Tesla to invest $3.6 billion for Nevada expansion to make Semi truck, battery cells
Tesla Inc announced on Tuesday that it will put more than $3.6 billion into expanding its Nevada manufacturing complex with two new factories. One factory will mass produce the company’s long-delayed Semi electric truck for 18-wheel semi-trailer vehicles which has a range of 800 km on a single charge. The other factory will manufacture Tesla’s new 4680 battery cell. The cell plant is going to have the ability to produce enough batteries for 2 million light-duty vehicles per year, as per Reuters. Tesla has struggled to scale up its production of the 4680. Experts told the media outlet that the dry-coating technique used for making the bigger cells in these batteries is new and unproven.
Around 3,000 people are going to be employed by the facilities. The electric vehicle producer’s complex will expand to east of Reno, where it operates a battery joint venture with Japan’s Panasonic Corp. Tesla produces power backup systems and vehicle parts there. At present, Panasonic supplies cells to the gigafactory, and they are assembled into battery packs there by Elon Musk’s company.
Tesla made the first Semi deliveries to PepsiCo in December last year. However, there has been no indication of a high rate of output by the company. Other customers who ordered Semis include United Parcel Service Inc, Brewer Anheuser-Busch, and Walmart Inc. Tesla Elon Musk stated on a post-earnings call in October that the electric vehicle maker aims to produce 50,000 Semis in 2024.
Semi has a gross weight of 37 tonnes including trailer and cargo. The electric vehicle faces competition from Daimler’s Freightliner, Nikola Corp as well as Volvo, all of whom have also rolled out their own battery-powered trucks.