The first Tesla I ever saw was stripped down to the chassis, a bare-​​metal incar­na­tion of the company’s flag­ship elec­tric Road­ster on dis­play at an event in Sil­icon Valley. Without the need for an internal com­bus­tion engine, the two-seater’s petite frame was dom­i­nated by a huge bat­tery. My first thought: “This looks like a giant cell phone on wheels.”

As it turns out, I was more right than I realized.

This week, years after that first sighting, Tesla announced plans for what it calls the “Gigafac­tory,” a 10-​​million-​​square-​​foot plant for making car bat­teries. The com­pany hopes that the sheer scale of the oper­a­tion, com­bined with the inven­tive­ness of its engi­neers, will bring bat­tery prices down far enough to finally bring its elec­tric cars into the mainstream.

Read the article at Wired →