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Take a Look Inside the Tesla Electric Car Factory

Established automakers often spend more than $1 billion just to build a new factory to produce a car that’s already designed. No wonder starting a new car company is such a mammoth undertaking, and why so many have scoffed at auto startups like Tesla.

The fledging car company founded by Elon Musk of PayPal and SpaceX delivered the first Tesla Model S all-electric sedans, which start from $57,400, to customers last week. Its employees celebrated the milestone at the Tesla factory that makes the car—a factory that also shows now Musk managed to get around some of the huge hurdles of starting a car company from scratch.

The Tesla factory fronts the 880 Freeway in Fremont on the east side of the San Francisco Bay. Instead of building a brand-new factory, Tesla purchased the old Nummi factory that had been producing GM and Toyota vehicles since 1984 before closing in 2010. Tesla paid only $42 million for the plant, which sits on 380 acres and was originally constructed in 1962.

Apart from new signage, the 5.4 million-square-foot plant does not look much different externally. Currently Tesla is making only one Model S each day as it ramps up production, to make sure every procedure is in order. It plans to be producing 80 cars a day by the end of the year, during an 8-hour shift with 1200 to 1500 employees at work. However, compared with a grimy factory spitting out up to 500,000 cars per year, the repainted, refurbished Tesla factory, with its clean floor covered in white epoxy paint and flexible layout, has quite a different air to it.

We got to visit the plant during the celebration last week. Take a look inside.

Read more: Take a Look Inside the Tesla Electric Car Factory – Popular Mechanics


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