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Tesla confirms Gigafactory 1 battery production at ‘~20 GWh’ – more than all other carmakers combined

Tesla Gigafactory 1, the Tesla/Panasonic battery factory in Nevada, is starting to reach some impressive levels of production.

The automaker has now confirmed Gigafactory 1 battery production is now at ‘~20 GWh’, which it claims is “more than all other carmakers combined.”

We have previously estimated that battery production had already reached 20 GWh solely based on the battery supply needed for the new level of Model 3 production that Tesla has reached last month.

Now Tesla has confirmed it in its shareholder letter released yesterday:

“At the end of July, Gigafactory 1 battery production reached an annualized run rate of roughly 20 GWh, making it the highest-volume battery plant in the world by a significant margin. Consequently, Tesla currently produces more batteries in terms of kWh than all other carmakers combined.”

Because Tesla manufacturers larger battery packs, 75 to 100 kWh, its average battery pack is much bigger than most other automakers. That, combined with the current production rate to support Model 3 production, results in this new 20 GWh production rate.

Panasonic recently commented that ‘production at Tesla is gaining momentum’ and they plan to add 3 battery cell production lines.

It should result in an annual production rate of 35 GWh.

While the volume is unmatched, it’s still not enough to meet Tesla’s battery needs. As we reported earlier today, Tesla’s energy division is ‘battery cell starved’.

Tesla and Panasonic are looking to significantly increase production to respond to the demand. Though, Tesla has also been known to use other battery suppliers for its energy storage projects.

At 35 GWh, they would be producing at the originally announced production rate, but Tesla has since increased the planned total capacity to 105 GWh of battery cells and 150 GWh of total battery pack output.

Today, Tesla shared rare images of the battery cell production at the plant:

Now Tesla CEO Elon Musk says that they have “learned a tremendous amount with Gigafactory 1” and they are going to apply what they learned to build Gigafactory 3 in China more efficiently.

They originally planned to spend $5 billion on Gigafactory 1 and they are on the way to get there by 2020. But now they plan to have a similar capacity in China with about $2 billion.

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