Tesla unveiled intentions to build two more factories and hire thousands of people in the state of Nevada.
The company has invested some $6.2 billion in the Silver State over the past nine years, according to a press release from the electric automaker. The new investment of $3.6 billion will allow for updates to Gigafactory Nevada, one of the world’s highest volume plants for electric motors and batteries, as well as a cell factory capable of producing enough batteries for 1.5 million vehicles each year and the first high-volume Tesla Semi factory.
“Thank you to the Tesla team, our supply chain partners and the local community that has made accelerating the world’s transition to sustainable energy possible at Gigafactory Nevada,” the company’s statement said.
The new facilities will employ an additional 3,000 individuals; Tesla hired 6,500 full-time employees and 17,000 construction workers over the previous decade to build and run Gigafactory Nevada, which currently spans 5.4 million square feet and produces 7.3 billion battery cells per year.
“Nevada is open for business, effective immediately,” Gov. Joe Lombardo (R-NV) said on social media. “This is an incredible investment in our state.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced last year that the Tesla Semi, which was unveiled in 2017 and originally scheduled to begin production in 2019, would begin by the end of 2022. The first completed vehicles were delivered to Pepsi in December.
The Tesla Semi can accelerate from a standstill to 60 miles per hour within 20 seconds, according to a webpage from Tesla. Charging the vehicle is considerably cheaper per mile in comparison to diesel alternatives, resulting in an estimated $200,000 in cost savings within the first three years, while fewer moving parts and software updates reduce the need for repairs.
On the other hand, diesel trucks can travel 2,100 miles on a single tank, according to data from Knight Transportation, while the Tesla Semi will have a range of 500 miles. During the launch event six years ago, however, Musk asserted that drivers could recharge while taking periodic breaks already required by law.
Musk recently said that Tesla has “excellent demand” and expects to “sell every car that we make for as far into the future as we can see.” The company’s third quarter automotive revenue constituted a 55% increase from the previous year, while executives expect to maintain 50% annual growth in vehicle deliveries. “The factories are running at full speed and we’re delivering every car we make, and keeping operating margins strong,” Musk remarked.
The robust performance for the brand comes despite supply chain bottlenecks and is spurred by new tax incentives for electric vehicle ownership. A recent set of guidelines from the California Air Resources Board mandates that all new cars sold in the state must produce zero emissions by 2035, while the governments of Massachusetts, Washington, and Virginia have enacted legislation adopting the standards. President Joe Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act includes $7,500 tax credits for some new domestically produced electric vehicles and $4,000 tax credits for used electric vehicles.
Musk has nevertheless faced pressure from investors and policymakers over his acquisition of social media company Twitter, as some believe the move distracted the billionaire entrepreneur from his work at the publicly traded automaker. The purchase also caused considerable political controversy: net favorability of Tesla among Democrats decreased 20.3% between October and November, the time frame of the acquisition, according to a survey from Morning Consult, while net favorability among Republicans rose 5.5% over the same period.