US electric-car specialist Tesla has announced a multibillion-dollar investment into a new factory for its Semi heavy truck – and to build more batteries for its passenger cars.
Electric-car specialist Tesla has announced a $US3.6 billion ($AU5.2 billion) investment into two new factories in the US state of Nevada to ramp-up production of its Semi truck, and more battery packs for its passenger vehicles.
The new factories will be added to Tesla’s Gigafactory Nevada site in the US, which has reportedly built 1.5 million battery packs for the company’s electric cars since it opened in 2016.
The Tesla Semi truck – unveiled as a concept in 2017, before going into production late last year after multiple delays – is currently produced in limited numbers at the company’s factory in Texas.
However, the new billion-dollar facility in Nevada is said to be Tesla’s “first high-volume Semi factory”, the company says.
No production numbers for the new Semi factory have been provided, but Tesla has previously revealed a target of producing 50,000 Semi trucks for North America in 2024.
Meanwhile, the new Semi truck factory will be joined by a facility producing ‘4680’ battery sells for Tesla passenger vehicles, which the company claims will be capable of producing 100GWh of batteries per year – enough for two million cars and SUVs.
The ‘4680’ cells – also in production in Tesla’s Texas plant – are currently used only in some Tesla Model Y SUVs sold in the US, but they are slated to expand to this year’s Tesla Cybertruck ute, due to begin production mid-year.
Tesla says the two additional factories in Nevada will employ 3000 new workers.
The electric-car giant’s Gigafactory Nevada facilities join vehicle assembly plants around the world – Fremont, California and Austin, Texas in the US, Shanghai in China, and Berlin in Germany – plus smaller facilities elsewhere to produce electric-car chargers, vehicle parts and home battery packs.