Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) could offer a significant opportunity for getting back the manufacturing jobs in the United States, says a report from the Motley Fool’s Adam Galas. The number of manufacturing jobs in the U.S. was the highest in 1979 at 19.5 million, but it plunged 41% by 2009 as hundreds of companies outsourced production to countries such as China and Mexico where labor is cheap.
Gigafactory brings more jobs for Nevada
Tesla has selected Nevada for setting up its $5 billion gigafactory, where the company is planning to manufacture 35 GWH per year of lithium-ion battery packs, more than the global capacity in 2013 and enough for 500,000 electric cars by 2020.
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The gigafactory is estimated to generate 3,000 construction jobs and 6,500 factory jobs at full capacity in 2020. When calculated through the multiplier effect, up to 22,000 jobs might be added to the local economy, notes Galas. The factory will generate $100 billion in economic activity over the next 20 years, which is more than 3% of the state’s GDP and more than 20% of the region’s economic output, according to Steve Hill, Nevada Gov. Sandoval’s economic development director, who suggested this in a recent interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal.
From a different perspective, the gigafactory has the capacity of increasing the Reno area’s workforce by 11% and Nevada’s total employment by 2%.
Gigafactory essential for Tesla plans
The Palo Alto-based company is expecting good things from the gigafactory, which will help the company to bring down the cost of battery packs by as much as 50% by 2020 when the factory will exploit its full capacity. The company has planned the Model 3, which is supposed to be a low budget car and hence, lowering the cost of battery packs is necessary for the EV maker. The Model 3 is expected to come with a price tag of $35,000 with a 200-mile range that, according to Tesla, will give a chance for the masses to drive an electric vehicle and at the same time allow the company to hit its aim of 500,000 cars annually by 2020.
Tesla currently purchases lithium-ion battery cells from Panasonic, which is also a partner for the gigafactory. A report from the Nikkei Asian Review suggested that Panasonic will invest $194 million to $291 million into the factory. Tesla will offer personnel, materials and land for the project, whereas Panasonic will deal with the battery manufacturing technology. Apart from cost saving, Tesla has other interests in the expansion of the gigafactory.
Environmentally friendly manufacturing is also the vision of CEO Elon Musk, and with the gigafactory, he is determined to work towards that.