During a press conference in Germany yesterday, Elon Musk confirmed Tesla is planning to build a second Gigafactory plant, which will be located in Europe. The factory will combine the production of batteries and cars.
Musk held a meeting with the press after he announced the acquisition of German engineering group Grohmann Engineering. During the conference, he explained the Californian company is currently mostly focused on bringing the Model 3 on the market on time, but is also planning a “significant investments.” These investments will be part of a major production strategy, referred to as “the machine that builds the machine.”
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“This is something that we plan on exploring quite seriously with different locations for very large scale Tesla vehicles, and battery and powertrain production – essentially an integrated ‘Gigafactory 2’.”
Musk confirmed the European production invasion will begin once the Model 3 is on the assembly lines, which is expected to happen in mid-2017 with volume production in late-2017.
“There’s no question that long-term Tesla will have at least one – and maybe two or three – vehicle and battery factory locations in Europe.”
Tesla’s Gigafactory I is the automaker’s most ambitious project to date, as it represents an investment of roughly $5 billion. In the next three to four years the plant will employ more than 10,000 people, which will produce 35 gigawatt hours of batteries by 2018 – the equivalent to the entire world's production in 2014.
The factory is still unfinished, but when all the work is done, it will be one of the biggest buildings on the planet with a size of nearly 174 NFL football fields. What’s more, the whole roof of the building will be covered with solar panels.
In National Geographic’s Before The Flood series, Musk claimed it would only take 100 Gigafactories to transition the entire world to renewable energy, and apparently the second step of this major plan will be taken on the Old continent.