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Tesla seeks permission to double the size of its California factory

Tesla Model S
Tesla has never been shy about its desire to become a mass-market auto manufacturer. The electric car company is preparing to turn those words into actions, and a new report finds it’s looking to drastically increase the size of its Fremont, California factory.

A zoning proposal released by the local government and obtained by the Wall Street Journal reveals Tesla recently sought permission to double the size of the former General Motors factory that now churns out the Model S and the Model X. If the proposal is approved, the factory’s size will grow to 9.1 million square feet, up from 4.5 million square feet today.

The additional space will allow Tesla to build 500,000 cars annually, according to city records. In comparison, the company built just 50,580 units last year. The same records indicate that its workforce will balloon from 6,210 to 9,315.

The Wall Street Journal reports the Fremont Planning Committee will review Tesla’s proposal on Thursday. The plan is widely expected to get approved, and Tesla has already purchased 25 acres of land right next to its plant in anticipation of the construction work. A timeline for when the expansion will begin hasn’t been released yet.

Tesla co-founder and CEO Elon Musk recently affirmed his company is about to embark on an ambitious model offensive. The long-awaited, entry-level Model 3 is scheduled to enter production next year, and Musk’s second master plan calls for a lineup that encompasses “the major forms of terrestrial transport.” That includes a crossover positioned below the Model X, a pickup truck, a bus, and even a semi truck.

Musk hopes to build a million cars annually by 2020, though it’s too early to tell where all of these vehicles will be built. However, it’s clear that expanding the Fremont factory is crucial if Tesla wants to reach its goals.

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