What will it make there?When you are doing new things and taking risks, you have failures and successes. Solar tech company Solyndra (and political punching bag, for a while) might have a name that will live in infamy for all kinds of reasons, some valid, and some not, but at least someone is making lemonade from those lemons. Tesla Motors has just signed a lease for the 500,000 square-feet former Solyndra building just down the road from the current Tesla factory in Fremont, California (also next door to SolarCity, in another building that was formerly used by Solyndra).
The building was also used by Xerox and Hewlett-Packard in the past.
It's not yet clear what Tesla will do with the building - it already has a huge 5.5 million square-foot factory (the former NUMMI plant, now known as just the Tesla Factory) with a lot of space remaining, so it's not like they're space constrained. But the company is nothing if not ambitious, and we know that they intend to keep introducing more EVs after the Model 3 in 2017, so maybe they're already planning for future expansion for these additional models (Musk has spoken of a potential Tesla electric pickup truck that would be "better than the Ford F150"). Maybe the company would also want to move R&D operations there, so as to be close to the main factory, but still separate so that things are easier to keep secret.
Or maybe the space could be used by the Energy division of the company to make Powerwall and Power Pack storage devices for consumers and utilities. I assumed that these would be completely made at the Gigafactory in Nevada, but maybe final assembly could be done in California.
Above and below you can see videos showing some of what is going on inside the Tesla Factory in Fremont. It's quite impressive to see all this technology in action!