Elon Musk’s Gigafactories are not even complete and they are already making huge waves in the field of energy storage. Sources talking to Fred Lambert of Electrek commented that Elon Musk recently stated that Gigafactory 1 in Nevada is “…already producing more batteries than any other factory in the world.” The 455,22 square meter (4.9 million square foot) facility began producing Powerwall and Powerpack battery cells back in January and then began production on Model 3 battery cells in June. The facility is said to be only at about 30 percent capacity.
The goal for the finished Gigafactory is to be able to produce 35 GWh’s worth of storage capacity within 2018.
Giles Keating, the chairman of Werthstein Institute, an investment consultancy, told CNBC, “There’s a kind of arms race on batteries around the world. We know that Elon Musk with Tesla has got this Gigafactory. The Chinese are racing to overtake him; they’ll have three times the capacity. And then in Germany, we’ve just heard announcement of a new plan for a $1 billion factory on batteries.”
It is clear that the competition is stiff in the battery business and, while this may not be welcome news to Mr. Musk, the rest of us, and the Earth will benefit immensely from the increased capacity to store clean energy. This competition will drive companies to create safer, higher capacity, and more efficient batteries that will continue to help us wean ourselves off of fossil fuels.