George Strait once said that all of his exes live in Texas, and maybe Elon Musk doesn’t want his new electric vehicle facility to be infiltrated by the country music legend’s past lovers.
While we all patiently wait for Tesla’s CEO to announce the location of its next vehicle production plant, I was pretty sure that Texas had been confirmed as the spot. After seeing some reports, I dug a little deeper and found that the State of Texas had some records, including purchase price agreements, on a plot of land just outside of Austin.
However, when I reported the news, Elon responded and told us at Teslarati that the company had the option to buy the land, but they had not secured a purchase agreement and exercised its right to purchase the property.
I have to admit, I was pretty shocked. I have been following the situation closely for months, and it is pretty evident that Texas certainly has the most advantages. Not to mention, Elon definitely seems to be leaning toward it. He’s been talking about Texas since January, and we’ve already talked about the distinct advantages the state holds over any other location.
However, Musk wasn’t done there. He then added that Tesla was looking at several locations. I’m assuming Tulsa, Oklahoma, is also in the mix considering that has been a location that is very open to taking its oil roots and trading them in for a new electrified infrastructure that will create a string of sustainable transportation production lines in the state.
However, it is really evident that Tesla might be having some second thoughts on the Lone Star State…or are they?
First, let’s consider the details of the land plot in question in Texas. It’s 2,100 acres, its $5.2 million bucks, and its really perfect for what Tesla has wanted. We know that the new factory is set to be the biggest one yet because both Zachary Kirkhorn and Elon said they are going to start calling the factories “Tera” instead of “Giga.”
To put the size of the land into perspective, Fremont sits on 370 acres, Giga Shanghai on 210 acres, and Giga Berlin on 740 acres. This means the prospective Texas land plot is nearly three times as big as Giga Berlin, which is the factory that will produce Tesla cars for all of Europe, and it is all going to be used to create the Cybertruck and the Model Y.
We know the demand for the Cybertruck is enormous. The pre-order number is not officially public knowledge. Still, there is some indication that Tesla is getting near three-quarters of a million reservations for the truck and its tough, robust exterior.
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We know that Tesla wants to build the plant in the middle of the country. That could mean anything, from North Dakota to Texas literally, and it could go slightly West to Colorado, and slightly East to Missouri. That’s what is confusing.
Now that there are apparently “several locations” in the mix, the real question is: Why is the Texas deal taking so long? Is Tesla looking to negotiate an even lower price? I decided to dig a little more.
According to Texas A&M University’s “Texas Rural Land Prices” page, where the college has the price of land from Q4 1971 up until Q1 2020, the most recent cost of an acre of property in the state is $2,986. The prospective plot of land where Tesla could build its next factory is 2,100 acres. So the value of the property, according to these statistics, is $6,270,600. According to the application that Tesla and the State of Texas have, the land price that was agreed upon is $5,298,275, giving the company a nearly $1 million discount. It is about a 16% discount according to my handy, dandy calculator.
Texas has also announced its intentions to give the automaker a sweet incentive package to the tune of $68 million, according to reports. That’s a lot of scratch, and it could certainly help with the purchase price, the labor costs of constructing the building, and more.
It is just tough to say why the deal is taking a while. The Cybertruck’s Dual and Tri-Motor variants are going to be produced at the tail-end of 2021, and with Tesla’s track record with the Model Y in the US and the Model 3 in China, they’ll be built well before then. That would give Tesla, if the company started construction in July, 18 months to complete the Cybertruck portion of the factory. Fremont could handle Model Y production until the new factory’s Phase 2 is completed.
I am personally excited to see where the factory ends up, and I really, genuinely think that Texas is where the factory will end up.
Where do you think the factory will be when its all said and done? And why do you think Tesla is kind of dragging its feet through the purchase process?