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Tesla sues alleged saboteur engineer who also apparently leaked false reports to media

Things are never dull in Tesla-land. After we heard on Monday that Tesla’s Production line was sabotaged, today the automaker filed a lawsuit against Martin Tripp. The Gigafactory Process Engineer was accused of not only writing software that extracted data from Tesla’s Manufacturing Operating System which sent gigabytes of proprietary data to outside entities but also making false negative statements to the media.

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Elon Musk on Boring Company, Semi-Truck, Mars – TED Talk [transcript]

Elon Musk discusses future plans for Tesla and his other endeavors with curator Chris Anderson at a TED Conference in Vancouver, Canada, April 28, 2017. The transcript below is an attempt to capture the conversation as accurately as possible. 

Chris: Elon. Hey, welcome back to TED. It’s great to have you here.

Elon: Thanks for having me.

Chris: So, in the next half hour or so we’re going to spend some time exploring your vision for what an exciting future might look like, which I guess makes my first question a little ironic. Why are you boring?

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Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary ‘Before the Flood’ trailer: Elon Musk notes 100 Gigafactories needed [video]

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We obviously follow the climate change ‘debate’ pretty closely here and as the cause moves into popular culture, we’re here to cheer it on.  Leonardo DiCaprio’s documentary Before the Flood will hit the National Geographic Channel on October 31st,

In the clip screenshot above and embedded below, it appears that DiCaprio is touring the Tesla Gigafactory 1 outside of Reno Nevada. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is tells him that 100 of these factories are needed to remove fossil fuels from the global energy equation and move to sustainable energy.

Also making appearances in the movie are Barack Obama, Pope Francis, Bill Clinton and John Kerry, among others.

IMDB | Wikipedia

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Tesla sends out ‘Gigafactory Grand Opening’ invites: test drives, factory tours and remarks are scheduled

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One of the prizes for the latest round of Tesla’s referral program, which ended last Friday, was an invite for two at the ‘Gigafactory Grand Opening’ on July 29. The invites are now going out with a few more details on the event, as well as a raffle for more invites for Tesla owners. Expand
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Tesla Model 3 is expected to drive Panasonic’s battery sales to double in three years, says exec

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The Tesla Model 3’s $35,000 price tag will be enabled in part due to a significant reduction in battery cost through the automaker’s partnership with Panasonic on the Gigafactory in Nevada. While Tesla owns and operates the giant battery factory, Panasonic is still in charge of battery cell production at the plant, which Tesla then uses to make battery packs for its vehicles.

With the strong demand for Tesla’s vehicles, Panasonic now says that it expects its battery sales to double within the next 3 years – or after the first full planned year of Model 3 production. Expand
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Tesla gets ~$20 million for the Gigafactory by selling tax credits to MGM Grand Casino [Updated]

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When Tesla inked a deal with the state of Nevada to build its giant battery factory near Reno, it was widely reported that Tesla received $1.3 billion in tax incentives. While the deal could be worth close to the amount over a 20-year period, it is not clear how much Tesla is currently getting from the state because it was awarded as sales and property tax abatements, transferable tax credits (TTC) and discounted electricity rates.

Through documents recently released by the Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), we now learn that Tesla started profiting from transferable tax credits by selling around $20 million worth to MGM Grand Casino. Expand
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Tesla will add new section (5th) to the Gigafactory by December, Battery cell manufacturing equipment by July 20th

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For the most part, Tesla’s Gigafactory has looked the same from the outside since the beginning of the year. The first phase consists of 4 sections of about 475,000 square feet for a total of 1.9 million square feet. The final version of the building, which should be completed by the end of the decade, is expected to have 13 million square feet of manufacturing and work space. It should be enough to become the biggest building on earth by footprint and Tesla plans for the factory to produce at least as much battery capacity as the entire world production of li-ion cells.

Now we learn that Tesla is planning to add a new section to the plant with an estimated completion date by the end of the year, according a building permit recently issued to Tesla. Expand
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Panasonic ‘gearing up for significant growth’ at the Tesla Gigafactory, will host a special hiring event next week

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While Tesla has been manufacturing battery packs at the Gigafactory for its energy storage division since last year, new battery cell production is expected to be the real hallmark of the giant battery factory and it has yet to happen.

Panasonic, Tesla’s strategic partner at the plant, is in charge of the cell production inside the facility and it is expected to begin the process by the end of the year. Now we learn that Panasonic is “gearing up for significant growth” at the Gigafactory and it will host a special invitation-only hiring event on location next week to for “positions in advanced manufacturing”. Expand
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Tesla Gigafactory update with new aerial shots [Gallery: June 2016]

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The pilot plant of Tesla’s ‘Gigafactory 1’ is almost completed and will be officially inaugurated at a special event on July 29.  Pictures of the ambitious facility, which is located east of Reno in Nevada, have been more scarce since two journalists from Gannett’s Reno Gazette Journal (RGJ) were involved in an altercation with two Tesla safety managers on the property while they were trying to take pictures of the factory late last year.

We’ve got an update with some up close pictures when Motor Trend did a photoshoot for the Model 3 at the Gigafactory a month ago, but we are now bringing you the most recent aerial shots of the factory. Expand
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Tesla will hold a ‘Grand Opening’ event for the Gigafactory on July 29

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Tesla has been promising a special event to celebrate the opening of its battery factory in Nevada for a while now. Attending the event was even part of the prizes of Tesla’s second round of the Model S owner referral program. Now it finally has a date: July 29th. The company sent out the invitations to the top Model S referrers last night. Expand
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VW is reportedly about to reveal plans for its own battery ‘Gigafactory’

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German newspaper Handelsblatt, which has often produced reliable insider reports on the German auto industry, now cites insider sources saying that Volkswagen is about to present to its board of directors a plan to build a ‘multi-billion euro battery factory’.

The publication suggests that the plan is likely to be approved.

The battery cell supply chain is close to the number one priority of any automaker looking to manufacture electric vehicles in high volume. Ever since the ‘Dieselgate’ scandal, VW has been under pressure to introduce more electric vehicles to its lineup and earlier this year, it announced plans to introduce 20 new electric vehicles through the group’s brands by the end of the decade. Expand
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Panasonic says it’s ready to accelerate its Tesla Gigafactory investment to support the Model 3

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During the recent conference call with analysts for Tesla’s first quarter 2016, co-founder and CTO JB Straubel said that we shouldn’t focus too much on Tesla’s previously stated goal of 35 GWh of battery cell production at the Gigafactory, and 50 GWh of battery pack output.

Straubel said that Tesla was prepared to adjust the battery factory output according to the higher than anticipated demand for the Model 3 after the company received over 373,000 pre-orders. Tesla’s battery output at the factory depends significantly on Panasonic and now the Japanese battery maker says that it would move up its investment schedule if asked by Tesla. Expand
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Is the SolarCity Gigafactory at risk? State funding on hold as lobbying connections investigated

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Legislators for the State of New York failed to move forward on a vote to deliver $485 million in funding to build out SolarCity’s Gigafactory in Buffalo. According to BuffaloNews, even though the project has been approved by the State Legislature as part of the much-heralded Buffalo Billion program, a three-person team has decided to not vote on the release of the next round of funding due to, “red flags were raised in the Legislature when the control board’s internal agenda document included vague language about future, undetermined beneficiaries.”

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Beautiful shots of the Tesla Model 3 prototype, facelift Model S and the Model X at the Gigafactory [Gallery & Video]

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We talked about MotorTrend scoring the first media photoshoot of the Model 3 prototype a few times now since they have been teasing it on their social media, but now it’s not just excerpts from Facebook or Snapchat. The publications released a complete video with beautiful shots of the Model 3, and as a bonus, the new facelift Model S and the Model X were also at the Gigafactory to complete Tesla’s S3X lineup. Expand
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Panasonic doubled its investment in the Tesla Gigafactory during the last quarter [Q1 2016 Activity Report]

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Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED) published its Q1 2016 Quarterly Activity Report for the Tesla Gigafactory and judged the company’s progress to be satisfactory. You can read the full report embedded bellow.

The most interesting bit of information coming out of the report is the fact that Panasonic invested more in the plant during the last quarter than it did since the beginning of the project. Expand
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Time-lapse of Tesla Gigafactory construction from July 2014 to March 2016 [Video]

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Although far from having completed the project, it’s quite impressive what Tesla accomplished in the Nevada desert in a little less than 2 years – of course that’s with the help of several contractors and its partner, Panasonic.

After breaking ground in July 2014, before even announcing a deal with the state, Tesla has now completed the first phase of its giant battery factory, which should soon be officially inaugurated.

You can watch a quick time-lapse of its construction below. Expand
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Tesla denies claims that the Gigafactory is late and states that it’s still ahead of schedule on both construction and production

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Financial news publication Valuewalk published an article earlier this week titled: “Tesla Gigafactory To Get Delayed By Three Years“. The publication has since completely changed the headline to “Tesla Gigafactory construction ahead of schedule” after Tesla issued a statement stating that the battery factory is “ahead of schedule on both construction and production”. Expand
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Leaked Tesla Gigafactory pictures show Powerwall/Powerpack assembly line and lots of units [Gallery]

 

As we reported on Friday, local Reno media outlets were given rare access to the Tesla Gigafactory and we even got our very first glimpse of the manufacturing floor. Though reporters were not allowed to take footage of the assembly line and it looks like all pictures were from the same angle near the offices.

Now it appears that someone with better access leaked several pictures of Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack assembly line, and it’s awesome. Expand
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Elon Musk and SolarCity CEO organized an event for Nevada lawmakers at Tesla’s Gigafactory to lobby for solar energy

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In an effort to lobby Nevada lawmakers for the development of solar energy following the Public Utilities Commission’s decision to slash net metering, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive organized an event Wednesday night at the Gigafactory for Nevada politicians and top government officials.

Tesla and SolarCity executives held presentations meant to be “forward-looking and educational” and the whole event also included a tour of the Gigafactory. Expand
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Will human hands ever touch Tesla Gigafactory battery cells?

Tesla battery cells

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An interesting fact about lego bricks: the first hands to touch a Lego brick are the hands of a customer since the entire manufacturing process is automated.

Granted, plastic blocks are significantly less complicated than li-ion battery cells, but since Tesla hired a long-time Lego manufacturing executive to lead the Gigafactory effort, it is an interesting analogy for the potential level of automation at Tesla’s battery factory. Expand
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Labor protest underway against Tesla’s contractor at the Gigafactory in Nevada

Tesla Gigafactory by Joshua Mcdonald 24/02/16

There’s currently a labor protest underway against Tesla’s contractor at the Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.

A local news station is reporting that a group of local construction workers are claiming that one of the Gigafactory contractor is bringing workers from New Mexico to work at the Gigafactory construction site.  Expand
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Elon Musk is involved in 3 of MIT’s 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2016

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Elon Musk shines in MIT Technology Review’s recently published top 10 list of technology breakthroughs of 2016. According to the MIT, the list “identifies innovations from the past year that solve difficult problems or create powerful new ways of using technology”.

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is directly involved in 3 of the 10 projects identified by the MIT. Expand
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