Tesla’s Gigafactory will soon produce more than just lithium-ion battery cells for the company’s line of energy storage systems and fleet of electric cars. Nevada governor Brian Sandoval announced on Tuesday, during his State of the State address, that Tesla will be investing an additional $350 million into the Sparks, Nevada-based factory to expand production to include motors and ‘gearboxes’ for the upcoming Model 3.
Sandoval also noted that Tesla is expected to bring an additional 550 skilled labor jobs to the Gigafactory. The factory has over 1,000 full-time employees at this time and 2,000 construction workers working on the facility.
“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,” Sandoval said.
Tesla’s CTO J.B. Straubel was also present at the address Tuesday and was welcomed with a standing ovation.
“I want to thank J.B. and Tesla for the decision to double-down on the “get it done” state,” Gov. Sandoval said in his address. Tesla CEO and Founder Elon Musk famously called the state the “get it done” state when Tesla first announced their plans to build the Gigafactory in the state.
While this news is the first time Tesla has indicated that they plan to shift more than battery cell and pack production to the Gigafactory, it doesn’t come as a surprise. Musk claimed the Gigafactory could support close to 10,000 jobs, up from the previous estimate of 6,500.
Gigafactory “continues to build speed”
Sandoval also claims that the Gigafactory “hit its marks and continues to build speed.” Tesla believes the factory will cost roughly $5 billion when the project is complete. Panasonic plans to contribute $1.6 billion to the project and is betting on their battery division as a significant growth driver.
Just this last weekend, Panasonic held a job fair a the Gigafactory for the upcoming battery cell production that will begin in Q2 of 2017. As Tesla prepares to launch the Model 3 later this year, it is more important than ever that Tesla continues to expand operations at the Gigafactory to lower costs and achieve their planned start of production date of July 1st. First Model 3 deliveries are expected to take place at the end of this year.
Listen to Governor Sandoval welcoming J.B. Straubel and mentioning Tesla as a leading contributor to Nevada’s economic growth (28:54 min. marker).