Tesla invests $3.6 billion to expand Nevada truck plant


SPARKS, Nevada (AP) — Tesla said it intends to invest $3.6 billion to expand manufacturing capacity in Nevada and is confident that rising software-related profits reflected in record fourth-quarter net income released on Wednesday last year, will maintain profits at a higher level. than any other automaker.

The company confirmed its plans to produce high volume semi-trailers and produce enough batteries for 2 million light duty vehicles per year in Nevada.

Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo tweeted a photo of himself and CEO Elon Musk late Tuesday night after the newly elected Republican announced in his first State of the Union address on Monday night that Tesla has committed to building a “brand new” electric plant. trucks. in northern Nevada.

The project will effectively expand existing production at the Truckee Reno Industrial Center, about 20 miles (32 km) east of Reno-Sparks along Interstate 80. But the plan brings the company closer to fulfilling previously announced plans to expand the Tesla Semi. production to produce 50,000 trucks in North America in 2024.

The White House issued a statement trumpeting the plans on Tuesday as Musk completed three hours of testimony defending himself in a class action lawsuit in San Francisco federal court over his work with Twitter, one of three major corporations he owns. including Tesla and SpaceX. .

Musk’s impulsive and sometimes inflammatory use of Twitter took center stage as legal proceedings continued on Wednesday over a lawsuit alleging he misled Tesla shareholders in 2018 by posting a tweet about an aborted buyout.

Mitch Landrieu, President Joe Biden’s head of infrastructure, said Tuesday that Tesla’s additional investment in Nevada is proof of an ongoing “manufacturing boom” since Biden took office two years ago. He said the expansion will create 3,000 jobs in Nevada, promoting clean energy and strengthening US security.

On Tuesday, Lombardo tweeted a photo of himself with Musk at Tesla’s Gigafactory in an industrial estate east of Reno Sparks that makes batteries for electric vehicles.

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“This is an incredible investment in our state,” Lombardo wrote.

Elizabeth Wray, director of communications for the governor, confirmed the photo’s authenticity and explained in an email to The Associated Press that the new investment was to “expand existing space” in downtown Truckee Reno.

Tesla said in a statement on its blog site late Tuesday that the company has invested $6.2 billion in Nevada since 2014 and has built a 5.4 million-square-foot (501,676-square-meter) “Gigafactory”.

“We will be investing more than $3.6 billion further to further develop Gigafactory Nevada, adding 3,000 new team members and two new plants,” the company said, adding that it will include “the first high-volume Semi plant.”

Tesla delivered its first electric semi-trucks to PepsiCo’s Nevada facility in December, more than three years after Musk announced his company would start making trucks.

At a November 2017 Tesla Semi launch event, Musk said production would begin in 2019 and trucks would be able to autonomously follow each other in a convoy. But during Tesla’s Q3 conference call in October, he said the company’s “Full Self Driving” system isn’t quite ready for driverless operation.

Musk says the truck has a range of 500 miles (800 kilometers) on a single charge when towing a load of 82,000 pounds (37,000 kg).

The Austin, Texas-based electric vehicle and solar panel maker said Wednesday it made $3.69 billion, or an adjusted $1.19 per share, from October to December. This beat estimates of $1.13 that were lowered by analysts, according to FactSet. The company’s profit is 59% higher than in the same period a year ago.

Revenue for the quarter was $24.32 billion, lower than analysts’ expectations of $24.67 billion.

Musk said that despite announcing up to 20% price cuts on some vehicles earlier this month, demand for Tesla products is strong and sales are limited to production.


AP Auto journalist Tom Krischer of Detroit and AP Technology journalist Michael Liedtke of San Francisco contributed to this report.

Scott Sonner, Associated Press

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