Tesla may already be launching two new vehicle factories this year in the form of Gigafactory Texas and Giga Berlin, but it appears that the company is still just getting started. During the recently held fourth quarter and full-year 2021 earnings call, CEO Elon Musk noted that while Tesla is not ready to announce where its next factories would be built today, the story may be different by the end of the year.
Musk’s comments about Tesla’s next factories came as part of his opening remarks in the earnings call. During his update, Musk mentioned that Model Ys equipped with 4680 cells and structural battery packs should start their deliveries after the vehicle’s final certification. The executive added that capacity expansion would continue by maximizing the output of each of its existing factories — and by building new plants.
“So, in Texas, we’re building the Model Ys with the structural battery pack and the 4680 cells, and we’ll start delivering after final certification of the vehicle, which should be fairly soon. Capacity expansion will continue through maximizing output of each factory and building new factories and new locations in the future. Although we’re not ready to announce any new locations on this call, but we will, through 2022, look at new locations and probably (be able to) announce new locations towards the end of this year, I expect,” Musk said.
A look at Musk’s statements during the Q4 and FY 2021 earnings call hints that Tesla could be considering multiple locations for more than one new factory this year. Interestingly, Musk did not dub these upcoming facilities as “Gigafactories” outright, which may suggest that some of these new plants may be modeled after the company’s other projects, like its “Megafactory” in Lathrop, California.
Tesla would likely be more deliberate with its selection for its new factories’ locations moving forward, considering the challenges and delays being faced by the company in Gigafactory Berlin. While Giga Berlin was built quickly due to the use of early approvals, the facility’s final permit is taking quite some time before it’s released. Local groups opposed to the facility have also presented one legal challenge after another to the project. For its next factories, it would not be surprising if Tesla decides to establish a presence in places where it can move quickly and openly, such as Texas in the US or Shanghai in China.
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