After a few weeks of decidedly negative PR and hysteria surrounding Tesla’s Autopilot software, we finally have some Tesla news that has nothing to do with autonomous driving. We’ll cut right to the chase: Tesla over the weekend began sending out invitations to the July 29 grand opening of its Gigafactory in Sparks, Nevada.
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While we’ve known about the July 29 event for a few months now, the official invitations shed a little bit more light about what Tesla has in store for those fortunate enough to attend. If you remember, the group of invitees consists of Model S owners who have at least 4 successful Tesla referrals which resulted in a qualifying purchase.
According to Teslarati, the event will be a three-hour bonanza that will include food, drinks, and test drives. It remains unclear, though, if guests will be able to take Model 3 prototypes for a spin or if the test drives only refer to the Model S and the Model X. One would presume, however, that with all of the attendees being Model S owners already, Tesla would go the extra mile and let them take the company’s upcoming mass market vehicle for a spin around the ole’ block.
And speaking of the Model 3, Tesla just a few weeks back began sending out golden tickets — a la Charlie and the Chocolate Factory — to 12 random Model 3 reservation holders who will be able to redeem said tickets for an all-expense paid trip to the Gigafactory grand opening, with Tesla footing the bill for airfare, all transportation costs and even accommodations.
While a tour of what will primarily be a battery factory may not seem all that intriguing at first glance, the Gigafactory is much more than your run of the mill factory. Not only does the factory play a pivotal role in Tesla’s Model 3 plans and the company’s goal of mass producing 500,000 vehicles a year by 2020, but the sheer size of the Gigafactory is a marvel in and of itself. Built at a cost of $5 billion and measuring in at 13.6 million square feet, the gargantuan factory will be the world’s second largest building by volume, placing second only behind a Boeing plant in Washington state.