Nevada

Tesla Announces $3.6B Semi-Finished, 4,680 Nevada Battery Plants, But Questions Are Many

 

Tesla has officially announced its expected new Northern Nevada battery and semi-finished manufacturing plants and a $3.6 billion investment to bring them to fruition. But are these really new factories, or just the expansion of Gigafactory Nevada to its originally planned size?

Earlier today, we reported that the Governor of Nevada had hinted at plans for a new Tesla plant, which are expected to be officially unveiled today. Tesla has now posted a blog post outlining progress with previous investments in Nevada and plans for this new investment.

Tesla says it has already spent $6.2 billion in Nevada and hired 11,000 employees and created 17,000 local jobs building its Gigafactory, and that the factory produced:

  • 7.3 billion battery cells (37 GWh+ per year)
  • 1.5 million batteries
  • 3.6 million drives
  • 1 million power modules (total 14 GWh+)

Those numbers exceed Tesla’s original plan for 2014, which was to spend $3.5 billion on a 35 GWh-a-year battery plant that would then hire 6,500 employees.

Since then, the electric vehicle market has expanded rapidly, meaning that 35 GWh is still not enough to meet the global demand for Tesla electric vehicles.

Today Tesla said:

We will be investing more than $3.6 billion to further develop Gigafactory Nevada, adding 3,000 new team members and two new plants: a 100 GWh cell 4680 plant (with enough capacity to produce enough batteries for 2 million light vehicles in year), as well as our first large-scale Semi factory.

It’s unclear in Tesla’s announcement if these factories will still be in the same area as its current gigafactory, which is still about 60% complete when comparing renders to the building’s current state.

Judging by the new render, these new factories may be in the same building. Compared to the existing building, which is L-shaped, and the original and new building renders, filling in this L-shape will complete the building so it looks more like the render:

The announcement mentions that a portion of the $3.6 billion will be spent on the further development of the gigafactory, as well as the construction of two new factories. Electrek has previously reported that Tesla is building a production line for the Tesla Semi in a new building next to Gigafactory Nevada, so we’re not sure if it will change plans and move all of that production under one roof, or continue to expand this new building. nearby, or maybe both – perhaps cells of the 4680 format will be built in the main building, and Semi – in the secondary.

This announcement was made the day before Tesla’s earnings call, which is certainly an interesting point. Tesla set a delivery record with 405,000 vehicles delivered in the fourth quarter and 1.3 million in 2022, although the number in the fourth quarter fell short of expectations. Toward the end of the quarter, Tesla began offering discounts and recently cut prices sharply, signaling that it needs to boost demand a bit after more than a year of massive price increases, while demand for electric vehicles has skyrocketed.

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