Tesla Motors hopes to dramatically increase the size of its Bay Area electric vehicle factory in order to accommodate its ambitious production goals.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the automaker filed a proposal with local government officials that could more than double the size of the current plant in Fremont, Calif.
The Fremont factory produced some 50,000 Tesla vehicles last year, but the expansion could allow the 1960s-era factory — originally built by General Motors — to increase that output ten-fold.
The filing did not offer specific details on the scope of the expansion, its potential costs or the company's deadlines. The proposal would need to be approved by both Fremont zoning officials and the city council; Tesla would then need to receive separate approval for specific building projects.
Fremont officials suggested that the expansion could add 3,100 jobs at the plant, which currently houses 6,200 workers.
“We are pleased to work with the City of Fremont on a plan that reaffirms our commitment to California and to eventually maximize the potential of our Fremont factory site,” Tesla told the Chronicle in a statement.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk set a goal of producing 500,000 cars by 2018 — following the highly anticipated arrival of its more economical Model 3 sedan next year — and 1 million by 2020.
The company's new Nevada "Gigafactory" will build the lithium-ion batteries needed to power the growing fleet of Tesla vehicles, but officials also said Tesla would need to build new plants, including in China and Europe.
The automaker, however, continues to face hiccups in its ambitions to become, in Musk's words, "the best manufacturer on Earth." Tesla has yet to turn a profit and drew concerns over everything from its "Autopilot" semi-autonomous system to its proposed merger with solar panel installer SolarCity.