Tesla opened its doors today to local media to get a glimpse of its progress at the $5 billion Gigafactory under construction in Storey County. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey takes us inside.
The echo-filled lobby of Tesla's battery factory is about one of three places journalists were allowed to record today during a two-hour tour at their massive compound inside the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.
A spokesman for the company, who asked not to be named, gave several updates on their construction progress and production capacity.
Since October, the factory has been producing its home energy units, called Powerwalls and Powerpacks, for residential and commercial customers.
The spokesman says their goal is to drive down the cost of energy storage. Eventually they'll be able to produce batteries for their new line of Model 3 cars, coming in 2017.
Construction is on pace as well. The Gigafactory has about 1.9 million square feet of manufacturing space so far, just 14 percent of what the full build-out will be by 2020.
Several state lawmakers toured the plant earlier this week. Tesla is receiving $1.3 billion in tax incentives from the state to generate about 6,500 jobs and an estimated $100 billion in economic impact over the next few decades.
[For more photos of today's tour, go to our Facebook page.]