While its proposed $5 billion “Gigafactory” grabs headlines, Tesla Motors has quietly been setting other expansion plans in motion as well.
The company is seeking workers for a second California facility, according to a report in Bloomberglast week.
In addition to the former GM-Toyota assembly plant in Fremont, California, that currently builds the Model S electric car, Tesla plans to take over an ex-Chrysler facility in Lathrop, 52 miles northeast of its Fremont factory.
The carmaker has already been granted building permits to modify the 431,000-square-foot facility, and currently lists 32 job openings there on its website.
Tesla has not discussed its plans for the facility, which was formerly used for distribution by Chrysler’s Mopar parts and accessories division.
The company told Bloomberg that it has signed leases for more than 625,000 square feet of California real estate over the last two months, not including its sales and service centers.
While Tesla appears committed to California, its next major production investment will likely be outside the Golden State. Tesla has said California is out of the running for the much-discussed Gigafactory, which will produce large quantities of lithium-ion batteries for future electric cars.
That may be because — despite Tesla’s success so far — Silicon Valley isn’t ideal for green carmakers.
California’s strict environmental regulations could also make the world’s largest lithium-ion cell factory a non-starter.
Instead, Tesla has named four states — Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas — as the most likely candidates.
Expect Tesla to reveal its plans for the Lathrop parts facility closer to its opening date.
This story originally appeared on www.greencarreports.com.
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