South African born Elon Musk is considering a plan to build a “gigafactory” in Cape Town to manufacture Tesla Powerwall batteries, Times Live has reported.
News of the potential Gigafactory in the Western Cape comes after a report that Evan Rice, former CEO of GreenCape, has been appointed Tesla’s business development manager for SA.
Tesla Motors is already planning to open an office in South African in early 2016, aimed at providing its energy storage solutions to local consumers and businesses.
Powerwall is a home battery that charges using electricity generated from solar panels, or when utility rates are low, and powers your home in the evening. It can be used to power the home during power outages, and ‘you can even go off the grid,’ Tesla claims.
According to MyBroadband, Tesla has already produced its first batch of Powerwalls at its Gigafactory in Nevada, and stock of the batteries is due in South Africa by the end of January 2016.
Greg Blandford, sales director at Rubicon, an authorised Tesla Energy reseller in South Africa, told MyBroadband: “We estimate the selling price to be in the region of $3,600-$4,000, depending on external factors.”
Western Cape MEC for economic opportunities Alan Winde told Times Live: “We very much want to have a gigafactory here. If we get that right, it will make nuclear power generation obsolete.”
Musk said that the Nevada Gigafactory, a $5 billion dollar project, would be known as ‘Gigafactory 1’, and that there would be others.
It has been reported that the facility in Nevada will be the world’s second-largest production plant, second only to Boeing’s airplane assembly building, also in the US.