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Tesla To Build Electric Car Parts In Palo Alto, CA

Tue, 08/18/2009 - 4:24am

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Tesla Motors will open a new power train production facility and corporate headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif., as the electric-car maker moves to expand production after a recent award of government loans, the company said Tuesday.

The three-building facility at the Stanford Research Park will build components for Tesla's electric vehicles as well as parts for other automakers. The facility will employ some 350 people with space for up to 650.

The carmaker, which currently builds the $109,000 Roadster sports car, is working on additional vehicles to target more mainstream drivers. In March, it unveiled the Model S electric sedan, a seven-seater that it hopes to price under $50,000 after government rebates. Production is slated to begin in 2011.

The company said it is still in negotiations over a site for its Model S assembly facility. The Palo Alto facility will not be used to build the vehicle.

Tesla said it will finance the power train facility using part of the $465 million in low-interest loans it received from the U.S. Energy Department in June. The loans come from a $25 billion pool to help automakers develop more fuel-efficient vehicle technology.

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