Tesla Motors gigafactory - size comparisons [source: EV Obsession]Enlarge Photo
Photos can be deceptive, as any online-dating aficionado will tell you.
So it's hard to tell from photographs just how large the lithium-ion cell gigafactory in Nevada that's being built by electric car-maker Tesla Motors will really be.
You need some other very large things to compare it to.
And that's exactly what EV Obsession has provided, in a post from last September that we'd missed until now.
Tesla battery gigafactory site, outside Reno, Nevada, Jan 6, 2015 [photo: Bob Tregilus]Enlarge Photo
The comparison at the top of this article shows that the Tesla gigafactory is almost the size of Boeing's largest jetliner assembly plant.
The post has another one, too. It shows the length of the factory compared to the height of the tallest man-made structures in the world. (Hint: It's larger.)
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When we published photos earlier this week showing the latest state of construction at the gigafactory site, the dominant feature was a lot of sandy earth.
With the gigafactory site on a plane with mountains to the north, it's not easy to see just how large the footprint is.
Rendering of Tesla battery gigafactory outside Reno, Nevada, Sep 2014Enlarge Photo
And the company's computer rendering of the finished factory, with its roof covered in solar panels, doesn't add a lot to the size context--aside from looking really, really big.
The gigafactory will assemble both lithium-ion cells and entire battery packs for the company's next electric-vehicle line, the Tesla Model 3, which is targeted for a price of $35,000 and a range of 200 miles.
To put the Model 3 into production, Tesla must complete the gigafactory and get it up to volume production of cells and packs.
That's currently targeted for late 2017, although Tesla has been challenged in meeting various initial target dates for cars and other projects in the past.