REUTERS/Stephen Lam Tesla has a very busy year ahead of it.
In a shareholder letter published earlier this week, the electric car company said it will unveil its first mass market car, the Model 3, on March 31. The company also noted it's on schedule to produce and deliver the Model 3 by 2017.
But in order to meet that aggressive deadline, Tesla has a long to-do list this year.
The company plans to invest some $1.5 billion in its factories, stores, and charging infrastructure to get ready for the production of its mass market car.
Here are the four biggest things Tesla said it plans to accomplish this year.
It will invest in finishing the Gigafactory.
In its shareholder letter, Tesla said it plans to invest in new equipment to support cell production at the Gigafactory, which is Tesla's giant battery manufacturing plant in Sparks, Nevada.
The Gigafactory will be key to helping the company meet its goal of selling some 500,000 cars by 2020 because it will help the company achieve "extreme economies of scale," which will help bring down the cost of its lithium batteries that are used to power its electric cars.
Tesla will build out its facilities to begin production of the Model 3.
Tesla says it's going to use a chunk of that $1.5 billion investment to begin installing the machines needed to produce its upcoming Model 3.
The new car will be produced at Tesla's production factory in Fremont, California — at least in the beginning. However, Musk recently said e is not opposed to begin producing Tesla cars for the Chinese market in China.
The Fremont factory is currently capable of producing 100,000 vehicles annually, according to Tesla's website. The new equipment will help its factory become even more robust ahead of the Model 3 launch.
Tesla plans to open 80 retail locations and service centers.
Tesla currently has more than 140 retail and service stations around the world. But the company wants to grow that number so that as the Model 3 comes off the production line, there are plenty of showrooms where they can show it off.
Tesla will also build out 300 new supercharger locations.
Tesla currently has some 597 Supercharger stations with 3,481 superchargers around the world.
But with the Model 3 on the horizon, the company wants to increase that number.
Tesla Superchargers provide 170 miles of range with just 30 minutes of charging. To put that into perspective, it takes about an hour to get 58 miles of charge time if you used Tesla's Wall Connector on a 240-volt circuit at home.