Tesla Will Be Making 500,000 Cars A Year By 2020, Says Panasonic CEO

Panasonic’s Chairman and CEO Joe Taylor said at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show that he expects Tesla to produce 500,000 electric vehicles by 2020, with the help of the Gigafactory, a $US5 billion production facility the two companies are building together.

That’s nearly 15x growth from last year, when Tesla manufactured roughly 35,000 units. 

The Gigafactory is a massive production plant Tesla and Panasonic are building together in the state of Nevada. It will primarily serve to produce lithium-ion batteries for Tesla’s cars at a lower cost. Panasonic jointly builds the battery cells used in the Model S and has promised to invest “tens of billions of yen (hundreds of millions of dollars)” in the plant. 

The cost of batteries have often been cited as the biggest hurdle Tesla faces in growing its footprint. With the new Gigafactory, Tesla expects to lower the cost of battery production by nearly 30%.

The Gigafacotry, scheduled to open in 2017, is planning to hire more than 6,500 people, and will span across 10 million square feet. Here’s what it would look like:

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