Tesla officially opens Texas Gigafactory

On Thursday, Tesla opened its Gigafactory in Austin, Texas, which was a crucial step in the company’s delayed plans to begin production of its electric Cybertruck. To celebrate the opening, Tesla held an event called “Cyber ​​Radio”, which invited 15,000 people to listen to live music, eat and pay tribute to Ilona Mask and his company.

“We are really entering a new phase in the future of Tesla,” Musk told the audience. Dressed in a black cowboy hat and aviator sunglasses, Musk said he was very excited to start work on the Cybertruck production. “I can’t wait to see this baby in production, it’s going to be epic.”

Along with the new version, Cybertruck Musk also showcased a new Roadster car, production of which is scheduled to begin next year. He also teased the robot taxi, which he said would look “quite futuristic”, but did not specify or give any details.

It is the company’s fourth factory in the United States after the car plant in Fremont, California, the battery plant in Sparks, Nevada, and the solar plant in Buffalo, New York. Tesla also has a car plant outside Shanghai, China, and recently opened its first European plant near Berlin, Germany. Tesla spent about $ 5 million to buy land outside Austin, plus another $ 1.1 billion to build the plant.

“We need a place where we can be really big, and there’s no place like Texas,” Musk said. “We’re going to move to a really massive scale.”

The milestone was reached less than two years after Musk announced that Austin would be the site of the company’s next Gigafactory, and less than a year after Tesla officially relocated its headquarters to Texas from California. In addition to the new Gigafactory, Musk also operates the SpaceX facility in Brownsville, Texas, and he reportedly lived in his friend’s multimillion-dollar home along a lake in Austin. (Musk denied the report, claiming he currently lives in a “small house” in Boca Chico.)

The addition of the new Gigafactory is expected to increase Tesla’s capacity in the US, which has long been limited by space constraints. In 2018, the company pitched a tent near its factory in Fremont, California to help achieve Model 3 production goals. At the time, Musk said the company’s California factory was “tearing at the seams”. Tesla said it expects to produce 1.5 million cars in 2022 after producing just under 1 million cars last year – a 50 percent increase.

The plant in Texas is expected to be the place where, starting in 2023, Tesla will produce its long-term Cybertruck. Signs that Cybertruck will be delayed first appeared last year when the online booking page was changed and then removed from the site. Musk said he expects several trucks to be delivered to customers by the end of 2021, but no deliveries have been made. Cybertruck has already undergone some changes since its initial show in 2019 – including the addition of a comically large single wiper, traditional folding mirrors and invisible door handles.

In addition to Cybertruck, Tesla also plans to build the Model Ys and Model 3s, designed for the East Coast, as well as the long-delayed Tesla Semi. The company has already started building Model Y crossovers at the unfinished Texas Gigafactory in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the company’s latest earnings report.

Tesla Cybertruck at the Cyber ​​Rodeo exhibition.
Photo by Susanna Cardeira / AFP via Getty Images

The Texas Giga Factory is located on approximately 2,100 acres of land east of Austin-Bergström International Airport, with approximately two miles to the Colorado River in Texas. The company said it would hire up to 5,000 workers with an average salary of $ 47,147, and entry-level positions start at $ 35,000. Today, Tesla employs about 10,000 people at its only U.S. car plant in Fremont.

In return, Texas local authorities gave tax breaks and benefits to the company worth millions of dollars. In 2020, a local school district voted to approve $ 50 million in tax breaks for Tesla, while Travis County commissioners approved a deal worth at least $ 14.7 million, according to Reuters.

But the greeting was not entirely conflict-free. Last week, local conservationists tried to block the Cyber ​​Rodeo Tesla holiday, citing congestion, construction dust and water pollution. Bloomberg. The company has also faced criticism from environmental groups for the Berlin plant project.

In a broader sense, Tesla has faced criticism because of its work practices and workplace safety issues, mostly focused on the Fremont factory. The California Civil Rights Agency has sued the company for describing it as a “racially segregated workplace.” And last year, a judge awarded a black former Tesla employee $ 137 million in damages after he reported a hostile work environment where he heard “daily racist epithets,” including a word on Mr, and was told by colleagues to Africa. “

Tesla began looking for a place in the United States to build a new factory in early 2020. “Site Exploration for Cybertruck Gigafactory. It will be the central part of the United States, ”Musk tweeted March 10. Nashville, Tennessee, reportedly was the first candidate before Austin and Tulsa eventually reached the final. Tulsa officials (and residents) used a lot of bright action, such as painting a 70-foot statue of a driller to make it look like a mask.

The new facility opens as the company continues to struggle with the closure of its Shanghai plant as the city takes tough blocking measures caused by the rise in COVID-19 cases. Despite this, the company reported strong sales in the first quarter of 2022, when customers purchased 310,048 cars.

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