Tesla Motors Buys 35-Acre Test Facility In Fremont, CA

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Tesla's Fremont factory and surrounding land. Image via Google Maps.

Tesla's Fremont factory and surrounding land. Image via Google Maps.

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As Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] faces the obstacle of obstreperous dealer organizations, rides the wave of its strong production figures, and quietly welcomes recent evidence that its batteries in the Roadster are lasting longer than predicted, another development: the electric car company has purchased a 35-acre tract adjacent to its Fremont, CA factory.

The land, which contains about half of a test track, was purchased from Union Pacific recently for an undisclosed sum, reports the Silicon Valley Business Journal.

Union Pacific purchased much of the land to the south of the plant when New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI), a GM-Toyota joint venture, closed up shop in 2009. The NUMMI site was itself a former GM assembly site.

Now re-purposed for Tesla's use, the Fremont facility is turning out something more than 400 cars per week. How much more hasn't been revealed, but CEO Elon Musk says the excess is "not trivial."

Another non-trivial Tesla development came late in June, when Musk demonstrated quick battery swapping for the Model S--using equipment built into the car since the beginning.

In fact, beyond a misleading lease pricing announcement and the cancellation of its 40-kWh model, Tesla's only real stumbling blocks of late have been external, rather than internal. Even the troubles with dealer groups seeking to block the company's direct sales model have found popular support, with over 100,000 people signing a petition to allow Tesla to sell its vehicles directly to the public in all 50 states.

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Comments (10)
  1. Guess that about sums up most recent developments regarding Tesla. Except the most intriguing one that so far has been ignored by GCR: Tesla’s chief technology officer JB Straubel's announcement that Tesla is looking into ways to take Supercharging to the next level ("hypercharging") that could cut the time it takes to fully charge the battery to just five minutes some day.

    Needless to say that would do away with one of the last hurdles standing in the way of mass adoption of BEVs.

  2. @Chris O: We haven't "ignored" it; we're well aware of it. We're considering how to do a piece that isn't simply slavish regurgitation of Straubel's comment without any additional context / analysis / etc. Haven't quite cracked that one yet.

  3. @ John Voelcker:

    Maybe the context you are looking for is that Straubel's announcement seems timed quite conveniently to counter the effects of Goldman Sachs' little reality check regarding Tesla's stock value, but like most context for a story a story like this that is rather pointless speculation.

    What's for sure is that Mr. Straubel is Tesla's chief technology officer so if he talks about game changing recharge technology in the not too distant future that's a story no green car blog can afford to leave unreported for too long.

  4. Am I the only one that had to look up "obstreperous" ? :)

  5. Oh John, now you're just being clamorous and boisterous.

  6. Unfortunately, no. Those who don't have much of a vocabulary probably won't buy an electric car either. Stupid is what stupid does.

  7. I assume the link imbedded behind obstreperous leads to the definition of obstreperous?! I'm afraid to check. Man, you gotta admire an author and a media outlet that'd lead an article with such audacious word choice. The temerity! I can't think of too many media outlets that assume its audience passed their kindergarten graduation. Haha, thanks GCRs.

  8. Go, Tesla, Go, with all godspeed, on to victory over the fire breathing monsters trying to destroy the world. Slay the DRAGONS!

  9. So, is this the test track that Tesla has used in the past for various Model S events? Or is this an all-new, bigger one?

  10. Definitely not a new bigger one. Probably they rented it before.

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