Tesla May Double Current Size Of Fremont Factory
October 9th, 2016 by James Ayre
The new master plan for Tesla’s Fremont manufacturing facility, submitted by the company to the Fremont Planning Commission, suggests that Tesla may end up doubling the size of the facility over the coming years.
To be more specific, the plans show that Tesla could end up adding as much as 4.6 million square feet of new space to the currently 4.5-million-square-foot facility. The plans don’t offer any in-depth details on what the functions of the new buildings would be, or the costs, and note that the company would not be bound to develop all of the buildings shown in the plans.
The new buildings discussed in the plans would be: near the current paint shop, in the parking lot, and also on open land next to the test track. Tesla has also reportedly acquired a 25-acre lot north of the factory.
With regard to the potential loss of parking lot space, the company is apparently banking on the increased use of mass transit, when a nearby rapid transit rail line station (Warm Springs Station) opens this fall.
“The location of the factory offers unique opportunities to leverage mass transit to ferry our workforce,” commented a Tesla spokesperson. “Tesla’s factory is the only major automotive assembly facility in the United States that is located adjacent to a metropolitan rapid transit rail line.”
Tesla also commented: “We are pleased to work with the City of Fremont on a plan that reaffirms our commitment to California and to eventually maximize the potential of our Fremont factory site. California continues to be the epicenter of Tesla’s manufacturing capabilities, and we are proud to be the state’s largest manufacturing employer.”
The San Francisco Chronicle provides more: “The Fremont Planning Commission is scheduled to discuss the master plan Thursday. If it is approved by both the commission and the City Council, Tesla would then submit permit applications for specific building projects on the site. … Although the new master plan does not preclude Tesla from building elsewhere, or snapping up other buildings in the Bay Area, it strongly suggests that Fremont will remain central to the company’s manufacturing operations for years to come.
Continuing: “The master plan does not discuss how many people would eventually work in the expanded facility. But a Fremont Planning Division assessment, posted Friday on the division’s website, estimated the expansion could eventually add 3,100 jobs. Last year, California officials gave Tesla a $15 million tax credit to help hire 4,400 employees over five years. Those new jobs will be based in multiple locations, including Fremont and the company’s Palo Alto headquarters.”
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has previously noted that the company may be able to achieve its production capacity goal of 1 million units a year by the end of 2020 simply through the use of the Fremont Facility, the Gigafactory, and it’s various other properties scattered throughout California — that is, without purchasing any more properties. Presumably, these plans were taken into account when those statements were made.
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