When news broke that Tesla had announced the finalists for its next Gigafactory, which actually could be called a Terafactory based on the expected cell production output from the facility, comparisons between Austin, Texas, and Tulsa, Oklahoma was rampant across social media. Each location has its own distinct advantage and disadvantage, which I’ll explore.
I will start with Austin, Texas, because of the location’s notoriety as the “favorite” of the two locations. Also, it is fairly evident that Elon seems to think highly of the Lone Star State based on his Tweets about the state and also the presence of his SpaceX business there.
Texas has a lot of available lands, and it’s very cheap. Houses and businesses can get the same amount of land in Texas that they can in California, but at a significantly cheaper price. Tesla could save a lot of money on the purchase price of the land and it could be using Tulsa as leverage to get an even better deal on the Texas property.
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One of my favorite reasons for a Texas Factory is the fact that the state has long been the heart of oil and gas, and the world’s largest electric automaker in the same region. I find that to hysterical to me. I feel that Tesla establishing its largest and most dominant production facility in that area would be a big “middle finger” to the pollution-causing gas and oil drillers who, for a long time, have called Texas home.
Texas also has a hearty history of automotive manufacturing and is ranked fourth out of all fifty U.S. states in the sector. Also, Tesla could provide a stable economic boost to the State. While this also applies to Tulsa, Texas already has a strong presence in automotive manufacturing, which could ease regulations and transition time in the state.
Texas is also home to SpaceX’s Boca Chica Launch Facility. This statement solidifies Musk’s presence in the state and makes it an already familiar option for the CEO’s other company.
However, Tulsa has its own array of advantages, a lot of which are similar to Texas but in a slightly different way.
Tulsa also offers a sizeable amount of affordable land that Tesla could use for its next production facility. Although the company has roots in Texas and not in Tulsa, local authorities are ready to make a strong push for Tesla, knowing that the electric automaker could provide a substantial positive economic injection into the state’s employment rate.
Tulsa is also slightly more centralized than Austin, as it is closer to the geographical center of the country. While it may not provide much of an advantage as far as location goes, it is slightly more centralized than Austin is.
I also feel like Tulsa may want the factory a little bit more than Austin. I could be wrong here, because what city wouldn’t want a manufacturing plant that will provide 12,000+ with jobs and provide a positive economic impact? But Tulsa took a statue of an oil driller and put Tesla’s logo on it, and I feel like that is pretty special in itself considering the city’s rich roots in oil drilling. It is especially impressive that the local figures in Tulsa are willing to sit there and modify a very notable statue in the area to woo Tesla in their direction.
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Simply enough, it’s pretty obvious that Texas is the favored choice. At least it is for me. While Tulsa does have its advantages, it just doesn’t seem like it would provide enough benefits that make it a clear favorite over Texas. Elon has also mentioned Texas on numerous occasions like I previously mentioned, and really, economically, I think it provides more benefits to Tesla as a company.
What do you think?
I’d also like to add that there were plenty of great emails last week that I received after sending out the Fremont piece. Thanks for being sure to send me messages. I really appreciate the feedback and I love the fact that whether you agree or disagree, you’re telling me your thoughts. Thanks again!