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Technology Tesla CEO: More infrastructure needed for company growth

Tesla CEO: More infrastructure needed for company growth

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Tesla CEO Elon Musk is looking at creating a housing compound at the company’s giant northern Nevada factory where it makes batteries for its electric cars.

Speaking at a summit with Gov. Brian Sandoval this week, Musk said a housing shortage and needed infrastructure are the biggest limits on his plans to grow the company’s 7,000 employees to 20,000, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported .

“We’re looking at creating a housing compound on site at the Gigafactory, using kind of high-quality mobile homes,” Musk said.

Musk is planning to more than double the 5.8 million-square-foot Gigafactory near Sparks, but the area needs more schools, buildings, roads and affordable housing, he said.

“The biggest constraint on growth here is housing and infrastructure,” Musk said.

Projects are already underway for infrastructure needs, including work on a Reno freeway interchange to address increased traffic caused by the growth at the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, Sandoval said. The state also is working with developers to address the housing issue, the Republican governor said.

“We’re constantly looking at ways to allow for the construction of that affordable housing,” Sandoval said

After winning the 2010 race for governor, Sandoval pushed for major technology companies to move or expand to Nevada in an effort to diversify the state’s economy. The state’s unemployment rate was above 14 percent at that time, with more than 175,000 residents losing their jobs during the recession.

“We’re not done yet,” Sandoval said. “We’re not anywhere near being finished yet.”

Musk and other tech company leaders from the industrial park praised the state and Sandoval for their efforts in bringing the companies to Nevada and continuing to work with them on infrastructure projects.

“Nevada’s a real get-it-done state,” Musk said. “Just keep being you. Don’t change, and we’ll be fine.”

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