June 21, 2018
Why put a car factory in a fabric building? That was the question on everyone’s minds on June 16, when Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced the company’s newest assembly line was inside a huge, tent-like structure. Musk explained on Twitter that the fabric structure, which he nicknamed Tesla Factory 2.0, was made with minimal resources in two weeks and cost dramatically less than the company’s previous general assembly line.
The fabric building is located in Fremont California and measures 53 feet high, 150 feet wide and around 900 feet in length. It was built on a foundation made from poured concrete and existing scrap from warehouses. Although the fabric building is permitted for a maximum of six months, Musk suggested that it may become permanent, noting that the new fabric structure is more comfortable than the standard factory building where most Tesla vehicle production occurs. As an added bonus, the fabric building provides a pleasant view of the Bay Area Mountains.
Tesla’s decision to use a fabric structure came about after Musk increased production goals of the Model 3 electric car to 5,000 units a week. This meant Tesla needed a new facility to assemble cars in as soon as possible. The fast construction timeline of fabric buildings has helped many a time-strapped business owner over the years. Planning, excavation and construction can take months with traditional buildings, while a ClearSpan fabric building can be assembled in as little as three to five days.
During a shareholder meeting earlier this month, Musk said Tesla is now close to hitting its 5,000 unit a week production goal. Perhaps the quick construction, low cost per square foot and high efficiency that Tesla’s new fabric building has provided will inspire other entrepreneurs to consider fabric buildings as a unique way to reach their business goals.