Tesla to announce four more Gigafactory plants by end of year

No locations specified beyond New York solar plant.

Tesla is planning to construct four more 'Gigafactory' plants in addition to its Nevada factory and will specify plans for those plants by the end of the year, the electric-vehicle maker said in an investors note Wednesday. The company said that 'Gigafactory 2' is actually the solar plant in Buffalo that Tesla acquired with its buyout of SolarCity. Tesla chief Elon Musk said in November that he'd consider opening a plant in the UK, though the company offered no other details on potential locations.

Tesla's Nevada Gigafactory first opened in July. Last month, Tesla started mass-production of its batteries at the Gigafactory while moving electric-motor and gearbox production to the Nevada plant. The factory, which was built in part with an investment from battery-making partner Panasonic, is about one-third complete. About 6,500 people are expected to be working at the Nevada factory by the end of the year, while the Gigafactory may employ as many as 10,000 people by 2020.

Tesla also said Wednesday that it expected to start making Model 3 vehicles in July and will be full-speed on that process as soon as September. The company spent $522 million on capital expenditures during the fourth-quarter, including the continued Gigafactory build-out and will spend as much as $2.5 billion in capital expenditures related to the launch of the Model 3.

Tesla also forecast first-half 2017 deliveries of the Model S and Model X at as much as 50,000 units combined, which would represent a 71-percent jump from year-earlier deliveries. Fourth-quarter vehicle deliveries rose 27 percent from a year earlier to 22,252 units.

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