Tesla said Tuesday it is investing more than $3.6 billion to expand its Nevada manufacturing facility with two new plants, including the first facility to mass-produce its long-delayed Semi electric truck.
The other plant will produce new battery cells called 4680 and have the capacity to produce 2 million passenger cars a year. Together, the factories will employ about 3,000 people.
The company’s existing Elon Musk-led facility in Sparks makes lithium-ion batteries, car parts, and other products such as Powerwall, a consumer backup power system.
The Semi, introduced in 2017, was originally supposed to enter production in 2019, but its first delivery was delayed until December, when Musk handed over the car to PepsiCo. The move was Tesla’s first foray into the trucking industry.
The 18-wheel truck has a range of 500 miles on a single charge and can carry 81,000 pounds including cargo. It can claim a $40,000 tax credit for clean commercial vehicles under the Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law in August.
Tesla chairman Robin Denholm said in November that Tesla could produce 100 Semis in 2022, but the company did not disclose any numbers in its fourth-quarter production report.
The electric vehicle maker plans to produce 50,000 trucks in 2024, Musk said in October following an earnings call.
PepsiCo plans to produce 100 Semis in 2023. Other buyers of the truck include Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company, United Parcel Service and Walmart.
The Semi will face competition from Daimler Freightliner, Volvo and Nikola Corp, which have also launched their own battery-powered trucks.