Tesla has a new $350 million plan for the Gigafactory

First look at Tesla's Gigafactory

Just weeks after flipping the lights on at its massive Gigafactory, Tesla is laying new plans to expand the factory's use beyond batteries.

The electric carmaker plans to use the Gigafactory to make the motor and gearbox for its upcoming Model 3 sedan, the company's first bid at making an affordable Tesla for the average buyer.

Until now, Tesla has primarily referred to the Gigafactory as its lithium ion battery manufacturing facility, while its cars are made in Fremont, California.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval announced the new plans Tuesday in his State of the State address.

Tesla will invest $350 million for the project, and hire an additional 550 people, according to the governor's comments. That will be over and above the company's existing commitment to hiring 6,500 people at the Gigafactory, according to comments made by Steve Hill, the director of the governor's Office of Economic Development, to Nevada newspaper the Nevada Appeal.

Sandoval tweet

Tesla confirmed the details Sandoval disclosed.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk has made manufacturing efficiency a high priority for the company, but Tesla will require a lot of factory floor to meet its goal of to pumping out 500,000 cars by the end of 2018, and then making one million cars by 2020.

Meanwhile, the city of Fremont recently approved Tesla's application for an additional 4.6 million square feet of space there.

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