Tesla invests $3.6B in two new Nevada factories to build Semis and cells

Tesla is investing $3.6 billion into expanding its existing gigafactory in Nevada. Confirming White House reports from earlier today, the company said it will build two new production facilities in the state — a 100-gigawatt-hour battery cell factory and Tesla’s first high-volume Semi truck factory.

Taking up a combined 4 million square feet of space, the new factories will expand on Tesla’s existing Nevada gigafactory, which is home to Model 3 electric motors and battery packs, as well as Tesla’s energy storage products Powerwall and Powerpack. The facilities will be built east of Sparks at the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center.

In December, Tesla finally revealed the first production versions of its long-delayed electric Semi during an event at the company’s gigafactory in Sparks, during which the first Semis were handed over to Pepsi, Tesla’s first Semi customer. The new factory is expected to deliver Semis at high volume.

The new cell factory will produce Tesla’s 4680-type cylindrical lithium-ion battery cells with capacity to produce enough batteries for 2 million light-duty vehicles annually, the company said.

The news comes a day before Tesla shares its fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 earnings, during which Tesla is expected to address missed Q4 delivery estimates, the effects of vehicle price cuts on margins and perhaps even claims that CEO Elon Musk has been distracted by his overhaul of social media company Twitter. Musk is also in the middle of a securities fraud trial over his infamous 2018 “funding secured” tweet to take Tesla private, which did not end up happening.

Tesla’s latest capital push in Nevada mirrors its $3.5 billion investment into its first gigafactory in Sparks in 2014. Since then, the company has invested a total of $6.2 billion in Nevada, building a 5.4-million-square-foot facility that has produced 3.6 million drive units, 1.5 million battery packs and 7.3 billion battery cells, according to Tesla. The company said the new facilities will add 3,000 jobs to the region.

Tesla did not say when it intends to break ground on the new factories, nor when it expects to start production on cells and Semis. It’s likely that the cells produced there will go directly into Semis, since Musk had previously said supply chain challenges and limited availability of battery cells contributed to the multiple production delays of the truck. Musk had originally introduced an electric Class 8 truck prototype in 2017 and planned to start production in December 2019, but Tesla only managed to start producing Semis in October 2022.

Tesla invests $3.6B in two new Nevada factories to build Semis and cells by Rebecca Bellan originally published on TechCrunch

Tesla’s next gigafactory might be in Canada

While onstage at Tesla’s annual shareholder event, CEO Elon Musk hinted that the automaker would choose the location for a new gigafactory by the end of the year. Musk jokingly asked his fans where the company should build, and when a few yelled out “Canada!” Musk replied, “I’m half Canadian. Maybe I should.”

It seemed like a throwaway comment at the time, but a July lobbyist registration from Tesla reveals the company might actually have its eyes set on the U.S.’s neighbor to the north.

Tesla recently added an amendment to its registration with Ontario’s Office of the Integrity Commissioner that sets forth the automaker’s plans to engage with the Ontario government to identify opportunities for “industrial and/or advanced manufacturing facility.” To sweeten the deal, Tesla’s lobbyists propose such a facility could “increase the competitiveness of Ontario and its ability to attract capital investment.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to TechCrunch’s requests for comment.

Ontario may not need much of a push to welcome a Tesla gigafactory into its lands. The region already has a thriving automotive ecosystem that plays off its neighbor Detroit. Ford and General Motors already have existing plants there. In fact, in April, the Canadian government invested about $415 million into GM’s two new plants in Ontario, including one that will produce electric vehicles.

“By making Ontario a competitive business environment, including reducing the cost of doing business by $7 billion annually, we have attracted nearly $16 billion in electric vehicle investments in the last 20 months,” Vic Fedeli, minister of Ontario’s economic development, job creation and trade, said in a statement shared with TechCrunch. “We are building an end-to-end supply chain right here in Ontario, and expect to continue to see more companies from around the world looking to our province as a place to invest and grow.”

Musk said during the shareholder meeting last week that Tesla could ultimately have 10 to 12 gigafactories globally. Even though Tesla has opened gigafactories in Berlin and Shanghai, the U.S. still makes up for the vast majority of Tesla vehicle sales globally, so it makes sense the company might choose another North American location for its next factory — especially considering the headaches the Shanghai factory has endured, what with consistent lockdowns and factory line updates causing vehicle sales in China to fall.

It’s possible that Tesla is rushing to find locations to build batteries and vehicles closer to home after the Inflation Reduction Act was approved on Sunday by the U.S. Senate. The $430 billion bill could restrict automakers from using Chinese-made materials and require them to use North American-sourced battery components if they want to be eligible for consumer tax credits for EV purchases.