Tesla still may double plant size of gigafactory

RENO (AP) — Tesla Motors won’t say if its recent purchase of thousands of additional acres of land in northern Nevada means the company will build a bigger gigafactory.

Storey County records show Tesla bought land at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center last spring, nearly tripling the site’s original 1,000 acres.

“It’s just over 1,900 acres total with 1,800-plus acres for view shed,” Tesla Motors spokeswoman Alexis Georgeson told the newspaper. “The purchase gives us the opportunity for future growth.”

The original plans called for a $5 billion, 5.5 million-square-foot facility, known as Gigafactory 1.

Tesla has said the factory will produce battery packs for 500,000 electric cars each year once it is fully operational and that storage batteries will also be made in the Nevada factory.

Steve Hill, director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, said it could be as big as 10 million square feet in a one- or two-story facility and that expansion has always been considered an option.

According to Hill, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said during a conference call in May that the company is considering increasing the gigafactory’s size by 50 to 100 percent but there’s been no formal commitment to that expansion yet.


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