Tesla confirms that Reno is in the running for its massive battery factory


In Tesla’s letter to shareholders on Thursday, the electric car company confirmed rumors that it did indeed break ground in June in Reno, Nevada, on a potential site for its massive battery factory. But the Reno site — called the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center — is just one option for the battery factory. Tesla has long said it will break ground on multiple sites as it decides where to locate the factory later this year.

Tesla is also looking at sites in Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas. The $5 billion factory will be developed with the help of Panasonic, who will invest in the battery manufacturing equipment. The factory will eventually supply enough batteries for 500,000 electric cars by 2020.

Given Tesla is breaking ground on numerous sites at the same time, it’s hard to evaluate how much of a chance it’ll end up in Reno. But there’s been other reports that have said that the construction at the Reno site was halted all of a sudden because milestones had been missed.

Tesla needs to move at such a rapid pace because it needs the batteries from the future factory for its Model 3 car. As the letter said:


Katie Fehrenbacher

They didn’t say, but my speculation is cheap land, strong potential incentives, available clean energy to help support the factory, available reliable energy from NV Energy, reasonable distance from Fremont factory.


I thought “break ground” means to start digging the foundation, after all construction approvals. Or is Tesla going to repurpose some of these “options”?

Katie Fehrenbacher

They didn’t pour concrete yet, they just created the pad, flattened the area, and took out the rocky foundation. They’re waiting on confirmation of incentives they get before they choose the final location and start pouring concrete.


I drove through Reno a couple of years ago and it had definitely fallen on lean times.
They could use the jobs.


I would love to know how many miles can go on a Model S battery pack now? Also would love to hear the specifics on how they are going to make the 18650 battery more energy dense.

I find it hard to believe that a company like tesla can afford to spend millions on moving dirt only to abandon the site.

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