Tesla announces $3.6 billion new investment in Nevada Gigafactory, expanding electric big-rig production

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Tesla plans to invest another $3.6 billion into its $6.2 billion “Gigafactory” east of Reno, expanding capacity as it ramps up work on electric tractor-trailer trucks.

The Tuesday announcement was foreshadowed by comments during Gov. Joe Lombardo’s State of the State speech Monday night. More work at the Gigafactory means jobs for Nevada: 3,000 new jobs at two new factories.

Tesla will add:

  • A factory to produce new battery cells called “4680” with capacity to produce enough batteries for 2 million light-duty vehicles annually.
  • A high-volume Semi factory. “Semi is our fully electric combination truck, with 500 miles of range and energy consumption of less than 2 KWh per mile,” according to a company statement.

PepsiCo became the first customer onboard with Tesla’s electric big-rigs in December. A total of 36 Tesla Semis are planned for use in California — 15 in and around Modesto and 21 in Sacramento. The company expects delivery by the end of 2023.

Less than a month later, photos were circulating on social media showing one of the trucks being towed in Sacramento, but Tesla and Pepsico have remained silent about that.

The Semi was unveiled in 2017 and was initially expected to go into production two years later, but plans were delayed. The truck has a range of 500 miles on a single charge.

The $3.6 billion investment announcement today comes a day before Tesla’s earnings report is expected to be released. The company has recently slashed prices of the electric car, and Elon Musk has been the subject of constant news reports regarding tweets that led Tesla stock to plummet.

Lombardo and Musk both attended Tuesday’s event.

Lombardo’s Twitter account carried a photo of the two together, with the message: “Last night, I said that Nevada is open for business, effective immediately — and I meant it. Today, @ElonMusk announced Tesla’s new $3.6B factory in northern Nevada. This is an incredible investment in our state.”

The Gigafactory is about 30 miles of Reno in rural Storey County.

The full statement from Tesla is online here.

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