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Tesla On $5 Billion Gigafactory Construction: Everything Is On Schedule

9 March 2015, 11:28 pm EDT By Menchie Mendoza Tech Times
Tesla is building a gigafactory in Nevada scheduled to be fully operational by 2016. The site may need 3,000 workers at the peak of construction efforts.  ( Tesla Motors )

Tesla has confirmed that operations of its gigafactory in Nevada will push through on schedule. The announcement comes after a report claimed the construction of the battery factory, located 15 miles east of Reno, would be delayed.

The report alleged that construction efforts at the site had been cut by up to 80 percent and that the need for electricians for the project was "subject to change." The local newspaper that ran the story quoted an announcement by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).

The IBEW released the update for "Project Tiger," a codename for Tesla's project, on its job referrals page:

"The Tiger Project has been cut back by 80% at this time," the union was quoted to have said. The news may have alarmed many, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who on Twitter criticized the report as "dumb." The IBEW update and Musk's social media rant have since been deleted.

The incident prompted the electric car maker to issue a response:

"The project is progressing and the gigafactory is still on schedule," said Alexis Georgeson, spokeswoman for Tesla. Last month, the company announced that it is installing equipment this year and that the production of the battery-pack gigafactory would begin in 2016.

Tesla plans to employ 6,500 people as part of the project. Residents and veterans of Nevada will be prioritized in the hiring process and that successful hires should expect to get an average hourly pay of $25. The project is being constructed on a 5 million sq. ft property and is speculated to employ as many as 3,000 workers when construction reaches its peak. Currently, the site is undergoing construction based on phases.

The Nevada location was decided in September after Musk declared the state the winner in its high stakes battle for the building of a future factory. Tesla will use the site to mass-produce cheaper batteries needed for its future line of cheaper electric cars.

Tesla had been the target recently of a negative opinion, which caused its stocks to slide from its peak of $291. Some analysts have questioned the company's capacity to reach its production and sales targets for the next three years.

Brian Johnson, an analyst at Barclays, noted in his research on Monday that most of Tesla's capital spending has been focused on the company's Model X SUV and Model S sedan. Little amount has been spent so far on the battery plant.

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