Tesla’s newest Gigafactory in Austin, Texas saw construction begin on July 17th, and as tradition goes with the all-electric carmaker’s other factories, drone footage of the progress is now online.
Local resident Jeff Roberts recently shared overhead videos of the site, one as a “test” of navigating the flight area without violating rules from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, a second as a full flyover once limitations were clear. Altogether, the drone footage managed to capture the expansive natural beauty of the Gigafactory location as well as numerous construction management vehicles in operation.
While heavy equipment on the site was noted in previously shared posts, most of the area now looks to have leveling and excavation activities underway in preparation for laying the factory’s foundation. The progress thus far seems to indicate groundbreaking may come sooner rather than later in Texas given current construction speeds and Tesla’s wealth of experience from other Gigafactories. Their Gigafactory in China’s Shanghai free-trade zone, built and operating in about ten months, set an impressive precedent.
This latest overhead drone footage helps to imagine where all the Texas Gigafactory amenities will go along with the building itself throughout the 2,100 available acres. As detailed in CEO Elon Musk’s recent comments, the site will be open to the public as an “ecological paradise” complete with a boardwalk and hiking/biking trails. It’s anticipated that the Gigafactory will bring 5,000 new jobs to the Austin area, 1,000 from Tesla directly, and 4,000 as part of a secondary economic impact, along with over a billion dollars in investment. Perhaps tourist dollars are part of that estimate since the area’s proximity to the Colorado River may encourage visitors outside of just Tesla enthusiasts.
The Austin location for Tesla’s next Gigafactory was announced during the company’s Q2 2020 Earnings Call last week after competition for the site had been narrowed between Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma. Travis County officials and local school board administrators recently approved tax break packages to entice the all-electric carmaker to the area; however, it’s not clear the incentives were the deciding factor. Musk had indicated his possible Texas intentions via Twitter before the search for the site expected for Cybertruck manufacturing had begun. Musk’s other company, SpaceX, already has a rocket facility in Boca Chica, Texas as well.
Watch Jeff Roberts’ full drone footage below: