Tesla Motors has unveiled a massive $5 billion plant near Reno it hopes to open ahead of schedule to boost production of the Model 3 Sedan.
NATURAL ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION Tesla Motors unveiled its $5 billion battery "gigafactory" outside Reno, Nevada on Tuesday (July 26), which the company is rushing to open earlier than expected in order to ramp up production of its Model 3 sedan. The new plant is being jointly developed with Japan's Panasonic Corp and could ultimately support 1.5 million electric vehicles a year. Tesla chief Elon Musk said he was confident the partners could eventually lower battery costs to $100 per kilowatt-hour by 2020, well below estimates by competitors. The immediate plans call for Tesla's new Model 3 sedan, due out next year, to reach an annual production level of 500,000 by the end of 2018, Musk said. Eventually, he expects the Model 3, which will be priced from around $35,000, to generate $20 billion in revenue per year and $5 billion in gross profit. Last week Musk unveiled an ambitious plan to expand the company into electric trucks and buses, as well as car sharing. Musk's broad new strategy for Tesla also calls for combining with solar energy company SolarCity Corp, ramping production of Tesla vehicles to 500,000 a year by 2018 from 80,000 vehicles projected for this year, and expanding Tesla's vehicle product lineup to include pickup and semi trucks. Tesla will release its second quarter results on August 3. The company said earlier this month that its deliveries for the quarter fell short of its forecasts. Analysts will be looking for signs that the company is containing its costs and slowing its cash burn.