Tesla’s Fremont factory, which was already massive, has been growing over the last year as the automaker is ramping its Model 3 production.
Now a new drone flyover of the massive factory gives us an updated look at the plant.
In preparation for the expansion of the production capacity at the plant due to Model 3, Tesla launched a major expansion plan last year. It includes the addition of several new buildings to almost double the size of the already giant electric vehicle factory – 5.3 million square feet to 9.9 million square feet.
We have started seeing those new buildings show up over the last year.
The biggest one is believed to be a giant automated storage & retrieval system, which was completed in the last flyover we saw in December, but now a second similar building has been completed on the other side of the factory.
It can be seen at the beginning of this new drone video filmed on Monday and again at around 2:18:
It’s such a massive factory and it’s especially impressive when you consider that Tesla bought the plant from Toyota for $42 million back in 2010 and now it’s estimated to represent a significant part of the company’s more than $8 billion in property and equipment assets.
As for the production capacity of the factory, Tesla is currently producing vehicles at a rate of ~200,000 units per year, but CEO Elon Musk is confident that it can be increased to about 600,000 units per year.
The CEO has also previously mentioned the potential for up to 1 million units, but he also said that it might not be such a good idea and the automaker will consider other options.
Tesla has transferred some manufacturing processes to its Gigafactory 1 in Nevada, where Panasonic produces battery cells and Tesla manufactures battery packs for Model 3, Powerwalls and Powerpacks, as well as the Model 3 drive units.
The company has also been expanding to other locations around the Bay Area and as we recently reported, it showed interested in a huge parcel of land in Oakland.
Plans for a potential new factory to produce the Model Y are also expected to be announced in the next few months.
It’s certainly an exciting time to follow Tesla’s production programs.