Tesla opens doors to Model S factory

Former NUMMI plant in Fremont, Calif., will reopen as assembly plant for Tesla Model S electric cars.

Tesla Model S all-electric sedan. Tesla Motors

Tesla Motors will officially open the doors today on what may be the only automotive factory left in California.

The Fremont, Calif., plant was formerly a New United Motor Manufacturing (NUMMI) facility that had been opened in 1984, but closed in 2010. Tesla bought the plant and has plans to renovate it to accommodate assembling its Model S electric cars.

The Model S is the Tesla Roadster luxury sports car's practical sibling. The all-electric sedan will have a range of 160, 230, or 300 miles on a single charge depending on which Model S Tesla battery pack option is chosen. It can go zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds and has a top speed of 120 mph. But at $56,400, that "practical" car is still very pricey compared to other hybrid and electric options available in the U.S. While the all-electric car does qualify for a $7,500 federal tax credit, it's clearly targeting the upmarket car consumer.

Tesla claims that, once fully operational, this Tesla factory will be the first automotive assembly plant in California dedicated solely to mass-producing all-electric vehicles, and the only automotive assembly plant in the state in operation.

Tesla has posted several full-time and temp job opportunities for engineers, supervisors, technicians, and maintenance staff for the Fremont, Calif., location.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Senator Dianne Feinstein, as well as several other officials, are scheduled to take part in today's official opening ceremony.

Editor's note: CNET News will have full coverage of the plant opening and tour this afternoon, so check back later for more details.

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