Tesla's Nevada-based Gigafactory could be undergoing a massive expansion which has the potential to include on-site accommodations for employees, reports the Las Vegas Review Journal. In a recent conversation with Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval at the state's first annual technology summit, CEO Elon Musk discussed the automaker's plans to hire more than 20,000 new workers for its manufacturing facility.
Currently, the manufacturing facility, coined Gigafactory 1, employs around 7,000 workers and produces the bulk of battery cells and packs found in Tesla vehicles. Despite producing an annual energy storage capacity output of 20 GWh, Tesla has acknowledged the need for batteries is virtually insatiable in order to meet the increasing demand for electric vehicles.
The facility is around 30 percent complete and will continue to grow in order to meet the automaker's future needs, but according to Musk, this growth has been stymied by the continued problems with the region's rocky housing market.
“The biggest constraint on growth here is housing and infrastructure." said Musk according to the Review, "We’re looking at creating a housing compound on site at the Gigafactory, using kind of high-quality mobile homes."
A tiny Tesla town could help to alleviate the automaker's concerns of the local housing market and provide incentives to draw in new employees.. Over the past six years, the average monthly rent in the surrounding area increased a staggering 50 percent, topping $1,300.
The idea of on-site employee housing isn't new by any means. Some employees for larger technology companies, like Google, have admitted to living in the parking lot of their employers, leading the companies to consider making the same move as Tesla. Perhaps the consideration was sprung from Musk's notoriety for becoming inundated with work and sleeping on the factory floor of Tesla's Fremont production facility.
Musk talks about using "high-quality mobile homes", though it's important to note that Musk has previously spoken about construction using bricks made up of excavated materials from another Musk venture, The Boring Company. Tesla also already possesses the necessary means to outfit the homes with solar power and battery packs, further reducing overall external employee living expenses.
The Model 3 is often compared to the revolutionary Ford Model T due to its "populist approach," and Musk's idea of on-site housing could be directly compared to the housing projects Henry Ford built around his factories, going as far as educating his employees and supervising their personal hygiene. They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery...