When you find yourself in the middle of the Nevada desert, on a 100-degree day, you wonder: who in the world would build something here?
Elon Musk, of course.
And so I'm here in the city of Sparks, outside of Reno, because of Musk's dream — his "Master Plan" for Tesla, to be specific. He's staked his entire company (and much of his net worth) on a single, enormous building here: the Gigafactory.
Tesla's Gigafactory is perhaps the best example of the literal scale of Elon Musk's ambitions. When the factory is complete, it will be the largest building in the world by footprint and, if all goes according to plan, will eventually churn out enough batteries to supply 150 gigawatt hours of batteries per year. That's enough for 1.5 million Model 3s. Tesla hopes to build 35GWh of batteries per year by 2018, equivalent to 500,000 Model 3s.
Pull up "large" in your thesaurus and you can easily apply any synonym to the plant: great, huge, sizable, substantial, immense, enormous, colossal, massive, mammoth, vast, prodigious, tremendous, ginormous — all of them apply. And maybe that doesn't even capture it.
The building, which Musk finds "quite romantic," is aligned north to south. It will be large enough to cover 107 NFL football fields with two to four floors of factory floor and workspace layered on top. There are 10,000 wild horses in the area, with some taking advantage of Tesla's construction efforts to drink from the water storage pools used during the building process.
"It's great," said Musk in a press conference with reporters at the Gigafactory yesterday. "It's like the Wild West."
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