Tesla Motors to open Gigafactory in Nevada on 29 July

Tesla Motors Inc has scheduled the grand opening of its battery factory outside Reno, Nevada, for 29 July.

The company has invited customers who as part of a sales referral programme had steered the highest number of people towards buying a Tesla, and others.

Tesla, which started the work on the factory in June 2014, expects to roll out battery-packs from Reno by next year, according to the company's website.

The Gigafactory would reach full production by 2020, according to the website. Apart from battery packs to power electric vehicles, the factory would also make stationary batteries at the plant to store solar power at home and businesses.

Tesla has advanced its goal of rolling out 500,000 vehicles a year by 2018, two years ahead of schedule. Its Model 3, the mass-market car that Tesla hoped to sell for around $35,000, was scheduled to roll off the factory floor late next year.

Tesla will need more powerful batteries to reach the Model 3 production targets and keep its price at that level.

The construction of the Reno factory was closely 'monitored' by people who flew drones over it filming every step of the process.

Tesla took the decision to build its own batteries, and considering how the rising demand for batteries, it was clearly a smart move, say commentators. Tesla's experience with suppliers, which delayed the launch of the Model X, had led Tesla to believe that third parties could not be relied on especially now that it wanted to move into the mainstream segment, where volumes would become important.

Meanwhile, a German publication claimed, quoting some undisclosed sources within the company, that Volkswagen too was planning to build a similar battery plant of its own, but the information had not yet been confirmed.

If this indeed turns out to be the case, it would underline the importance of Tesla's move, add commentators.