- September 18, 2022
- Posted by: BiconAdmin
- Categories: Electric Mobility, Energy Storage
What is Gigafactory?
Tesla claims that the Gigafactory gets its name from the word ‘Giga’ which represents a ‘billion’. However, in common parlance, a Gigafactory has come to represent a battery-production facility that’s simply gigantic in scale and brings multiple companies and components together to scale up lithium-ion battery production at an unprecedented level. Instead of kilowatt-hours (the unit used to measure a battery’s capacity) or megawatt-hours, manufacturers have to consider gigawatt-hours, to supply the level of energy they will need.
We could define Gigafactory as:
- So we could conclude that a gigafactory points to a massive factory – with ‘giga’ denoting the sheer scale of the enterprise.
- Specifically in today’s parlance, a gigafactory signifies a factory that is capable of end-to-end production of thousands of gigawatts of energy, via end-to-end Li-ion battery manufacturing process- the most popular technology platform for Electric Vehicles.
- A gigafactory can be seen as a facility which brings together multiple companies and entities that source components, highly specialised instruments, and numerous business processes that are tied together to make such a factory work.
The concept of a Giga factory was first envisioned by Tesla, to primarily make battery cells for their own EVs.
Why do we need Giga factories?
The demand of renewable energy like solar & wind energy is at its peak. But the biggest roadblock to the large-scale uptake of solar and wind electricity is their intermittency. We need storage systems for them to be useful. Storage that can supply whole countries in winter when – inevitably – for perhaps 10 days in a row the wind is still and the sun doesn’t shine. Developing large-scale storage systems is the key to converting our electricity production to zero-emission sources.
Also, as the demand for electric vehicles goes up, so will the demand for EV batteries. In order to fulfil the demand, batteries need to be manufactured on a vast scale that is why gigafactories are being created in order to manufacture li-ion batteries for both storing of renewable energy as well as deliver the vast number of EV components that are going to be required over the coming years.
The Gigafactory also aims to continue to drive down the price of these batteries, financially incentivizing the use of alternative energy sources.
These low-cost, green batteries could help to support a future where alternative energy will be a preferred choice for vehicle owners. It could be one of many steps in the right direction to maintain net zero energy for the companies engaged in EV component manufacturing.
No. of Gigafactories
- Giga Nevada in Storey County, Nevada, U.S.
- Giga New York, in Buffalo, New York, U.S.
- Giga Shanghai, in Pudong, Shanghai, China
- Giga Berlin, in Grünheide, state of Brandenburg (near Berlin), Germany
- Giga Texas, in Austin, Texas, U.S.
Worldwide Gigafactory Ambitions
According to the Department of Energy, US in addition to electric vehicle battery plants that are already in operation in the United States, 13 additional plants have been announced and are expected to be operational within the next 5 years. Of the 13 plants that are planned, eight are joint ventures between automakers and battery manufacturers. Many of these new plants will be located in the Southeast or Midwest. As per the report, 13 new battery cell gigafactories coming online in the US by 2025.
The goal is to help drive the world’s transition to sustainable energy through electric vehicles by supplying advanced lithium-ion batteries. At full capacity, the Gigafactory will be able to produce up to 60GWh – enough to power 600,000 electric vehicles per year – and will be ready for production in 2025.
Tesla is currently deploying battery cell production capacity at its Gigafactory Texas in Austin. It could become one of the biggest battery cell factories in the world, with a planned capacity of over 100 GWh.
West Midlands Gigafactory’s mission is to create the UK’s largest battery Gigafactory in the heart of the UK automotive industry. A battery gigafactory is a strategically crucial investment for the region and the UK. It will play a major role in securing the future of the automotive industry as it transitions to an electrified future.
Elon Musk has claimed that we could entirely avoid building electricity plants in future if we leaned into alternative energy. The climate changes provide us the indication that using up all the fossil fuels can be devastating. As a remarkably efficient example, the Gigafactories have solar panels all over its roof as a rich component of production. In addition, they have installed wind turbines and geothermal plants that would have a large share in power procurement too.
India’s Gigafactory Ambitions
India’s first Giga factory is expected to be up and running by 2025, with plans to double to 5 GWh by 2027 and then to 25 GWh by the end of this decade. Over INR 10,000 crore would be needed to complete the project.
The Bengaluru-based bootstrapped Lithium-Ion cell manufacturer, Log9, promises the first Gigafactory in India by 2025. Even though it only has a 25-megawatt-hour (MWh) capacity and an investment of around $25M (INR 190 crore), it has a very aggressive growth plan.
According to a NITI Ayog’s estimate, India needs six gigawatt-scale facilities of 10GWh each by 2025 and 12 such factories will be needed by the year 2030. These factories will not only cater to electric vehicles but will also support the electric grid.
Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) announced the company’s plan to make an investment of ₹60,000 crore in renewable energy production. The corporation will set foot into the clean energy space and has planned to build four gigafactories and solar plants which will help India in the run to shift to renewable energy resources.