Austin-based Tesla to spend $3.6B on semitruck, battery plants in Nevada

Austin-based automaker Tesla says it plans to spend $3.6 billion to build new factories in Nevada to manufacture its electric semitruck and batteries for its vehicles.

Tesla said the new investment will "continue growing Gigafactory Nevada," the 5.4-million-square-foot facility east of Reno-Sparks that the company announced in 2014. The new projects will add 3,000 employees, Tesla said in a blog post, in "two new factories: a 100 GWh 4680 cell factory (with capacity to produce enough batteries for 2 million light duty vehicles annually), as well as our first high-volume Semi factory."

Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo first mentioned the proposed new facilities on Monday night. Lombardo said at his State of the State address that he was "looking forward" to joining Musk and Tesla in unveiling plans to build the manufacturing facility.

Tesla said it has already invested $6.2 billion in the existing Nevada factory, hiring 11,000 workers and creating 17,000 construction jobs during the factory's construction.

Tesla said the Nevada factory has already produced 7.3 billion battery cells, 1.5 million battery packs, 3.6 million drive units and 1 million energy modules.

More:'Like it came from the future': Austin-based Tesla delivers its first Semi truck

Tesla last month formally delivered its first semitrucks to PepsiCo during an event that was livestreamed on Twitter. That came about three years after CEO Elon Musk said the company would start making the trucks. Competitors Renault Trucks and Daimler have produced electric heavy-duty trucks in recent years, and Nikola has produced hydrogen-powered trucks.

Musk has said the Tesla Semi has a range of 500 miles when it pulls 82,000-pound loads, and it said the trucks have similar features to other Tesla vehicles such as quick acceleration and regenerative braking. The company did not disclose pricing

Musk also said the Tesla Semi looks like it "came from the future."

In October, Musk said Tesla expected to quickly step up production of Semi this year, with the aim of producing 50,000 of the trucks in North America by 2024. At the time, the company listed semitrucks as being in "early production" in Nevada, according to an update for investors.

More:Elon Musk lays out Tesla's big vision for its Austin operations

Tesla also continues to increase up production at its Austin facility. The automaker moved its headquarters to the site of its $1.1 billion Central Texas facility in late 2021, and held a grand opening for the factory in April 2022, as it delivered the first Austin-made Model Y vehicles.

During the Austin grand opening, Musk said the factory will also build Model 3 and Semi vehicles, but the company has yet to list Austin as a location for semitruck production. As of October, Austin is listed to produce the Cybertruck starting this year, along with batteries.

Tesla recently cut prices on vehicles sold in the United States, dropping costs 6% to 20% for Model 3 and Model Y SUVs and some higher-end models. The price drop means that certain models are now below the cap needed to qualify for electric vehicle tax credits.

Tesla had lower-than-expected delivery numbers for 2022. Tesla is scheduled to release its quarterly earnings report Wednesday, but it has already announced that it sold 1.3 million vehicles last year, a record for the company, but short of Musk's goal to grow sales by 50% every year.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Austin-based Tesla to spend $3.6B on semitruck, battery plants in Nevada