Tesla seeks huge expansion in Fremont to add 3,000 more workers

Electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc. wants to build 4.6 million square feet of new space for its factory in Fremont — a move that would ramp up production to 500,000 cars per year and add more than 3,000 workers.

The 250-acre expansion site is next to the company’s current space, the former NUMMI plant, where it occupies about 4.5 million square feet. The plant employs about 6,200 workers and produces about 100,000 new vehicles per year.

Tesla moved to Fremont in late 2010 and delivered its first vehicle in summer 2012. Since then, numerous suppliers have moved into the area creating jobs and a high-tech manufacturing hub.

The company is seeking approval from the City of Fremont for a master plan to accommodate 11 new structures, mostly industrial space.

Fremont Economic Development Director Kelly Kline told the Business Times in August that Tesla’s expansion would have a big economic impact on the city and the region. Kline said a half-dozen auto parts manufacturers from around the world were looking around the Fremont area for space in case they are able to land a contract with Tesla, anticipating its expansion.

“The greatest impact is yet to come,” said Kline of Tesla’s plan for rapid growth. “It’s all hands on deck in the city to meet the needs of Tesla.”

The next step is for the proposal to go before the city’s Planning Commission on Thursday. The expansion site is within the city’s Warm Springs/South Fremont Community Plan area, which means the city has already completed environmental review for the site.

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