The decision to produce more than batteries at the Gigafactory will create more jobs and economic stimulus in Nevada
Nevada will soon be known for more than just its casinos — thanks to Tesla, it may soon be known for its cars as well. Just a couple weeks after the enormous Gigafactory in Nevada began producing lithium-ion battery cells for Tesla, the car company is having the massive plant produce something else — components for the highly anticipated Model 3.
At Tuesday evening’s State of the State address, Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval said, “Tonight, I am pleased to announce that Tesla will expand its investment in Nevada by producing the electric motors and gearboxes for the Model 3 at the Gigafactory.” This work is expected to create some 550 new jobs at the factory, as well as spur an extra $350 million in investment. In his speech, the governor thanked Elon Musk’s car company for “doubling down” on its commitment to Nevada, noting that the company’s presence had already led to economic growth in the state.
As it stands, the futuristic car company employs 1,000 full-time workers at the Nevada plant, and another 2,000 construction workers are helping build the behemoth of a factory. By the time it’s entirely finished, the Gigafactory will live up to its name, measuring the same size as 107 NFL football fields, with more than 10 million square feet of operational space. It’s expected to be the world’s largest building when completed, and by 2018, Tesla anticipates that the Nevada factory will churn out 35 gigawatt-hours a year of lithium-ion battery cells. That’s equivalent to the production of the rest of the world combined.
While the Gigafactory won’t actually build any Model 3 cars (rather, the motors and battery packs will be shipped off to Tesla’s Fremont, California, factory), it will clearly play an integral role in the car’s production. And with demand for Teslas higher than ever, Musk and company will need to have every factory in their arsenal working overtime.