Tesla has big expansion plans for its first Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada. The automaker has announced that it’s investing $3.6 billion to build two new factories in the complex and hire 3,000 additional workers. That’s bigger than the company’s initial investment ($3.5 billion) when it made a commitment to build the facility back in 2014. One of the new Nevada factories will manufacture its 4680-type batteries, while the other will be Tesla’s first factory to mass produce the Semi.
The automaker delivered its first production Semis to Pepsi in December 2022, five years after it first showed off the electric rig and following several delays. Tesla currently manufactures the truck in limited quantities only, but it has long been planning to start volume production in Nevada. The company’s Semi truck uses less than 2 kWh per mile of energy and can go between 300 and 500 miles on a single charge. Tesla claims owners will enjoy an estimated fuel savings of up to $200,000 within the first three years.
While the Semi factory will finally allow Tesla to mass produce its trucks, its 4680 battery factory will help it achieve its goals of slashing battery costs by half and ramping up production to be able to sell 20 million electric vehicles by 2030.
Tesla introduced the 4680 battery — named as such because its cells measure 46mm by 80mm — as a higher-capacity-but-cheaper option to power its vehicles. According to Reuters, though, the company has been having issues scaling up its production due to the dry-coating technique used to coat its cells. Tesla didn’t say how it’s addressing those issues, but it did say that the new factory will have the capacity to produce enough 4680 batteries for 1.5 million light duty vehicles every year.