Tesla will be making electric motors and gearboxes at its Nevada Gigafactory, in addition to batteries. The news comes form Nevada governor Brian Sandoval, who discussed that additional manufacturing plans for the Gigafactory during a policy speech on Tuesday.
The Gigafactory, which officially opened for business last year, is a massive facility with a $5 billion price tag, a solar-power generating roof and a final physical footprint of around 5.8 million square feet, with total usable square footage of more than 13 million feet thanks to use of multiple internal floors. It began large scale battery production for use in Tesla’s Powerwall and Powerpack products earlier this year, and will spin up production for Model 3 battery units later in 2017.
Expanding production capacity to include electric motors and gearbox components should definitely help Tesla make use of its expanding space at the Nevada facility, and Sandoval says it’ll also result in 550 new jobs at the manufacturing site in his state, Fortune reports. The Gigafactory is only around 30 percent complete right now, with new modules being brought online as they’re completed thanks to its unique design.
Tesla likes to own as much of the vehicle production process as is possible, and especially in the case of core technologies it believes will eventually drive its ability to be cost competitive. It currently builds its electric motors for the Model S and Model X in-house at its Fremont, CA factory, but using the Gigafactory for Model 3 production makes sense, given Tesla has a goal of building 500,000 of the upcoming electric sedan in its first full year of production.