Tesla Motors, one of the most successful electric car companies and a favorite amongst celebrities, has announced today that it will develop and manufacture electric vehicle components in the city of Palo Alto, California. The company will lease an approximately 350,000-square-foot building on a 23-acre parcel and plans to use the facility to supply all-electric powertrain solutions to Tesla, as well as several other automakers.
The three-building complex is minutes away from Stanford’s main campus and from the garage in Palo Alto where Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard built their original audio oscillator. The company also plans to move its corporate headquarters from San Carlos to the site later this year, and eventually plans to employ up to 650 people at the single facility.
Tesla already sells powertrain components to other automakers, namely, Daimler, which is using the clean technology to power a fleet of electric Smart cars. The compact electric vehicles are still in the testing phase by Daimler eventually plans to start selling the electric Smarts using Tesla battery packs and chargers.|
Tesla, which achieved overall corporate profitability in July thanks to the popularity of the Roadster sports car, expects to announce other powertrain deals in the upcoming months. Tesla has already delivered nearly 700 Roadsters to customers.
Site negotiations for an assembly plant for the all-electric Model S, meanwhile, are still in progress. The sedan will be produced at a separate assembly plant in California--not at the Palo Alto site.
Tesla’s big spending spree is on the back of financing coming in part from loans from the U.S. Department of Energy. Last month, Tesla received approval for nearly $465 million in low-interest loans to accelerate the production of affordable, fuel-efficient electric vehicles.