Why is it in the news?
- NITI Aayog has proposed the establishment of giga factories in India for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries in the next couple of years.
What are gigafactories?
- In simple terms- these are the huge factories
- Elon Musk is believed to have first coined the term ‘Gigafactory’.
- He once said production of Tesla model-3 cars from one of his factories would need to be ‘something that’s comparable to all lithium-ion production in the world in one factory.’
- The word comes from the prefix ‘giga-,’ which is used to denote a measurement that’s been multiplied by one billion (109). A common example of this is with the kilogram, which adds the prefix ‘kilo-‘ onto ‘gram’ to denote one thousand grams. ‘Giga’ is believed to come from the Greek word ‘gigas,’ meaning ‘giant.’ In short, Musk is saying he wants a really huge factory.”
How many such factories are there in the world?
- There are at present three Gigafactories in the world
- Gigafactory 1: This has been operational since 2013 and is located in Nevada, USA. It primarily develops lithium-ion batteries from start to finish. Alongside the batteries, the factory produces electric motors for the Tesla Model 3, the company’s cheapest-ever car, plus the Powerwall and Powerpack energy storage systems designed to work with renewable sources.
- Gigafactory 2: It’s located in Buffalo, New York. It produces photovoltaic solar panels, like the ones used in the Tesla Solar Roof.
- Gigafactory 3: This is Tesla’s latest factory where construction started in January 2019. It’s located in the Lingang industrial zone of Shanghai, the first Gigafactory located outside of the United States. Giga factory 3 is planned to produce affordable versions of the Tesla Model 3 and Tesla Model Y for the Greater China market
- More Gigafactories are yet to come up including one in Europe, possibly Germany.
- Recently, the LIBCOIN consortium with Magnis Energy Technologies Limited holding 20 percent of non-dilutive ownership along with state-owned BHEL finalised a deal with the Government of India, Ministry of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises, to build ‘India’s first Lithium-ion Battery Gigafactory’.
- Country’s maiden gigafactory will start at 1GWh and will eventually increase to 30GWh. The project will be a part of the ‘Made By India, For India’ initiative, which will accelerate domestic manufacturing of the important components for electric vehicles.