In short: Tesla’s gigafactory in Nevada will continue to grow thanks to additional cash injections. The electric vehicle maker has announced plans to invest more than $3.6 billion more in a massive 5.4 million square foot battery and component complex. The expansion requires two new facilities, including a 100 GWh 4680 cell plant capable of producing enough batteries for 1.5 million light-duty vehicles a year, and Semi’s first high-volume plant.
Tesla disclosed its 4680 battery cell format during the 2020 battery day keynote. The cell size is 46mm x 80mm (hence the name 4680) and produces five times more power, six times more power and provides a 16 percent increase in range thanks to the new design.
The Semi was introduced back in 2017 and was supposed to enter production in a couple of years. However, production won’t start until 2022, as Pepsi received its first production units late last year. Others have reportedly placed orders for Tesla Semi trucks include United Parcel Service and Walmart.
The floor has design range 500 miles, consumes less than 2 kWh per mile, and can restore 70 percent of range in a 30-minute charge. Tesla notes that charging with electricity is about 2.5 times cheaper per mile than refueling with diesel and can save operators up to $200,000 over the first three years of ownership.
extension Gigafactory Nevada, located near Reno, will also create 3,000 new jobs.
Tesla currently operates five gigafactories around the world with additional offices in New York, Austin and Shanghai. It is reported that the sixth plant planned for construction in the northern Mexican state of Nuevo Leon.
In September, experts told Reuters that Tesla had problems with the dry coating method used in the production of 4680 batteries. Because the technology is so new and untested, the automaker reportedly struggled to scale production to a level where significant savings could be made.