Tesla officials visited two sites in Tulsa, Oklahoma this week to search for a possible location for its future and fifth gigafactory, according to a source familiar with the situation.
Company representatives have also visited Austin and Nashville as potential sites for a factory that will produce its all-electric Cybertruck and Model Y crossover. A final decision has not been, according to the source. The AP also reported Tulsa and Austin has possible picks.
Tesla expects to make a decision as soon as next month, and definitely within the next three months, CEO Elon Musk said April 29 during the company’s first quarter earnings call.
Musk tweeted in March that Tesla was scouting locations for a so-called “Cybertruck Gigafactory.” Musk said the factory would be located in the central part of the U.S. and would be used to produce Model Y crossovers for the East Coast market as well as the cybertruck.
An email was sent to Tesla requesting comment. The article will be updated if Tesla responds.
This next gigafactory, wherever it is located, will likely be larger and produce multiple products, CFO Zachary Kirkhorn said during the same April 29 call.
“That’s under a belief that there’s significant efficiencies by having as much as possible and similar product lines under the same roof and as much vertical integration as possible all in one facility,” Kirkhorn said.
Musk has referred to these as future plants as “tera” factories — a nod to terawatt, or more specifically a terawatt-hour of battery capacity. The company’s first “gigafactory” is in Sparks, Nevada. The massive structure, which has surpassed. 1.9 million square feet, is where Tesla produces battery packs and electric motors for its Model 3 vehicles. The company has a joint venture with Panasonic, which is making the lithium-ion cells.
Tesla dubbed the Sparks plant a “gigafactory” because the company said at the time it would be capable of producing 35 gigawatt-hours per year of cells
Tesla assembles its Model S, Model X and Model 3 vehicles in Fremont, Calif. at a factory that was once home to GM and Toyota’s New United Motor Manufacturing Inc (NUMMI) operation. Tesla acquired the factory in 2010. The first Model S was produced at the factory in June 2012.
“Gigafactory 2” in Buffalo, New York, is where Tesla produces solar cells and modules. The company’s third gigafactory is located in Shanghai, China and started producing the Model 3 late last year. The first deliveries began in early January.
Tesla is now preparing to build another factory near Berlin. Once complete, this German factory will produce the Model 3 and Model Y for the European market.