Tesla has big plans to expand its first Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada. The automaker announced it will invest $3.6 billion to build two new plants at the complex and hire 3,000 additional workers. This is more than the company’s initial investment of $3.5 billion when it committed to building the facility back in 2014. One of the new plants in Nevada will produce batteries of the 4680 type, and the other will be the first Tesla plant to mass-produce batteries. Semi.
The automaker delivered its first production Semi cars to Pepsi in December 2022, five years after it first showed off the electric setup and after several delays. Tesla currently only produces the truck in limited numbers, but has long planned to begin mass production in Nevada. The company’s semi-trailer consumes less than 2 kWh per mile of energy and can travel 300 to 500 miles on a single charge. Tesla claims owners will see estimated fuel savings of up to $200,000 over the first three years.
While the Semi plant will finally allow Tesla to mass-produce its trucks, its 4680 battery plant will help it reach its goals of cutting battery costs in half and ramping up production so that 20 million electric vehicles can be sold by 2030. Tesla introduced the 4680. So named because its cells measure 46mm by 80mm, it’s a larger, but cheaper option for powering its cars. However, according to Reuters, the company has had trouble scaling up production due to the dry coating method used to coat its cells. Tesla did not say how it addresses these issues, but said the new plant will be able to produce enough 4680 batteries for 1.5 million light-duty vehicles a year.