Tesla Inc is reportedly planning to build a battery research and manufacturing facility that will be operated under a project dubbed “Roadrunner”.
The company had filed paperwork to build the plant near its current factory in the city.
The plan signals Teslas efforts to make inhouse automotive batteries, EVs’ most expensive components. Earlier this month, Tesla signed a deal with Panasonic to manufacture and supply lithium-ion battery cells at the automaker’s Gigafactory in Nevada. Tesla currently produces batteries with Japan’s Panasonic at the Gigafactory near Reno. It also has battery contracts with South Korea’s LG Chem and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology.
The company already has a “small-scale” battery manufacturing operation in Fremont and has applied for city government approval to build an expanded battery operation. It estimated construction of the project, including the installation of all manufacturing equipment, can be completed in around 3 months.
The new facility will host a total of 470 workers assigned to the facility of which 400 would “work in shifts, such that 100 employees are working at manufacturing and production operations at any given time, all day, every day.
Chief Executive Elon Musk earlier this week said it will give a tour of Tesla’s battery cell production on Sept. 15, the tentative date for what the automaker has dubbed Battery Day.
Tesla also manufactures a unique set of energy solutions, power wall, powerpack and Solar Roof, enabling homeowners, businesses, and utilities to manage renewable energy generation, storage, and consumption
.Supporting Tesla’s automotive and energy products is Gigafactory 1 a facility designed to significantly reduce battery cell costs. By bringing cell production in-house, Tesla manufactures batteries at the volumes required to meet production goals, while creating thousands of jobs.