At Tesla’s 2017 Annual Shareholder Meeting yesterday, CEO Elon Musk confirmed that work at Tesla Gigafactory 1 is on schedule and that he expects that it will soon produce more li-ion batteries than the entire world production combined.
A recent third-party audit of Tesla’s Gigafactory project shows that it is indeed progressing according to plan and it even unlocked another $11 million in transferable tax credits through the company’s deal with the state of Nevada.
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Grant Thornton performed an audit of the project for the period covering October 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016, the latest reported period, and judged the number of jobs created by Tesla, the percentage of employees from Nevada, and Tesla’s total investment, all to be satisfactory to receive the transferable tax credits.
During the period, Tesla and Panasonic added 108 qualified full-time employees for a total of 477 to date. 93% of them are from Nevada and they are paid an average of $48 an hour, which satisfy the requirements.
The company has since hired a lot more people in 2017 after the start of 2170 battery cells for Powerwall and Powerpacks, and ahead of Model 3 production.
Tesla says that it currently employs over 1,000 full-time employees and Panasonic employs over 300 employees. Those numbers are expected to skyrocket within the next 12 months as Tesla ramps up for Model 3. The company writes:
At peak production, the Gigafactory will employ 6,500 people (targeted for 2018) and eventually as many as 10,000 employees. Indirectly, the Gigafactory will create between 20,000 to 30,000 additional jobs in the surrounding regions.
6,500 is the only number Tesla needs to achieve under the agreement with the state, which is why Tesla has been pulling ahead with its updated target.
Earlier this year, it was estimated that Gigafactory reached just over $1 billion in construction costs alone based on accumulated building permits.
The recent audit confirmed that the total capital investment indeed reached over $1 billion, $1,113,377,621 to be exact, by the end of last year.
Originally, Tesla estimated that the Gigafactory would require $4 to $5 billion investment and that it would itself contribute about half of the capital required.
The total investment could increase because Tesla has since updated its plans to include Model 3 drive unit production at the Gigafactory 1 and yesterday, Musk said they could transfer even more of the current production capacity in Fremont to the factory in Nevada.
Here’s the audit for the period covering October 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016: