Tesla announced today that it has finally begun mass production of batteries at the Gigafactory, which officially opened last July. The batteries are what Tesla calls, "2170 cells" and will be used in the Powerwall 2 and Powerpack 2 electricity storage devices, as well as the upcoming Model 3 car. The first batteries will go into the storage devices, with Model 3 battery production beginning in the second quarter of this year.

The plant has been producing pre-production batteries before now, for testing purposes, but the batteries produced from this point forward will go into products destined for consumers.

This is just the start for the Gigafactory, though, which Tesla says is only 30 percent complete. The company and its partner, Panasonic, will continue to ramp up production capabilities as progress at the factory continues. By the end of this year, Tesla says the factory will directly employ 6,500 people. By the end of 2018, the company expects to be producing 35 gWh worth of battery each year, which it says would match the world's total production per year. Eventually by 2020, Tesla plans to produce 50 gWh of batteries each year and employ 10,000 people at the Gigafactory.

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