After an eight-month search Tesla has announced they will be relocating from San Carlos to nearby Palo Alto, CA. The driving force of the move was to find a facility suited for assembling powertrains. The site chosen is located in Stanford Research Park and formerly housed Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies. With 369,000 square feet on 23 acres of land Tesla has not only found a new facility to manufacture the powertrains, but also a new home for R&D and corporate headquarters.
The powertrain (what others might call a battery) is Tesla’s new system that increases torque and improves range for the electric vehicles (EV). With increased performance from the motor and inverter the Tesla Roadster can expect 30 percent more torque and an extra 10 miles of travel per charge.
With the auto industry in desperate times, it may seem unusual that Tesla can afford to make such advancements. However, thanks to $465 million in federal loans, Tesla is able to avoid the pain other auto manufacturers are feeling. That’s the advantage of being an EV company. The United States Department of Energy administered the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Loan Program, which provides loans to manufacturers in the U.S. to expand or establish facilities that will be used to research and produce EVs. Tesla plans on using $100 million in the development and operation of the new Palo Alto facility, and the remaining $365 million for a future Model S assembly plant.
The lease terms of the new location are unavailable, but Tesla has announced that they are looking to obtain a second facility, hopefully in Southern California, for the Model S plant.