While only the first phase of Tesla’s Gigafactory is currently in operation, the impact of Tesla’s presence in Northern Nevada is already significant. A recent look at home sales in Sparks, Nevada, where Tesla is building the battery factory, shows that the median home price has increased 42% since the automaker announced its plans for the plant.
It’s significantly more than the nationwide increase. Citing data from ATTOM Data Solutions, CCN Money reports:
From the time the rumors began, the median home price in Sparks have shot up nearly 42%, according to ATTOM Data Solutions. During that same time period, home prices nationwide rose 31%.
While CNN is linking the increase to Tesla’s Gigafactory, it would be fair to also mention that several other projects unrelated to Tesla have also sprung up in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Center during the same period – though the promoters are crediting the Gigafactory project for bringing more attention to their industrial park.
With this said, Tesla’s presence in Sparks has the potential to become even more impactful. Tesla still employs more construction workers than Gigafactory employees, but that’s likely about to change now that battery cell production should start by the end of the year – around the same time that a ramp up in Tesla Energy product production is expected.
At the end of last quarter (June 30), Tesla and Panasonic had 356 and 63 Gigafactory employees, respectively, or a combined total of 419 employees, while an average of 656 construction workers are at the site every week.
Tesla first estimated that the Gigafactory would create 6,500 jobs when at full production, but that was when the planned capacity was 50 GWh. During the inauguration of the first phase of the plant last month, CEO Elon Musk said that he now sees a path for more efficiency at the factory and the company could increase production to 150 GWh of battery packs.
Musk thinks it would increase the number of jobs at the plant to ~10,000. Tesla currently plans to hit 35 GWh in 2018 and full production in 2020.