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  • I'm driving up to the Tesla Gigafactory right now, located outside of Reno, Nevada.

  • It's huge, you can already see it from what feels like a mile away.

  • It's that signature Tesla red, that's outlining the top of the production facility.

  • Let's go check it out.

  • I'm getting rare access inside Tesla's Gigafactory.

  • The name originates from the word 'Giga,' the unit of measurement representing 'billion.'

  • And, as it suggests, the building is ginormous.

  • Right now it's about 5.3 million square feet of operational space.

  • Its current footprint is the equivalent to about 33 American football fields.

  • And it's not finished yet either.

  • Elon Musk, Tesla's co-founder and CEO, has referred to the Gigafactory as

  • themachine that builds the machine,”

  • and it's all part of his master plan to make electric cars more affordable.

  • It's planning to do that by mass producing its own batteries.

  • Tesla says it currently produces more batteries in terms of kilowatts per hour

  • than all other carmakers combined, making up about 60% of the world's lithium-ion batteries.

  • As big as the building looks behind me, it only represents about

  • 30% of the entire facility when it's fully built out.

  • It really does feel like we're in the wild here, you have wild horses over on my right.

  • Even where I parked my car will eventually be more of the production facility.

  • There's 7,000 employees working on site here, things are really only just getting started.

  • Once completed, Tesla's Gigafactory here is expected to be the largest building in the world by footprint.

  • And while Tesla already has factories in California and New York,

  • this is the first one that it's completely built from scratch.

  • There are also plans to add Gigafactories to Europe and China.

  • At the start of the year, construction began on a third Gigafactory in Shanghai.

  • There's actually more spots for expectant mothers than just visitors.

  • Tesla's Model 3, an electric sedan, is the company's first mass market vehicle.

  • Yet production here at the Gigafactory has encountered delays and some quality issues,

  • which means output has fallen below expectations.

  • Being able to smooth things out here, is seen as imperative for Tesla.

  • Before I enter the production facility, I have to wear these safety glasses and these safety boots as well.

  • This factory produces Model 3 electric motors and battery packs,

  • along with Tesla's energy storage products, Powerwall and Powerpack.

  • Panasonic is Tesla's exclusive battery cell supplier for Model 3

  • and its plant is technically part of the Gigafactory.

  • This is where I start my tour.

  • This is the area where Panasonic and Tesla meet.

  • So all day long, these vehicles are delivering battery cells from Panasonic to Tesla,

  • dropping them off and then going back to Panasonic to pick up more.

  • The entire process is completely automated, there's no human labor in this process.

  • Each Model 3 vehicle requires more than 4,000 battery cells.

  • And after the battery cells are assembled into modules, the modules are then assembled into packs.

  • The handoff between Panasonic and Tesla occurs through these,

  • they're what's called Automated Guided Vehicles.

  • It's the equivalent of a driverless forklift, if that makes sense.

  • Yeah, like an autonomous car, right?

  • It's like an autonomous car but it's a forklift.

  • Chris Lister runs operations here.

  • In order to transition the world to sustainable energy, we really needed to build this big,

  • build this boldly and really build as many battery cells as we possibly could to really accelerate this transition.

  • The factory operates 24/7, and Chris tells me he's seen explosive growth

  • in production output and new product innovation over the past year and a half.

  • Tesla expanded its workforce by 30% in 2018.

  • But it's also announced company-wide layoffs multiple times as well,

  • as it struggles to rein in costs while expanding in a relatively new industry.

  • But hiccups at the factory have caused significant production delays

  • and even sparked some safety concerns.

  • We're very committed to safety.

  • You'll see things like forklifts, and we saw auto guided vehicles.

  • For those who have never been in a factory environment before it's important to understand

  • how to operate safely, and as we scale up it's really important to think through with safety in mind.

  • Safety reminders are posted throughout the area.

  • I even noticed this sign as I entered the site.

  • So, who are the people working here?

  • The adjectives I would use to describe the people here: Passionate, scrappy, ambitious,

  • very excited to change the world.

  • But I don't see as many people as I expected.

  • Well, that's because automation is everywhere you look.

  • I don't see a lot of human labor in this part of the factory.

  • This area is actually about 90% automated.

  • Not every part of the factory is that way.

  • But the way we designed the drive unit, as you can see behind us, very modular stations,

  • that we swapped in and out where we've got redundancies, we have different technologies

  • that we employ here that make the drive unit final assembly very automatable.

  • Chris tells me the area we're in is 90% automated.

  • But they've had to back off in other areas and add more humans back in.

  • It's easier to grab things like hoses out of mid air and attach them together

  • as a person looking at those, as opposed to trying to get a robot to do that.

  • He says automation makes sense in portions of the production

  • that are highly repetitive with less variables overall.

  • Not everything has to be automated to make an optimal end-to-end manufacturing solution.

  • I take a break from my tour, because, well, it's lunchtime.

  • Apparently today there's a big sale on merchandise for employees, so there is a line out the door

  • of people waiting to buy things like hats, gloves, shirts.

  • I don't think I'm eligible for an employee discount though.

  • So, it's lunchtime at the Gigafactory.

  • In addition to the food trucks outside, there's also this cafeteria here,

  • where you can get things like soups, salads, but I'm going to get a burrito bowl.

  • So, lunch cost me $9.68.

  • Where do I go?

  • This is a lot of soda options, it says the Gigafactory here.

  • There's a ton of options of Jones Soda, it's almost like the Giga Jones soda counter.

  • After lunch, I head to the rooftop to see how the factory is building its solar panels.

  • Although, it's only just started.

  • Tesla says that once completed the Gigafactory will completely run off of renewable energy.

  • Not just solar, but wind too.

  • And once the production is finally finished,

  • this is expected to be the largest rooftop solar array in the world.

  • That means 200,000 tiles on this roof alone.

  • It aims to be a net-zero factory when finished.

  • That means the total amount of energy used by the building will be

  • about equal to the amount of renewable energy created on site.

  • I end the day where all the different pieces of manufacturing come together.

  • You know those rides at the carnival you pay to flip you?

  • Probably some of the same principles designed into those.

  • This is the final area where the drive unit is assembled.

  • What you see behind us is a high-speed crane system, where we're able to get

  • different variance down to this floor, very very quickly.

  • This elevator system goes up and down three floors and it's basically an automated warehouse.

  • Once the battery packs and motors are completed they're brought to this area where they're

  • then loaded onto these semi-trucks behind me and then transported to Fremont, California,

  • which is about a 4-hour drive from here.

  • And then from there, they're assembled into vehicles.

  • Every hour, trailers get dispatched to California.

  • Chris tells me that they're taking the things they've learned here to use in the new Shanghai factory.

  • In fact, they're aiming to make these operations the model for all future Gigafactories.

  • Elon Musk says there could eventually be 10 to 12 Gigafactories around the world.

  • This Gigafactory is an exciting thing to be part of and so many people

  • have invested so much of their lives into making this successful, it's a very prideful thing.

  • This is a great thing for the city of Reno, this is a great thing for the state of Nevada,

  • this is a great thing for the world.

  • As I end my day taking a spin in the Model 3,

  • I'm reminded of the reason why this entire operation exists in the first place.

  • Elon Musk's ambitious plan for Tesla and its Gigafactories is beginning to take shape,

  • but with plenty of construction and adjustments still ahead, the road to achieving that vision has just begun.

  • Hey guys, it's Uptin. Thanks so much for watching!

  • Let me know what you think about Tesla's business model in the comments below

  • and while you're at it subscribe to our channel.

  • We'll see you next time.

I'm driving up to the Tesla Gigafactory right now, located outside of Reno, Nevada.

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テラス初のギガファクトリーの内部を見学してみよう|CNBCレポート (Take a tour inside Teslas first Gigafactory | CNBC Reports)

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    PENG に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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