Tesla provided an update on its plans to establish Gigafactory 4 in Europe in its Q3 2019 Update Letter and its recently-held third quarter earnings call, stating that the upcoming facility will likely be operational sometime in 2021. The electric car maker also noted that a formal announcement about the facility will be held soon.
As part of its discussion on its present and future initiatives, Tesla noted in its Q3 2019 Update Letter that the company is currently finalizing the site selection process for the upcoming facility. The European Gigafactory will be similar to Gigafactory 3 in China as well, since it would be producing both the Model 3 sedan and the Model Y crossover.
“We are in the final stages of our site selection process. Our European Gigafactory is expected to produce both Model 3 and Model Y,” Tesla wrote.
Considering that Gigafactory 4 will be producing the same vehicles as Gigafactory 3, there is a pretty fair chance that Tesla will use the same template in Europe as the one it adopted in China. Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory follows a very different approach compared to the company’s operations in the United States. Unlike its US production process, where batteries and drive units are produced in the Nevada Gigafactory and vehicles are assembled in the Fremont plant, Tesla’s China facility will have facilities for both battery (Phase 2) and vehicle assembly (Phase 1) in one complex.
Such a strategy appears to be partly inspired by the simplicity and efficiency offered by GA4 in the Fremont factory, which Tesla established in Q2 2018 as a way to support its Model 3 production figures. The assembly line, which was built on a sprung structure, was proposed by Tesla President of Automotive Jerome Guillen and widely praised by CEO Elon Musk for its practicality and simplicity. The same simple and efficient design appears to have been adopted in the Shanghai Gigafactory, only on a far larger scale. It will then be unsurprising if Gigafactory 4 in Europe will adopt a similar “all-in-one-site” approach.
While Elon Musk has already mentioned possible locations for the European Gigafactory, the final site for the facility has not been leaked to date. That being said, several areas in the region have already expressed interest in hosting Gigafactory 4. Among these are the German states of Lower Saxony and the state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), both of which are reportedly being considered as potential sites by Tesla. Lower Saxony Ministry of Economics Bernd Althusmann previously noted that he contacted Tesla CEO Elon Musk last year to highlight the advantages of his region for electric vehicle production.
“A good location in the European transport network including port connections, a dynamic research landscape, and renewable energies on the doorstep: Lower Saxony is one of the world’s top regions of the automotive industry, which is also Tesla known,” Althusmann said.