This aerial construction update shows just how grand Elon Musk's ambition is.
Elon Musk is a man with big dreams. But it’s difficult to fully grasp the enormity of his vision until you see it unfurl across the landscape below you.
That’s what happens with footage taken from a drone of Tesla’s Gigafactory in Sparks, Nev., released Friday, Aug. 4. The vast plant is impressive to watch from above.
Fuel cell production has already started in the factory, which is still partially under construction. And that productions is just getting started.
Unveiled in 2014, Gigafactory 1 had its official grand opening in July 2016. At the time of the ribbon cutting, the $5 billion factory was only 14% complete, but it was already on its way in changing the world’s energy use. Gigafactory 1 creates fuel cells for Tesla’s electric vehicles and Powerwall batteries for the company’s solar arrays.
The drone footage, shot by videographer Duncan Sinfield on a DJI Inspire 1 Pro, reveals a factory site that appears like a mirage from the desert, swarmed by tiny parked cars, little construction cranes, and tractor trailers that look smaller than ants. Then again, being situated next to a 6 million-square-foot building will make almost anything seem small.
As Fortune‘s Kirsten Korosec has noted, Tesla’s first battery factory is critically important. “It’s the cornerstone to all of what Tesla hopes to achieve: To accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy,” she wrote.
And as battery factories pop up around the globe, it seems Tesla’s hopes have already been acheived. For example, by 2021, China plans to produce 3.5-times more batteries than Tesla’s factory. And Germany is also joining the competition, with its own plans to open two battery foundries.
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But don’t expect Musk to whither in the face of competition. Tesla already has plans to open three more Gigafactories, the automaker revealed in Feb. 2017. Gigafactory 2 will be built in New York, while the rest of the facilities have yet to find a home.
It’s also worth noting from the drone footage that Gigafactory 1 is hardly complete. You can even tell by looking at it—there are no solar panels installed on its roof, yet.