Electric cars bring manufacturing back to California

Tesla Motors, in partnership with Toyota, has re-opened a shuttered automotive plant in California, which promises to create up to 1,000 jobs by 2012.

There are green chutes amid the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. An abandoned automotive manufacturing plant has gained a second lease on life to build electric cars.

CNET was on hand as luminaries gathered for the grand re-opening of Tesla Motors New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) plant in Fremont, California on Wednesday. Tesla announced that it has purchased the plant, which had been shuttered by both General Motor and Toyota, on May 20.

The Tesla Model S is a four-door sedan featuring an all-electric drivetrain; it has a functional range of 300 miles per charge. Fitting its high-tech image, the Model S will be equipped with a variety of gadgets and 4G wireless Internet access.

NUMMI is forecast to produce nearly 20,000 Tesla Model S sedans per year when it starts production in 2012, and will employ nearly 1,000 local workers. Toyota will collaborate with Tesla on the "development of electric vehicles, parts, and production system and engineering support," CNET reports.

Initially, only 20 percent of the factory floor will be active. Tesla intends to ramp up manufacturing in coming years with the introduction of several new vehicle models, executives said.

Those models may include a cabriolet, crossover SUV, and van.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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