Tesla plans to expand Calif. battery facility under project ‘Roadrunner’

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Tesla Inc. plans to build an expanded battery research and manufacturing facility in Fremont, Calif., to be operated around the clock, under a project dubbed Roadrunner, documents from the city government showed.

The plan signals the U.S. electric vehicle maker’s efforts to make its own batteries.

Tesla, which said it currently has a “small-scale” battery manufacturing operation in Fremont, applied for city government approval to build an expanded battery operation. It estimated construction of the project, including the installation of all manufacturing equipment, can be completed in around 3 months.

Workers assigned to the facility would total 470, of which 400 would “work in shifts, such that there are 100 employees working at manufacturing and production operations at any given time, all day, every day.”

Tesla did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

CEO Musk earlier this week said it will give a tour of Tesla’s battery cell production on Sept. 15, the tentative date for what the automaker has dubbed Battery Day.

Tesla currently produces batteries with Japan’s Panasonic Corp. at the so-called Gigafactory near Reno, Nevada. It also has battery contracts with South Korea’s LG Chem and China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology.

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Saurabh Shukla

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