Tesla has already excavated on the presumed site at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, roughly a four-hour drive from Tesla’s Fremont factory. Casinos — which need a lot of electricity — could be prime customers of Tesla’s energy storage systems. Tesla needs a 500- to 1,000-acre site to accommodate up to 10 million square feet of construction.
Tesla had previously said the “gigafactory” could employ as many as 6,500 people by 2020.
Tesla expects they will eventually have several gigafactories running at once, in different locations.
Tesla expects to sell 35,000 all-electric Model S sedans in 2014 and is gearing up production of its Model X SUV, which will hit the market next year. By 2017, it plans to begin delivery of its more affordable “Gen 3” sedan, which it hopes to sell for about $35,000, or roughly half the cost of the cheapest Model S.
The gigafactory is not just for car batteries. Tesla is increasingly exploring stationary energy storage for homes, businesses and utilities.