Tesla said it intends to invest $3.6 billion to expand manufacturing capabilities in Nevada and is confident that growing software-related profits, reflected in record net income reported Wednesday for the fourth quarter of last year, will continue. the highest margins of any other automaker.
The company confirmed that it plans to produce large volumes of semi-trucks and make enough cell batteries for 2 million light-duty vehicles a year in Nevada.
Nevada Governor Joe Lombardo posted a photo on Twitter of himself and CEO Elon Musk Tuesday night after the newly elected Republican announced in his first State of the State address Monday night that Tesla was had committed to a “new” $3.5 billion manufacturing facility for electricity. trucks in northern Nevada.
The project will actually expand an existing operation at the Truckee Reno Industrial Center, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Reno-Sparks along Interstate 80. But the plan takes the company one step closer to achieving previously announced plans to boost Tesla Semi production to build 50,000 trucks in North America by 2024.
The White House issued a statement announcing the plans Tuesday as Musk wrapped up three hours of testimony defending himself in a class action lawsuit in federal court in San Francisco over his Twitter operation, one of the three major corporations he owns, including Tesla and SpaceX. .
Musk’s impulsive and sometimes inflammatory use of Twitter took center stage as proceedings continued Wednesday over the lawsuit alleging he misled Tesla shareholders in 2018 with a tweet about an aborted purchase.
Mitch Landrieu, President Joe Biden’s infrastructure chief, said Tuesday that Tesla’s additional investment in Nevada is evidence of a continued “manufacturing boom” since Biden took office two years ago. He said the expansion would create 3,000 jobs in Nevada while promoting clean energy and strengthening America’s security.
Lombardo tweeted a photo Tuesday night of himself with Musk at Tesla’s “Gigafactory” in the industrial park east of Reno-Sparks, where it makes batteries for electric vehicles.
“This is an incredible investment in our state,” Lombardo wrote.
Elizabeth Ray, the governor’s communications director, confirmed the authenticity of the photo and clarified in an email to The Associated Press that the new investment was for an “expansion of existing space” in downtown Truckee-Reno.
Tesla’s statement on its blog site Tuesday night said that since 2014 the company has invested $6.2 billion in Nevada and built the 5.4 million-square-foot “Gigafactory.”
“We will invest more than $3.6 billion more to continue the growth of Gigafactory Nevada, adding 3,000 new team members and two new factories,” the company said, adding that it would include its “first high-volume Semi factory.”
Tesla delivered its first electric semis to a PepsiCo facility in Nevada in December, more than three years after Musk said his company would start building the trucks.
At a November 2017 event introducing the Tesla Semi, Musk said production would begin in 2019 and the trucks could follow autonomously in a convoy. But during Tesla’s third-quarter earnings conference call in October, he said the company’s “Fully Autonomous Driving” system wasn’t ready for driverless operation.
The truck has a range per charge of 500 miles (800 kilometers) when pulling an 82,000-pound (37,000-kilogram) load, Musk said.
The Austin, Texas-based maker of electric vehicles and solar panels said Wednesday that it earned $3.69 billion from October to December, or an adjusted $1.19 per share. That beat estimates of $1.13 that had been lowered by analysts, according to FactSet. The company’s profit was 59% higher than that of the same period of the previous year.
Revenue for the quarter was $24.32 billion, below the $24.67 billion analysts had expected.
Musk said that despite price cuts of up to 20% on some vehicles announced earlier this month, demand for Tesla products is strong and sales are limited by production.
AP auto writer Tom Krisher in Detroit and AP technology writer Michael Liedtke in San Francisco contributed to this report.