected to be launched this year.
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Tesla expects the huge factory to cut the cost per kilowatt-hour of its electric-car batteries another 30 percent on top of the steady decline in lithium-ion cell cost over time.
The gigafactory is necessary, CEO Elon Musk has said, before Model 3 production can begin.
Rendering of Tesla battery gigafactory outside Reno, Nevada, Sep 2014
The car is presently targeted for first production in late 2017, but the factory must be up and running at sufficient capacity to produce enough battery packs for the Model 3 before then--an ambitious schedule.
For all the latest stories and updates on the huge battery plant, see our Tesla Gigafactory News page.
PHOTO LICENSE: Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International by Bob Tregilus. Permission specifically granted by photographer for use on this commercial website.