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Hints surface about a new North American Tesla factory
Posted on February 18, 2020 by Denis Gurskiy
Elon Musk recently teased a Gigafactory in Texas on Twitter. He posed a vote to his 31 million followers and more than 80% voted "Hell yeah" in favor of the idea. Regardless of the company's Giga-sized efforts in Shanghai and Berlin, there could (indeed) be a need to grow here in North America to accommodate upcoming vehicle production.
Above: A look at Tesla's factory in Fremont, California (Image: Tesla)
Sure, Tesla's "S 3 X Y" line-up can all squeeze into the company's Fremont factory. And, yes... there's the Gigafactory in Nevada but that's dedicated (at present) to battery production. In addition, there's also a Tesla factory in Buffalo — but that's already spoken for. The Buffalo location is currently set up for the company's solar initiatives.
Hmmm, okay. So what about Tesla's forthcoming Semi, Roadster, and Cybertruck? After Tesla released their 2019 Q4 Earnings, the company gave investors a glimpse of the growing number of factories needed to churn out its complete line-up of EVs. Below is an updated chart on their plans for each factory. Note that the Tesla Semi, Roadster, and Cybertruck are listed as somewhere in "North America" but definitely not in Fremont.
Above: Tesla reveals, in their Q4 shareholder letter, its plans for the production of current and upcoming vehicle programs (Source: Tesla)
Regardless, Tesla continues to ramp up expectations for how many cars they will produce. Tesla announced Model Y production started this year already, ahead of schedule. In Fremont, Tesla is planning to be able to build 400,000 Model 3/Y annually with the output increasing to 500,000 by mid-2020. In addition, Tesla has a production capacity of 90,000 Model S/X in Fremont.
Chinese-made Model 3s should yield 150,000 production capacity from the Shanghai factory. Then again, Coronavirus could slow things down (considerably). Meanwhile, the Berlin factory has already started preparations and its first deliveries will be expected in 2021. Then again, there have been more than a few fits and starts due to some recent pushback from locals.
Above: Some of the vehicles in Tesla's upcoming line-up (Image: Tesla)
In any event, the big goal moving forward is the 500,000 deliveries that Tesla is targeting in 2020. In the Q4 shareholder letter, Tesla stated that almost all of their Model 3 orders this year were from new customers rather than previous reservation holders, indicating that there's been plenty of ongoing demand. And most of that production output would come via Fremont.
However, Tesla has plenty of expenses coming up with the continued construction of the Shanghai factory, beginning of the Berlin factory, and kickoff of Model Y production this quarter. The company's recent $2 billion capital raise should help. Nevertheless questions remain about where production will occur for the company's future vehicle launches.
Above: Trump may have foreshadowed upcoming plans for a new US-based factory (YouTube: CNBC Television)
As pointed out in X Auto, perhaps Trump's recent rhetoric about the need for a US-based Tesla factory may have served as a teaser for a new factory in "North America" to produce the forthcoming Semi, Roadster and Cybertruck. Trump commented on Elon Musk a few weeks ago (see above) and noted, "He's going to be building a very big plant in the United States."
An earlier version of this article appeared on EVBite. EVBite is an electric vehicle specific news site dedicated to keeping consumers up-to-date on any developments in the ever-expanding EV landscape.