The Tesla Gigafactory, when operational, will serve as an integral part of Tesla Motors’ future plans. It is hoped that the battery production facility will help substantially increase lithium-ion volume for the electric-carmaker, and thereby drive down cost.
Less common knowledge is how the Tesla Gigafactory fits into the overall plans of Tesla’s battery partner, Panasonic. The electronics corporation will be footing 30 to 40 percent of the total bill for the Tesla Gigafactory, and it will serve as one of many steps toward restructuring Panasonic with a larger focus on automotive technologies.
To that end, Automotive News reports that Panasonic is planning to send hundreds of workers to the Tesla Gigafactory starting this fall, to prepare for the start of production scheduled for late 2016. Determined to put an end to posting financial losses, Panasonic is investing $478 million this year toward expanding its automotive footprint, reports AN.
Beside partnering-up on the Tesla Gigafactory, that expansion also includes an announced 50 percent stake in Spanish company Ficosa International SA, which makes driver assistance systems such as blind-spot monitoring and self-parking.
The Tesla Gigafactory is still about a year away from producing its first automotive battery pack, with early production planned to commence after the completion of the 1/4 size “pilot” factory. It likely won’t be until 2020 that the full Tesla Gigafactory is finished.