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